It’s Summer … Do You Know What Your Kids Are Doing?

For kids, the start of summer means endless days of free time and no homework. For parents, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with kids’ changing schedules, time spent on mobile devices and even their whereabouts. Today’s technology, however, helps make staying in the know easier while providing much-needed peace of mind. Tools for cell phone tracking let parents know how their children are using their devices.

According to a recent Pew Research study, four out of five kids sleep with their phones. Because of this constant connection, it can be beneficial for parents to limit usage using a variety of approaches. A article features a family who created a “Be Present” box to hold devices and encourage better quality time together. Other solutions include establishing a “No Phone Zone” for certain areas of the house, a “Tech Time Out” for an hour a day, and “Interval Training” during which family members took a break from their phones every 30 minutes.

But before creating their own “Be Present” boxes, parents should first conduct an audit of the kids’ device usage.

Increased free time during the summer months may lead to more time spent on mobile phones or tablets, and it’s helpful to determine if a different data plan is needed. Services like My Verizon Wireless Account Analysis show an account’s usage history over the past six months, while the Verizon Wireless Data Calculator determines the amount of data used (per day or month) based on the type and frequency of content consumed. Ultimately, with a variety of options like the MORE Everything Plans, families can stay connected for less.

But as mobile time increases, so does the worry about what kids are doing on their devices. Fortunately, technology offers many ways for mobile phone tracking and device monitoring activity. With FamilyBase, parents can see what time of day their children are using their devices, who they’re communicating with, and what apps they’re using. Limits can be set for kids, helping them learn how to manage their phone usage safely and responsibly.

Alternatively, Family Locator lets parents know the whereabouts of their children right on their mobile devices. In just a few clicks, parents can easily locate, message, and receive automatic location updates for their entire family.

Additional apps are available that monitor activity more closely. My Mobile Watchdog includes more than 20 parental controls, including the ability to see deleted texts, locate a lost phone, block websites and more. In addition to location data, MamaBear alerts users when their child is driving too fast, is tagged in a photo, or checks in someplace on Facebook or Instagram.

With mobile phone tracking tools, locator software and setting clear rules and limits, summer can be smooth sailing for parents and their families.