Should I Use Airtags To Track My Teenager?

The release of the new Apple AirTags was met with the usual excitement seen with innovative releases by the gadget giant. With these products, you can track personal items with the highest levels of security being enforced across the board. AirTags are perfect for tracking your bike, keys, laptops, and even your car if you’re parking in a large structure or at a large event.

Knowing just how they may be ultra-helpful in ensuring you keep track of your personal belongings could lead you to wonder whether AirTags are suitable for tracking your teen. Keeping tabs on your teen can feel incredibly important if they act out or otherwise exhibit behaviors that are unusual for them. But just how far should you take it? Are there any products that can help ease any fears that you have?

What Apple recommends

The Apple AirTags are an interesting tracking solution that has sparked up some pretty interesting conversations. Many parents on social media have quipped that the tracking devices would be great for keeping up with their kids and even their pets. Apple has been quick to suggest that these products are not ideal for tracking children or pets.

The company deliberately built the AirTag devices with protective security measures to keep the devices from being used to stalk individuals. Privacy measures are a big part of what makes these devices so appealing for so many consumers. Stalking is a serious concern, and tracker devices can make it infinitely easier for people to monitor the whereabouts of people they are looking to harm.

The built-in security measures Apple included will make it clear to anyone being tracked without their knowledge if they have an AirTag with them.

For example, many Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad are able to detect an unrecognized AirTag traveling with them. If your teen has an unknown AirTag with him or her, their phone will alert them. Their phone can also then provide them with instructions to disable the AirTag if it is not a device that their phone recognizes. This would, essentially, render the tracking attempts useless.

Should you track your troubled teen?

When it comes to tracking your teen’s location, the truth is that there is no one-size solution or answer. Deciding to monitor the whereabouts of your troubled teen is a personal and sensitive family decision that will depend on the circumstances your family is facing.

The history of your teen’s behavior should also be taken into consideration. For example, if your teen has never exhibited risky behaviors or engaged in criminal activity, it may cause more harm than good to monitor their whereabouts. This can potentially damage the trusting relationship that you have established with your teen. The decision to track their location could be interpreted as spying on them.

On the other hand, if your troubled teen has a history of concerning behavioral issues, substance abuse concerns, and even criminal activities, you could find that the benefits far outweigh the risks of causing friction in your relationship.

One thing that is important to keep in mind is that tracking the location of a teen can sometimes backfire for the parent. They can find ways around the tracking solutions you are using and find other ways to engage in potentially risky behavior.

Make a decision that is right for your family’s needs and the concerns you are facing.

Mistakes to avoid with tracking

Consider why you are interested in tracking the whereabouts of your teen. Certainly, as parents, you have safety concerns, particularly if your teen spends a fair bit of time alone while you’re at work. If you’re going to install tracking software or use a dedicated device, there are some mistakes that you can avoid when you start tracking them.

  • Don’t keep it a secret. The truth will come out sooner than you think. Most teens will fib or omit information about where they are. Sometimes the motivation isn’t necessarily nefarious, but more that they want some privacy. Keeping things secret will also prove to be a serious violation of their trust in you. Instead of keeping it a secret, reassure your teen that you are more interested in ensuring their safety.
  • Don’t check the tracker data obsessively. All teenagers need to have some freedom to make decisions for themselves. Sometimes this may look like going to pick up a burger after school instead of going straight home or to the library. Obsessively tracking them and questioning them about their whereabouts can only lead to frustration and angry conversations.
  • Don’t rely on tracking instead of having open conversations with your troubled teen. Set expectations with them and ask them questions about what their plans are.

Other options to consider

Several solutions can help parents who need to keep track of their troubled teens. Apple may discourage the use of AirTags, but they suggest using an Apple Watch that is paired with their Family Setup feature. The device allows users to use features like messages and location sharing.

Other tech companies offer other tracking solutions. The type of tracking can range between watches, necklaces, and bracelets.

A technological solution is certainly one approach to keeping up with what your troubled teen is doing. There are also several other steps that you can take:

  • Keep the lines of communication with your teen open. Ask them about their life, their friends and how things are going at school. Learn more about their friends and the activities they do together. Offer a judgment-free environment to encourage your teen to speak honestly with you.
  • Therapy is an excellent place to start. If you feel your teen is struggling, remember that early intervention can make a world of difference.
  • Give them their space but stay involved. It should go without saying that you’re going to annoy your teen. But don’t use this as a reason to back off from being involved in their lives. Teens who are left unmonitored and largely unsupervised are more likely to find themselves getting into all kinds of troublesome situations.

Is your family struggling with a troubled teen? Don’t spend countless hours trying to track them and demand information from them. Get the right help to address underlying issues that teens may be struggling with.

The proper treatment programs can provide your troubled teen with the structure and support that he needs to get back on track. A therapeutic boarding school with licensed psychiatrists, therapists, and nurses available can provide the right solutions.

Call Liahona Treatment Center to learn what the next step for your teen should be. Getting him back on track starts with a phone call.

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