“Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.” ~Erma Bombeck
Here I am again – sitting up in bed at 12:30 a.m. wondering where my teenage daughter is. I ask myself how many other parents are awake and worrying about the same thing.
It sneaks up on you – your kids’ independence. That desire to be liberated, make their own rules, figure out who they are by testing the boundaries and worrying their poor parents sick in the process. This is tolerable while you hold the car keys – but then suddenly you’re with them at the DMV – they take their driving test – they pass – and just like *that* you have a licensed teenaged driver in your family. Oh darn!
After the initial excitement over your teen passing their behind-the-wheel exam, you’re suddenly gripped with a feeling that can only be described as accelerating panic (yes, pun intended). If you thought you had little or no control over their whereabouts before, how do you keep track of them now?
Though it’s not as accurate (or fun) as actually stalking your teen, I have found great solace in the investment of a few dollars a month for a tool every parent of a teen should have – GPS tracking. It’s done through your teen’s best friend, ally, and ever-present companion – their cell phone.
There are many things about technology that are useless at best – this is NOT one of them. I have on several occasions been able to locate my daughter through her GPS chip when I couldn’t raise her on the phone. I’m one of those parents who graduates from calm to panic at light speed if I can’t reach my teenagers when they’re out at night. This may seem overprotective, but I’m amazed at how spot-on my intuition is when it comes to their safety. GPS tracking has soothed this Savage Mom on many occasions (and also provided a handy tool for the occasional parental “sting” operation).
Tonight is one of those nights she isn’t answering her phone. I stare at my cell phone provider’s online GPS application as it tells me it’s locating my daughter. I hold my breath while it searches, watching the little blue arrow move back and forth across my monitor, hoping it will pinpoint a location somewhere near where she said she was going to be tonight.
It stops, it’s found her, and gives me an address within 450 yards of her location. Gotcha sweetheart! Mother exhales, grateful for money well spent.
A few dollars paid for serious peace of mind. Well done! Now to sleep…
Until tomorrow night.