A mom develops an app that can lock a kid’s phone if her texts go unanswered. Sounds great, right? Well, why not just take the phone away from your child instead?
Sharon Standifird, from Texas, got fed up with her kids because they didn’t always respond to her texts and calls. She put that frustration to work and developed the Ignore No More app, which allows a parent to shut down a child’s cell phone until they call home.
The user will also be able to dial 911, but there will be no games, no texting, no internet, no calling friends — so the child will be forced to call Mom to render the phone usable again.
I’ve seen people raving about this mother’s brilliance. Others bemoan her obvious helicopter parenting and inability to let her child go. “Cut the cord,” they say. And some contend that if you raise a child right, they won’t be disrespectful teenagers and will always call or text you back as soon as they can. In other words, if you’re a good parent, why would you need this app anyway?
For me, it’s much more simple. If a child doesn’t respond in a timely manner, then you need to talk to them about the consequences of that action — namely, if you don’t respond to me within X amount of time when I text you, then you can’t keep the phone.
Set limits for yourself also, and don’t text them during school or work. You also need to allow a reasonable time for them to get back to you (especially if they are a driver). It seems easier than downloading an app that they may be able to work around anyway, despite claims that it can’t be removed.
Another consideration — it also has the ability to be a weapon instead of a tool. I worry that it could be used in abusive relationships as another method of control, or adding another level of distrust in an already-shaky marriage.
An even easier solution is to not give your kids a phone in the first place. I know, that’s totally shocking. My kids don’t have one, even though their friends have had phones since the third or fourth grade. I’m sure kids are getting them even younger now. I find it interesting how people view smartphones as a necessity, and even though I have one, I don’t think that childhood is a good age to start doling them out. Of course, there are exceptions to this, such as a standard cell phone for a child who has two places where he calls home.
I think this app is interesting, but falls into the “not necessary” category.
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