Parents and Peace of Mind
As two working parents with young children on the move all the time, my wife and I needed a technology solution that could give us the peace of mind during the work day that our children were “OK” and in the right location. As most parents know, when your child turns 5 they embark on kindergarten and the public/private school system. Today, a good percentage of working families maintain a full 8 – 10 hour workday and there are very few solutions to offer our young children when they finish kindergarten at noon or grade school at 3:00 pm.
Most take the school bus to an after-school program sponsored by the YMCA or rely on a relative/family friend to watch our children until we are finished with our work day and able to pick them up at 5:30 pm.
Answering the “What-Ifs”
My wife and I were concerned that our child got from point A to point B safely. We knew that once they got to their location, they were going to be ok. But what if they got on the wrong bus? What if they got off the wrong stop? What if they didn’t get to where they were supposed to be? How would we know or could there be a technology out there to put those questions at bay and give us some peace of mind? Well, that is where Location Based Technologies came into play when we tried their PocketFinder GPS device for our son, Chase.
Our Child Think It’s a Cool Device
The device is about the size of an Oreo cookie and comes with a clipping device that can be attached to the inside of any backpack. We felt that this was a strategic location to avoid the unit being lost and we wanted to deter our son from interacting with the device. Out of sight, out of mind. We told our son that this was a tool for us to keep track of him and to reassure him that we are always there watching. Our son actually embraced the idea as it was his first time going on the school bus and being away from home for most of the day. We showed him how mommy and daddy can be at work and watch his movements throughout the day on our computer. He said that was “cool” and always made sure he had his backpack whenever he was leaving to go on the school bus.
We Really Use the Features
As most parents know, there is a huge amount of anxiety when your child begins grade school and it really does intensify with a stressful, full-time job. Being able to sit at work or on the run and know your child is where there are supposed to be is a huge load off of your mind. The web-based platform allows you to set up “zones” that text or email alerts to you when your child moves in and out of these zones. My wife and I are alerted real time when our child arrives at school and when he leaves. We are then alerted when he enters a second zone and keep in mind, you can watch this real time on your computer. The device even tracks the speed at which your child is going when they are on the move. I can’t tell you how important that information is when you want to make sure that your family friend isn’t putting your child’s life in danger with excessive speed.
It’s about Peace of Mind
At the end of the day, this technology gave us the peace of mind we needed, which reduced the amount of stress we endure on a regular basis. The PocketFinder GPS locator is not going to prevent your child from being kidnapped, but it can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to realize your child may be in danger and that can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. We now consider it a must-have for working parents and will recommend it to our friends.
Chris & Brooke Tyson
Laguna Beach, CA
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