For Easter we got Selena a Gizmo Pal 2 from Verizon, our number one reason for getting her this watch device is because Selena wants more independence. She loves to know she can walk her dog, and ride her scooter or just go for a walk. I have read where some consider this as being a helicopter parent. I ask how or why? Yes, I can call her, or she can call me, I can track her via GPS, but yet she has her freedom at the same time.
It does have it's not so good features, one is if she turns it off or I turn it off I am not able to turn it back on by my app on my phone, Shhhhh Selena doesn't know that! She does know that if she turns it off, I am in my car going to her last known location! This only happened once, and she turned it on right away and called me stating she turned it off by accident, I doubt that she was probably showing her friend how it works.
My question is, do you think this is helicopter parenting? I don't, I see it in a world of allowing my child the opportunity to have her independence, yet being able to be in contact with me when she needs me, or my being in contact with her. I remember as a kid having to keep a dime in my sock so I could use a pay phone to call home! We do not have pay phones anymore, and I really am not ready to give Selena a phone yet. Would I refrain from allowing her to go play with her friends without this, absolutely, would I allow her to walk the dog without this or ride her scooter as far as she does, probably not. She has worked hard to earn the right to go further from home, but I still want to know if she needs me she can get ahold of me.
What did this cost us? It was 79.00 for the device, and only costs us 5.00 a month on our bill for what I consider a lot more freedom for her and a little piece of mind for us.