Last month we talked about the benefits of summer programs for your child. These programs are great because your child continues to learn, grow, and try new things while they’re out of school, while you get the peace of mind that comes with a planned schedule. But for every parent that wants the comfort of keeping up to date with their child’s exact activities in a big, sometimes scary, and ever-changing world, there’s a parent that wishes their child could experience the summer just like previous generations: outdoors, loosely supervised, and trusted to use their best judgment to stay safe.
The best of both worlds
Of course, “the way things used to be” is always a romanticized notion, and the belief that the world is more dangerous than ever is nothing more than a truism, repeat ad infinitum, with no data to back it up. Statistically, children in the United States are safer than ever, with everything from child homicides to abductions to pedestrian traffic accidents lowering drastically in the last three decades. [source: The Washington Post]
New technology also allows children to explore their communities more freely than ever before, all while staying safe and in contact with their guardians. While parents may roll their eyes when their children kill hours on their cell phones, they also make the world a safer place for these kids to explore. By checking in remotely by phone, kids can venture further and for longer while still maintaining contact, and constant phone access means children can get immediate help in the case of emergency, injury, or dangerous situations. Social media “check-ins” may seem like nothing more than a way to “show off” to Facebook friends, but these tools can also be used by parents to make sure their children are safe and secure without annoying them. For example, if your child going to a movie with their friends, ask them to check in at the theater so you know they got there safely! Even a simple upload to Instagram provides you with time-stamped photo evidence of your child’s whereabouts. Adapting to new technology, or adapting new technology to your needs, is a great way to allow your child the freedom you had growing up without sacrificing security!
We’re often too quick to romanticize the past and vilify the present: “In my day, kids spent all summer playing in the park. Today it’s nothing but screens and Helicopter Parents!” It’s easy to set up these worldviews as dichotomous and mutually exclusive, but the truth is that the world is fluid and ever-changing, and that new innovations in technology can and should be used to allow our children the freedom to explore their natural curiosities. While it’s up to parents to find this balance in the summer, once the school year rolls around, it’s easy for parents and teachers to stay on the same page about what their child is doing, learning, and creating. New apps like PreciouStatus offer direct and daily communication between parents, program operators, and administrators, as well as helpful tools like activity descriptions, behavioral logs, and even the ability to share photos throughout the day! If your summer childcare program doesn’t offer the tools to keep you well-connected, suggest PreciouStatus as an app to increase parental involvement, and have them email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888)-959-8982 today to learn more about the #1 app for keeping parents in the loop with their children’s development and activities.