Dear Ilana and Jess: My kids want to trick-or-treat alone with their friends, and I think they’re ready. I’m still a little worried about them, and I do want to create some guidelines. How can I keep things in check without being there? –Rylan
Dear Rylan: One of the best things about living in the age of technology is that we can be wherever our kids are, without being where they are. Even if you don’t use Find My Friends regularly, you might want to use that app (or an equivalent one) for Halloween night. If you don’t know, Find My Friends is a GPS-based app that allows you to track the location of any “friends” you add. You can also set notifications that alert you when your kids leave or arrive at home.
If you don’t have or want to use this app, you can have your kids check in with you at various intervals. We’d actually recommend doing this in addition to Find My Friends, even if you do decide to go in that direction. It makes the kids responsible for communication and, in that way, encourages responsible independence. Before the kids set out, make sure you decide on specific check-in times. Have your kids set reminders on their phones so they’re not relying on their memories. They’ll be with their friends, eating candy, and having fun, so it’s unlikely that they’ll think to reach out on their own. Make it mandatory, let them know before they head out, and have them set reminders in front of you.
Tell them where they can and can’t go. Don’t let the kids make limitless rounds. Identify which neighborhoods they’re allowed to visit, which they aren’t, and set limits to the perimeters of their trick-or-treating. You can watch them along Find My Friends to make sure they stick with it, or have the kids share their location with you by dropping a pin.
Say This: “Hey, Kids, I hope you have a great time trick-or-treating! Since this is the first time you’re doing it on your own, I want to set up some check-ins. Let’s turn on Find My Friends so I can find you if I need to. I want you to update me every 30 minutes and tell me where you are. We’re going to set reminders on your phones right now. Please stay in our development and be home by 9.”
Not That: “Make sure you check in with me once in a while!”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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