Parenting has always been hard. While every generation has had its challenges, millennial parents are facing fun, new ones in the realm of technology.
When children are little, we have to weigh the benefits and potential harm done by screens and set limits accordingly. As our kids grow and they get their own technology, we have to develop a whole new set of rules — which, we know, are meant to be broken by teens.
As a parent, few things are more frustrating than your kid refusing to respond to your texts.
So, one dad decided to do something about it.
Nick Herbert couldn’t stand it when his son continually failed to reply to his texts.
“My son has an iPhone, but I still can’t get hold of him very easily as it’s always on silent because he is playing games or has been at school and forgotten to turn the sound back on. There didn’t seem to be a solution out there that allowed me to send a message to him, that would override the silent function, appear over whatever he was doing and tell me when he had seen it.”
He created an app in response to this problem, calling it ReplyASAP. It works by taking over your iPhone when you get a message, not allowing you to ignore it or go back to playing a game or using social media. It also sounds an alarm, and tells the person who sent the text that it has been read.
Your child might be resistant to it at first, but chances are they’ll eventually see the use for it – it helps them remember that their parents are wondering whether they’re still alive.
In Herbert’s experience, this works out well.
“It is key to discuss with the child that they understand the reason for having it. It is not a punishment or a tool for tracking them, nor will it remotely lock or freeze their phone. It is simply a means of allowing them to carry on using their phone however they want, but giving a means of getting them an important message when you need to.”
You’ll probably want to also come to an agreement with your child on when and how you’ll use the app. For instance, it shouldn’t be something you employ every single time you send a text (especially if you know they’re in the middle of class). They should learn to associated ReplyASAP messages with something important and/or timely.
Communication is key in all relationships, so don’t skip on the chat and just download the app.
It’s currently only available on Android, but will be coming to iOs soon.