How to Talk to Your Children About Life360

Mother and Daughter talking on a bed

Children and teens may not always understand why their parents want to track their location. Parents understand that the world can be a scary place, and having the power to know that your children got from Point A to Point B safely is an amazing thing. Life360 is the #1 locator app and family location-sharing membership – here is how to introduce us to your family.

How to Talk To Your Kids About Life360

While it may be easy to go with the “because I said so” route, being transparent with your kids can help build trust not only with the app but also with you.

Focus on the Intent of the Conversation

If you are thinking about using a location sharing app such as Life360 for your family, it is important to be intentional about purpose and use. Have open and honest conversations as a family about the benefits and the details surrounding location sharing.

Talk upfront about how you will use location sharing to be connected and what the limits of that might be. As part of this, highlight that honesty will result in trust, and trust is everything as it forms the very essence of our relationships.

Talk About How Location Sharing Helps everyone

Life360 is not just an app for parents to track their kids – it is also a family safety membership. Kids and teens are also able to see where their parents are and when they are getting home. Life360’s features such as SOS Alerts, Place Alerts, Stolen Phone Protection, Emergency Dispatch, and Crash Detection can also relieve a lot of anxiety for kids who are worried about their parents well being.

Aside from being a family locator app, Life360 also works as a friend tracking app – like Zenly or Snapchat. Life360’s messaging feature allows friends to send chats and keep updated throughout the day.

Discuss the Opt-In/Opt-Out Feature

Think about the “opt-in/opt-out” feature that comes with using Life360. What are the expectations around when location sharing is turned on or off? And if it is okay to turn it off, what is your family’s routine around that? Does there need to be a text to mom or dad? Does your child need permission beforehand? What about for you as a parent? Will there ever be situations where you would turn off location sharing, and how will your kids know to expect that? It is important to have these conversations before it becomes an issue.

Tips for Staying on Track While Talking About Life360

Once an understanding of the value of location sharing, its intent, and expectations about its actual use have been discussed with your family, you will begin to see the benefits – especially when it comes to feeling more connected. Sometimes, there can be hiccups, though, and it is important to understand that your approach as a parent is going to make all the difference. With that in mind, try to:

  • Always be open and honest with your children so they don’t ever come to the conclusion that you are spying on them but rather really see location sharing for what it is – a technology tool that encourages connection.  
  • Use location sharing as part of how you do your “job” as a parent to ensure the best for your kids rather than having it imposed as a consequence.
  • Use location sharing to reinforce your role as a parent who is capably in the lead, thinking of location sharing as a tool for you; for example try saying “You weren’t where you said you were going to be, so I am going to drive you for the next week and we will talk about this again in a week to see where things are at” instead of “You weren’t where you said you were going to be, so now your driving privileges are suspended!”

Let Life360 Do the Heavy Lifting For You

Finally, there is one more amazing technology tool that you can use to explore how your family will use technology to positive effect. National PTA’s The Smart Talk is an interactive tool that encourages discussion with your child around different digital topics and results in a contract that families can sign. It guides you and your child through a focused conversation surrounding the expectations of technology use being embraced by your family.

The bottom line is it is all about connection. And when parents are in the lead, guiding children along with both heart and swagger, technology can be used FOR families to wonderful effect. 

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