Conversations and conflicts

Parents and families use Sprint Family Locator for lots of reasons—to stay coordinated, to keep each other safe or to set reasonable limits. Starting a conversation with kids about why you’re using it can sometimes be a little trickier.

We’ve found that one of the best times to introduce the idea is the first time you get your child a phone. This gives you the opportunity to present phone ownership as the privilege it is, with some reasonable and age-appropriate “safeguards,” like Sprint Family Locator. You can reassure kids that because you’ll be able to check in on where they are, they’ll actually enjoy a little more freedom, because you can breathe a (much-needed, at times!) sigh of relief without their always having to call or text.

Of course, lots of parents take a different approach and set verbal boundaries first then subscribe to a location service later, in order to help a kid who's getting a little off track. We’ve heard from plenty of you over the years, and telling kids you’re using Sprint Family Locator doesn’t always go as smoothly as you might like. Kids may feel they aren’t trusted or are being unfairly “spied on.” And you may feel at a loss about how to respond. Here are some approaches to consider:

  • Tell kids that your ultimate concern is their safety. In fact, your being able to see where they are may be exactly what gets them out of a jam at some point.
  • Remind kids that having a phone is like having a car—it comes with limits and responsibilities. Just as they can’t drive after midnight with a learner’s permit, they can’t have free rein over a phone right off the bat, especially when they’re still learning how to do things on their own.
  • Reassure kids that their phone privileges and your family’s rules and guidelines will continue to evolve and that you welcome their questions and conversation, as long as they remember that the final word is still yours.

Last, many parents have asked us, given how convenient it might be at times to “keep an eye” on kids from behind the scenes, why we notify any phone whose location can be seen. Read more here about this feature and why it’s in place.

You may also find some valuable information in our monthly newsletter, "Safely Times," and in our Safely Family Phone Agreement.

Have advice for us or more questions to ask? Please get in touch!

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