How To Get Your Kids to Answer Your Calls and Check In When You Ask Them To
Every kid who's begged their parents to buy them a phone has used the, "I can call you so you know I'm safe" line. Yeah... That'll last about a month. After that, you might find your kid conveniently "forgot to charge the phone" or "didn't hear it ring."
A mom in Houston, Texas named Sharon Standifird has invented an app that forces your kid to call you back.
It's called Ignore No More. And when a parent calls their kid and the kid doesn't answer, the app locks their phone and only gives them two options: Call their parent back or call 911.
So they can't text, play games, Facebook, Snapchat or use apps until they call their parents back and get the unlock code.
Ignore No More costs $1.99 but it's only available for Android phones because Apple doesn't allow apps to lock up the phone the way this does.
If you have an iPhone, you're not totally helpless. Most carriers, like ATT give, you some remote access over your phones services. While it's not as elegant, turning off data or the phones service altogether is a sure fire way to get your kids' attention. Just know that when you do this, you'll be turning off such features as GPS. If you use GPS or the Find My iPhone App, it will not function if you turn off data services. Or if your child is in a REAL emergency, they won't be able to use the phone if you disable service.
Once you've weighed your options and decided to cripple their phone, here's how you do it if AT&T is your wireless provider.
1. Log in to your account
2. From your account overview page, click the details link on the phone you wish to disable.
3. From there, simply click the link to turn the members data off. It will take you to a confirmation page. Just confirm and you've successfully turned off data services to that phone. At this point, calls and texts can still be made from the device. The only thing you're suspending is their ability to use any apps that require data. Facebook, email. snapchat... etc. And kids are really smart these days. If they're anywhere near a wifi connection, all they have to do is connect and they're back in business. Or if they can find a friend who's willing to share their phone as a hotspot, they can stay connected that way.
If you wish to suspend all service to the phone, you can do that as well. From your homepage under the wireless menu, choose 'Suspend or Reactivate Service' so do disable everything, including phone and text. Depending on the carrier, they should still be able to call 911, even if you cut service to the phone. Consult your wireless provider for options.
Another option would be to use Find My iPhone via the Apple App Store. The app is intended for you to be able to locate, track and disable the phone if it's lost or stolen but you could use this the lock the phone remotely. But this won't work if your kids know the unlock code.
In the end, you'll have to decide for yourself how to handle things if you kid doesn't like to answer when you call. If they don't answer when you call, you could always cancel the service indefinitely.