This App Can Keep Teens Safe and Parents Connected

When we were teens, our parents had little idea where we were, who we were with and, if we were driving, were we doing it safely? I’m sure we all have stories of some close calls from our youth that best remain untold. 

Although things have changed a bit over the years, one thing remains constant, parents worry. Fortunately, now there are tools that can help relieve our anxiety; tools like Life360, an integrated platform that allows families to stay safe and connected throughout the day. Our readers tell us they can’t say enough great things about Life360.

new driver
A tool like Life360 can keep teens safe. (Twenty20 @julesgane)

Life360 Is Simple To Install

The app took me about five minutes to install. I have an iPhone so I simply searched for Life360 in the App Store, downloaded the app and hit “Get Started.” You can add anyone you want (if they agree) to your family circle.

Our readers tell us that they “can’t say enough good things about Life360.” They call it a “lifesaver” and a “game-changer” and they aren’t sure how they ever functioned without it. Here are some of the ways they use Life360 in their everyday lives with their teens and their elderly parents too.

Comments from our group members are included with their consent. We are grateful to them for sharing their stories. 

Ten Reasons Parents Love Life360 

1. Peace of Mind

Overwhelmingly, readers tell us that Life360 gives them peace of mind and not just about their teens, but about their spouses, their older parents and everyone else in their family circle. 

One reader told us that during an active shooter incident on her daughter’s college campus she was unable to reach her daughter. She checked Life360 and was relieved to see that her daughter was nowhere near the shooting site. 

Not only do parents get peace of mind from knowing where their teens are, many readers tell us that their kids are comforted to know where their parents are as well.

2. Monitor New Drivers/Driver Safety

Arguably, one of the most important features for parents will be the tools that help keep their teen drivers safe. There is simply nothing more fraught than watching your new driver drive away for the first time.

Keeping our kids safe while they are on the road is a major concern. To that end, Life360 can encourage responsible driving and allow parents to use driver report stats to facilitate important conversations about driving safety. 

One mom told us that she, “was able to see that my daughter’s boyfriend was driving WAY too fast with her in the truck and reign that behavior in before something bad happened. Best thing ever.“  

Even in the basic package, you simply tap the ‘Call Roadside Assistance’ button to connect with a live representative who knows who and where you are and can help with any car situation from a flat tire, to towing and more.

3. Locate Your People/Phone 

We worry about our teens having car issues while on the road. Life360 can locate your teen if their car has broken down or if they’ve run out of gas. Parents told us that they were able to locate a family member and either get to them or direct help to them. Or both.

In addition, Life360 allows you to locate a lost or misplaced phone. One of our readers told us that when her son’s phone fell out of his pocket on a ski lift, she was able to check Life360 and pinpoint the location of the phone. She then watched as the phone “moved toward the ski lodge” and was able to instruct her son to go to the lost and found at the lodge and wait for the person who was walking the phone in. 

Another reader said that her husband couldn’t find his phone when they landed in Australia. They were able to locate it at LAX using Life360 and subsequently had the phone sent to them.

4. Rescue In Crisis

One reader told us that her 18-year-old son has type 1 diabetes. He has a glucose monitor which allows his parents to follow his blood sugar readings on their phones.

Her son was out running when they got a notification that his blood sugar was low and dropping. They located him on Life360 and immediately drove to him. Luckily, “He was ok, was walking when he found him, and had eaten some skittles, but you just never know.”

5. Timing/Planning

School pick-up can be timed so that your teens and preteens can see when you get there and stay safe and warm inside a building until you arrive.

Also, how many of us have waited hours in a parking lot for the bus carrying our kids from their activities to return? When we call our teens on the bus to get an ETA, their answers generally range from incomprehensible to surly. How nice is it to be able to check when they left their activity and see exactly where their bus is? 

A reader told us that she can see when her husband (who commutes about an hour for work) heads home and can plan the timing of dinner preparation accordingly. Others mentioned that they can see when the food shopper in the family is returning with groceries so they can be on hand to help unload.

6. Help Navigate 

Parents have told us that by using the app, they have either been helped or have helped family members navigate unfamiliar terrain, sometimes even assisting to circumvent flooded roads or traffic incidents. You can help anyone in your circle who is lost on the roads by telling them exactly where they are and by sending them real-time directions.

One parent shared that, “Our 18-year-old got extremely lost on back roads and her phone could not hold a signal to call us and it kept losing GPS – there was enough for her to send us her location through the app and we went and found her.” 

7. Make Sure Everyone Gets to Their Destination Safely

One mom told us that when she was out of town she set the app to alert her when her daughter got to her high school. She continued, “This morning I noticed I hadn’t gotten an alert that my high school daughter had arrived at school—so I called and, sure enough, she had woken up late. It gave me a chance to tell her to not worry and not to speed to school!”

As an added feature, your teens can form their own Life360 circles and, if they’re in college, they can use it to make sure after a night out that everyone gets back to their dorm safely. 

All Life360 users have access to a feature called SOS. You press and hold the SOS button when you feel that you are in danger. When you get to safety you release the button and have 10 seconds to either cancel the alert or Life360 will notify your emergency contacts and send emergency services to your exact location.

8. Allow Parents to Check-In Without Being Super Annoying

Our teens often mean to let us know when they’ve arrived safely at their destination but when they forget, we are left to worry. Life360 allows parents to check in without bothering anyone. 

In fact, Life360 has a privacy-respecting feature called “Bubbles.” The new feature allows any Life360 member to share a circle representing their generalized location instead of their exact whereabouts so parents can then see the bubble in which their teen is located. 

In the Bubble, users still have access to all safety and communication tools Life360 has to offer, including Crash Detection and SOS alert. Parents will be notified when Bubbles are created and are equipped with tools to message their teens in an activated Bubble within the app. Additionally, parents will have administrative rights to “burst” the Bubble if they don’t hear from their teen for a prolonged period of time and suspect that they are unsafe.

No one wants to disturb their teen while they are driving, especially new drivers, so Life360 provides parents with a way to check on them without disturbing their concentration on the road. 

My own son often drove 14 hours from his college town to home. Sometimes he drove through the night. When inevitably, I woke every few hours I could roll over and check the app. Of course, the real relief came when the door chime signifying his arrival tolled but being able to check on him during the trip was comforting. 

9. Find Your Teen When There’s Been An Accident/Crash Detection Technology

Life360 will detect if you’ve had a car accident. Immediately following a detected crash, Life360 sends a push notification to the user involved in the incident. If help is needed or the user doesn’t respond within a five-minute grace period, all circle members and emergency contacts are notified via a text message with the user’s exact location.

Many of our readers told us that they have been able to locate family members who were in an accident. One mom told us “Our son was in a bad car accident. He called and was so shook up that he only managed to say ‘Mom, I was in a really bad accident’ before hanging up. We were able to instantly locate him with Life360 and get to him quickly.”

Another mom told us that her “daughter was t-boned in the middle of winter coming home from college. She was in a farmer’s field in snow and I was able to find her before the police and ambulance did using the app. She was cold and in deep snow…”

Yet another told us that her teen had an accident “Called me hysterical and distraught. Didn’t really know where she was…could only give me an area. I pulled up our app, and it guided me to her exact location. Took the entire burden off of her…Let me tell you…that thing is CLUTCH in an emergency.”

10. Great Tool for Dementia Patients 

Life360 is also a GREAT tool for dementia/Alzheimer’s patients if you can get the patient to keep their location on. One family told us that they were able to find their dad who suffers from dementia “He always has his phone and keys with him because these were habits before his memory began to decline. We are so grateful for Life360 and I am much more at peace knowing I can find my parents when I need to. Dad walks a lot so my mom doesn’t have to worry where he is now!!”

Visit www.life360.com to learn more about this safety platform for families. 

Testimonials to the utility of Life360 from our Grown and Flown Parents community

How did parents do it without Life360? My 17-year-old son is on his first long drive on his own, 3 hours each way to pick up a guitar he bought online. I’ve been tracking him, he made it to the meeting spot so now I’m waiting to see when he’s back on the road with said…guitar safely.

He’s also a diabetic, so knowing where he is serves two purposes. I also track his blood sugars on my phone as well. Lord as much as we complain about tech, I wouldn’t want to parent without it. I’m grateful for the peace of mind technology gives me.

stacy

If I wasn’t sold on Life360 before, I am now. No, I don’t keep constant tabs on my kids, but I check driving habits occasionally and sometimes location. Anyway… Life360 was really on the ball, notifying me within a couple of minutes that my daughter had been involved in an accident. (I was already aware that she was in an accident because I was the one driving. We were hit. Not our fault. Everyone is fine.)

Now I think I am going to add my elderly parents to my account. If they are ever involved in an accident, authorities will automatically be sent, they won’t even have to worry about what address and cross streets and all that… 

cindy 

Yes. My university student ended up hospitalized in Spain. Her friend called me back in WI to tell me but didn’t know the name of the hospital . I was able to look on Life360 and get the location and then Google to locate a phone number for the hospital in Spain! I finally was able to get through to my daughter.

Sharon

Best story was when my daughter was having trouble in college her first year, she called home crying. We spoke with her for a bit, then suggested she call her older brother at the same college. Then I saw on Life360 a few minutes later that he had joined his sister at the library. Made a mamma proud!

lisa

My youngest son lost his cell phone on Space Mountain at Disneyland and using Life360 we were able to pinpoint and tell the Disney people exactly where the phone was via the zoom in option to Google Earth. And when they moved it and kept telling us they couldn’t find it we kept insisting that they looked where the app was indicating and sure enough they found it!

lani

I love Life360! Except when my kids want ice cream or McDonald’s because they know where I am.

melisa

What Life360 Offers

Life360 has an enhanced safety membership platform for families and offers three affordable membership plans with one monthly payment covering every member of the family. These plans give families across the country peace-of-mind on the go, on the road and online with an array of on-demand safety features. This is just a glimpse into what those plans offer:

  • Driving safety features including 24/7 Roadside Assistance, Driver Reports and Crash Detection with Emergency Response for drivers and passengers.
  • Advanced location safety features including an SOS help alert button that sends emergency services to your exact location.
  • Digital safety features including Identity Theft Protection, protecting the whole family from identity theft with critical support and reimburses losses up to $1 million per Circle. 
  • Safety anytime, anywhere, all conveniently in one simple to use app.

Most parents don’t want to control their teens, stifle them or invade their space. They don’t want to know every detail of their kids’ lives but, quite simply, it’s comforting to know that they are where they should be and that we can help them if they run into trouble. 

Life360 is a potent tool that can be used, not to bind our loved ones to us in a smothering way, but to hold them just a bit closer and to care for them if something goes wrong. 

A few readers warned us to beware the downfalls of the technology. When your teens see that you are at Starbucks, they will definitely be asking for you to bring home a venti caramel latte. Another reader told us that, “our daughter might be driving around her college town, but our little dog hears the alert tone and runs to the door to wait for her to walk in.” 

But, as one mom told her daughter, “Someone who loves you should know where you are.” And doesn’t that just say it all? 

Visit www.life360.com to learn more about Life360. The Life360 app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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