Fifty years after TIME magazine published a spread covering American teenagers, it’s apparent that some things haven’t changed.
The rebellion, habits and interests highlighted in the 1965 profile are still present, but “with a modern twist.” From listening to controversial music to planning for college, teens still face many of the same challenges as half a century ago.
The modern twist? The Internet. Teens are more connected to the outside world than ever, and risks associated with the Internet and social media can threaten your teen’s physical safety.
As your teen seeks greater independence, security technology at home can encourage him or her to make smart choices. More importantly, it will provide you with greater peace of mind knowing your teen is safe.
Smart Home Devices for Teen Safety
Here are some of the devices you can install to keep your teen safe, and hold him or her accountable, in your home.
- Video monitoring: While your teen may be old enough to stay home alone, video monitoring will allow you to check in whenever you feel necessary. Place indoor and outdoor cameras at the front door, and in the living room, basement and other common areas. If your teen is having friends over, rely on remote video feeds to keep tabs while you enjoy date night or work late.
With real-time alerts, receive updates to your phone on household activity, such as when the front door opens, to always know who your teen is inviting into your home.
Placing cameras in your teen’s bedroom or bathroom is not recommended, however. Teens will appreciate your willingness to respect their individuality and privacy, while still keeping a close watch on household safety.
- Sensors: Some areas of your home are private to you and your spouse, or even firmly restricted from your children. Examples may include your medicine cabinet, gun safe or where you store adult beverages.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “many youth have easy access to alcohol… in many cases, adolescents have access to alcohol through family members, or find it at home.”
In areas that are strictly off limits, install sensors on doors and cabinets to ensure teens don’t push the limits. Sensors will send an immediate alert to your mobile phone if your teen, or one of their friends, attempts to access a restricted zone.
- Alarm and Lock Controls: In a rush to make it to a music lesson or baseball practice, your teen may forget to lock up your house. Install smart locks and an alarm system to ensure your home is secure at all times. Mobile reminder alerts will notify you and your teen when your home is left empty and unsecured. Utilize the mobile app to lock up, and arm your security system remotely.
Work with your teen to help them understand their role in keeping the household safe. Emphasize the importance of setting locks and maintaining your alarm system to protect your home from theft or unwanted visitors.
Starting the Smart Home Conversation
Your teen might not immediately warm up to the idea of smart technology in your home. Follow the tips below to help guide the conversation and aid in mutual understanding about safety standards in your home.
- Keep communication lines open. Start a conversation about the benefits of smart home technology. Share how household monitoring and security may impact your teen’s decisions or behavior, and allow them to express thoughts.
- Engage in discussion about the value of safety. Contrary to what your teen might think, your smart home system is not all about them. Help him or her understand that smart home technology will protect your entire family from serious emergencies including theft, carbon monoxide and fire.
- Take advantage of his or her tech smarts. Your teen is likely very familiar with smart phone technology. Allow him or her to help you navigate the new smart home mobile application. Involving your teen in the implementation and monitoring process gives them ownership in keeping your family safe.
A smart home program, backed by mobile monitoring and control, will provide your entire family with greater comfort and safety.
Utilize smart home technology to open lines of communication with your teen, establish a standard of transparency, and encourage them to make smart choices.
Are you a smart home owner and teenager’s parent? Share your tips for smart home tech and parenting in the comments below!