Getting your child to wear their GPS tracking watch can be a bit of a hassle. They can be bulky and uncomfortable, giving your child every reason in the world not to wear it. This can defeat the purpose of getting the kids GPS device in the first place. What is even worse is that children often lose items that are not attached to their bodies, resulting in the device’s potential theft or, at the very least, the inconvenience of having to track it down in some out of the way place. Concerned parent, do not fret, there are real solutions to this child tracking problem.
Associate the GPS Tracking Watch With Warm, Fuzzy Map Feelings
GPS is built with maps in mind, often integrating seamlessly with various mapping applications. By teaching your child to enjoy looking at maps you can easily motivate them to wear their GPS kids device. For example, to introduce your child to wearing a GPS tracking watch you take them on a fun trip to one of their favorite destinations.
Let’s say that your child loves Disneyland and you decide to try this method out there. Before you go on the trip you introduce to them the idea of GPS tracking and let them know that all the places you go today are going to be tracked, but instead of having them wear the watch you wear it. You go about your fun trip as you normally would. As you wait in line at various attractions remind the child about the watch by saying things like, “I wonder where the Tea Cups are on a map of the world” or “It will be so fun to see exactly where we saw Mickey when we look at the GPS tomorrow.” The key here is on building excitement and anticipation around the watch. Once you have had a fun day at Disneyland (or on a any trip/event your child would enjoy) it is time to relive the entire experience once you have time to sit down with the tracking information. During this time you try and highlight the funnest parts of the experience while reinforcing the fact that the GPS tracking watch is what made it all possible.
You might even consider using a tracking device that seamlessly integrates with digital photos – like the i-GotU. This way you can see all the wonderful memories and the location where you took them on a map afterward.
Now your child has some significantly positive feelings about the GPS kid tracker. For some children this will be enough to get them to wear it. But if you want to solidify your child’s positive feeling toward the watch you may want to take the next step and take your child on another adventure – but this time they wear the watch. You basically do the exact same things – have fun, remind them about the watch, build anticipation to see what the watch recorded, relive the trip’s moments later – as you did the first time, but now the child will be associating the fun and excitement with them wearing the watch. This type of association is key to getting your child to buy in to the GPS system.
Reinforce Your Kid’s Love for GPS
Now that your child has some very positive memories with the device it is time to get them wearing the watch as part of their daily routine. You won’t have to fight with them during these times when you really want them to wear it the most because you have already taken a little effort on the front end to make it special.
Keeping the watch special should now be the focus of your efforts. You can do this naturally by infusing your regular dialog with your child with references to the tracker. You could say things like, “I wonder where you played at lunch today, do you want to see?” Or you might say, “Yeah, class sounded really interesting today. Hey, that makes me wonder something. I wonder where Mrs. Robinson’s classroom is on a map. Let’s look!” These types of things will hopefully keep the fun of their device alive in their mind until the force of habit created by wearing the watch day after day becomes enough to keep them wearing it for some time.
GPS Can Work For Kids
As you can see, with a little effort it is possible to build positive feelings around these sometimes bulky and awkward tracking watches. Not only will you create some really nice family memories on your trips, but you will also give yourself the peace of mind you were looking for in getting the kids GPS tracker in the first place. Both are invaluable to you as a parent and both can help make the world a safer, more happy place. So give this kids GPS tracking watch tip whirl and see how it works out for you.
This article was included in the Carnival of Family Life found at Live from Waterloo