Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

nicole-davies

Remote Parenting

My oldest daughter is about to become an independent driver, meaning once she takes and passes her driving test, she will be able to drive without me or her father in the car with her.  This is scary for any parent who has been, is, or will be in this position.  I think it is probably the scariest part of parenting I have experience thus far.  I know I’m not alone.  I talk to my friends and they all seem to feel the same way.  I now know why my mother still holds on to the door handle and pushes down on an imaginary break when she is my passenger, almost twenty five years later.  Every parent who has ever handed their keys over to their teen driver has done so with fear, anxiety, and a list of rules.

No speeding, no drinking, no texting.  A curfew; areas that are off-limits; only the same number of passengers as there are seatbelts.  Some of these rules were rules even back in my day.  Some are new to our Smartphone world.  Texting and driving, or “distracted driving”, which could involve not only texting but surfing the internet, taking selfies, and posting on social media all while driving, couldn’t have even been imagined in my day.  Well, technology has also come up with solutions to some of those distractions.

There are several apps out there that parents can use to monitor their teen drivers.  Some monitor the speed the car is going.  Some will also block incoming calls and texts so the driver isn’t tempted to answer.  Some will even send alerts to parents when the car has been driven to an area deemed “off-limits.”  Pretty amazing stuff.  It does leave me wondering, however; in this modern age of “helicopter parenting”, is this one more way to “hover” over our children?  Sure, when I was a kid I couldn’t have talked or texted or surfed the net while driving, but there were plenty of other ways to drive dangerously.  And my parents could only lay down the rules and hope they were obeyed.

If I choose not to download such an app and my daughter gets caught texting and driving, is it not her fault because there was no app to shut off incoming texts?  Is it my job as her parent to make sure she is being responsible?  Or should some, if not all, of that responsibility fall to the individual?  After all,  we are talking about a young adult who is becoming more and more independent in preparation to go off into the world.

 

What are your thoughts on these type of monitoring apps?  Do you think they are life-savers or another form of helicopter parenting?

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