PHOENIX — Dozens of parents fill the seats in a Phoenix auditorium to hear from licensed psychologist Dr. Aaron Krasnow Wednesday night.
The program said Dr. Krasnow would be speaking about "How parents can support youth mental health and wellness," but he's taking questions on any parenting subject these folks might have.
"Parenting is fraught with decisions that feel like they are the most important decision in the history of decisions, but the problem is sometimes that's true," Dr. Krasnow said before the lecture.
These difficult decisions have always been a part of parenting, but technology has given us new decisions on how to keep track of our kids.
Apps are available that allow parents to GPS track the whereabouts of their children. Life360 is one of these apps which sends notifications to parents anytime their kid is on the move.
"We need all the help we can get," Jill Bahti joked about why she and her husband Yuri decided to attend Dr. Krasnow's lecture.
The Bahtis have two kids, and one of them is a new driver, so they do use an app to track his location.
"Safe driving is the element for us, so if he goes over a certain speed, we do have notifications based on that element. It's an open dialogue with him. He knows we are monitoring, so it keeps everybody a little honest," Yuri Bahti said.
The Bahtis are using this type of technology in the correct way, according to Dr. Krasnow, who is only concerned about these types of apps if the kids don't know they're being monitored or don't have a say in the dialogue.
"As long as there is an agreement that it's being used in the best interest of the child and not only based on the fear of the parent or the mistrust of the child, which is often how these things are used," Dr. Krasnow said.
Non-negotiable monitoring should be taken when it comes to checking a child's social media. A kid or teen's social pages can be dangerous places if not used properly, and Dr. Krasnow agrees this type of monitoring is healthy.
"I do encourage parents to take an active role in that regard," he said.
Dr. Krasnow does stress, however, that every family and child is different and each situation requires different handling. Maybe some kids need a helicopter parent, while others are independently responsible.
Regardless, make sure to keep an open dialogue.