(by Amit Chowdhry, Forbes) – Sharon Standifird is a tough mom from Houston who has served in the Gulf War and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Recently, she took on a new challenge: getting her kids to return her missed calls. Standifird knew that this issue can be frustrating for every concerned parent so she started to brainstorm. Standifird’s solution was a mobile app called Ignore No More, which forces kids to call their parents back.
After parents download and setup the app, they just have to tap their kid’s name and enter a four-digit code. The phone locks up until kids call back their parents or other selected contacts. The parent or guardian tells the kid what the password is during the call so that the phone can be used again.
“If your children ignore your repeated calls and text messages to reach them, you simply lock their phones until they call you back,” says the description of the app. “When you lock your child’s phone with Ignore No More your child has only two options – he or she can call you back, or call for an emergency responder.
No calls to friends, no text, no games, notta’ until they call you back. When they do, you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so.”
Standifird uses the app on her own kids and it is working. Standifird’s kids are calling or texting back quicker than before. When CBS interviewed Sharon’s son Bradley about what he thinks of the app, he said: “well I thought it was a good idea, but for other people, not me.”
The Ignore No More app supports a single household account, meaning that one account controls multiple “child” devices from multiple “parent” devices. The app does not interfere with first responder calls and is virtually impossible to be removed by the kids. If an unauthorized person attempts to uninstall or kill the app, the phone locks up. The parent will also receive an e-mail notification about someone attempting to tamper with the app.
The app has been getting mixed reviews. Some parents think that the idea is genius, but many people believe that it is too controlling. Dr. Doree Lynn, a psychologist from Washington D.C., said that parents should talk to kids first about the purpose of a cellphone and the consequences of texting while driving. “Let the child know that you value their independence, which is why you want them to have the phone, but that in this family there are expectations [around its use],” said Dr. Lynn via MarketWatch. Before installing the Ignore No More app, Dr. Lynn said that parents should tell kids what the consequences are for violating rules, including the Ignore No More app or having phones taken away for a period of time.
The Ignore No More app is currently available for Android with a price of $1.99. Standifird’s team is proactively fixing each bug as they are reported and is responding to every negative comment on Google Play. Standifird and her team is also working on an iOS version.
Originally published on Aug. 20. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from Forbes. Visit the website at forbes .com.
Welcome back teachers and students! PLEASE NOTE: “Answers” emails resume Tuesday, September 2nd. Also, check out our updated “Election” resources page at: studentnewsdaily.com/election-resources-for-teachers/
1. What prompted a mother of teenagers to create her own app?
2. Explain in your own words how the app works.
3. How do parents prevent their teens from deleting the app?
4. a) What do you think of psychologist Dr. Doree Lynn’s take on the app? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent the same question.
5. How does Bradley Sandifird view the app? For what reason do you think he doesn’t like it?
6. Do you think your parents should use this app? Why or why not?
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