In this day and age, parents should utilize available technology to facilitate communication with their children. Technology also makes it possible for parents to monitor and track their children’s whereabouts anytime of the day. Listed below are the different services that parents should be familiar with:
1. Cell phones
These are the most common modes of communication nowadays. There are several types from the simplest (Nokia’s 2110, 3210, 2000 – talk and text only) to the most complex ( Blackberry Bold 9000, Samsung A837, Nokia 7310 Supernova , New Motorola A 810 – call, text, camera, video, music, TV, internet).
The phones you can use with your children need not be the expensive ones, as long as you can call or text each other, then that would be fine. You should instruct them to have their cell phones with them anywhere they go, so in case of emergency, they would not have any trouble calling.
We often hear about a child rescued from an accident or near danger because of his cell phone.
2. Yahoo Messenger
This could be down loaded for free from the internet. You could select which version to use whether the Yahoo Messenger (YM) 8, 9, 10 (the old version), or the YM Web or YM Vista.
The older version has features like camera to camera (cam to cam). You could see each other through live cam; make a computer to computer call or computer to cell phone call. The service is free if you have an internet. If you don’t, then the internet rates are very cheap.
You could also send them Instant Messages (IM) from your cell phone to YM whenever your children are online and you’re not, or it could be vice versa, when you’re online and they are not.
The new version – YM Web – has a broader reach because you can talk to them even when they use windows live messenger (another messenger service). You could also use the email features, in the same window, while talking to them.
This is very affordable and practical if your child is abroad or distant away from you. You could log on through your cell phone if you don’t have time to use the internet. If your child is within the city, then your cell phone to cell phone method is cheaper.
The messenger “lingo” is quite a different language from your ordinary. BRB (be right back), and LOL (laughing out loud), are new acronyms that you would understand from your children, if you get to use YM. There are several features also (music, emoticons, audibles) that would enhance your communication with them.
3. MSN Messenger
This service is similar with the YM; it has the features of the YM. The current versions – Windows live messenger, Windows messenger plus –
provide several languages in Chinese, Spanish, Thai, German, Hebrew, of course English and many more. These versions are compatible with windows XP.
Just like YM, this service is free and downloadable, if you have an internet connection.
This free service is also downloadable from the internet. This service could be used when your cell phone has run out of credits. You could send free text messages (called Short Message Service or SMS) from your computer to the cell phone of your children. If they reply; however, they would be charged for the reply (but not the message received). At least, during emergencies when you ran out of cell phone credits, you can use this service.
Just like the first three, this service is free and downloadable from the internet.
It provides free calls to anywhere in the world and for any length of time. It also has clear reception and quicker transmission. This is ideal when you would want to connect to your children abroad any minute of the day and when you want to talk for long hours.
This gadget had been manufactured earlier than the cell phone, and had become popular with emergency workers, who needed to be “paged” whenever there were emergencies.
Your children could beep you to signify that you have to call them back. You would have to obtain their most accessible numbers to do this. Have the list handy in your purse or bag. Better yet, memorize these numbers.
There is no network saturation with beepers that is why they could be relied on during power outages and calamities where communication would be overloaded.
These are the most common communication services for the moment, as this is being written; experts are experimenting on new devices and services to improve on what is currently available. Who knows, perhaps in the future, you could transmit messages to your children just by using your brainwaves.
For now, don’t be left out in using new technology to talk to your children. Take advantage of all that is available for free, from the internet. Maximize their use to build a healthy and open relationship with your children through good communication.