A parenting hack is supposed to help out other parents, right? I’ve got one you can really use.
I remember when my children were in elementary school and I knew where they were at all times. I drove them to their games/lessons/playdates, or I was part of a highly-organized carpool. Dinner, bath, reading time, and bed by 8:30 p.m. I was in complete control of their busy calendars. By 9:00 p.m., it was time with my husband and a glass a wine, a rehash of the day, and sex. That’s right—I said sex.
Then my kids got to middle school, and things drastically changed. Their activities ended later, there was more homework, and bedtime was no longer at 8:30 p.m. Plans changed on the fly, and there were new friends with parents I didn’t know. There were now phone calls letting me know they had a ride home with someone’s parent or asking if I could drive a carload of kids home. Suddenly, there was no time without children awake and no time for sex in a house built with surprisingly thin walls.
The middle school phase also came with new cell phones, which were, of course, frequently misplaced or lost. So we instituted a new rule: Every phone had to have a locator app on it, and we had to have access to that app on each phone. We found phones lost in sofa cushions, in the garage, in the backyard, and in the car.
Those apps had another handy feature, too: They let us know where the phones were at all times, along with the child who went with it. We realized that if one kid was at the mall and the other at a movie at 3:00 p.m. on a Saturday, neither one of them would be home for at least 30 minutes—and there was our opportunity to have sex. Not the romance of earlier days, but better than nothing. Incidentally, nothing kills the mood faster than my husband looking at his tablet and saying, “Crap, the phone is moving!”
A parenting hack where you can leverage your teen’s omnipresent cellphone? Priceless.