The Question

ReplyASAP Is the Perfect App for Concerned Parents and Annoyed Teenagers

It's a familiar annoyance for most parents of teenagers. You text, and text, and text, and you never get a reply (unless they need to borrow some money). But that's not a problem for Nick Herbert, whose son Ben always responds as soon as he possibly can. After all, Ben's phone won't do anything but make a loud, annoying noise until his father gets some assurance that his message was received. Now, any parent with an Android phone can make sure their kids respond on time.

Cutting Through the Noise

Here's how ReplyASAP works. First, you download the app and gift it to your child (you can connect with one person for free, or pay to add the whole family). Then it's just a matter of sending a text message through the app (called an ASAP) when you've got a pressing issue or you need to annoy them about something.

You'll know the second the ASAP arrives on their phone, or if it didn't make it because the phone was turned off or wasn't connected to Wi-Fi. You'll also know when they've read the message, and they'll know you got that notification, too. Their screen will be taken over by your message, and their phone will start playing a tinkling little melody that can't be turned off until they acknowledge it — even if they put their phone on silent mode. (You can see it in action in the video below.)

As you can imagine, this solution probably shouldn't be your go-to approach for contacting your kids. You don't want their phones going off in class or at the movies (seriously, don't be that parent). But when an emergency raises its head, or when they just aren't responding even though you know they're perfectly capable of doing so, it doesn't hurt to remind them who pays their phone bill.

Don't Ground Your Kids, Kite Them

So what's the advantage of an app like this? It means that instead of grounding your kids, you can let them fly free while keeping them on a tether. You know, like a kite. You can let them hang out with their friends, with the understanding that if they aren't home by a certain time, or if they don't check in with you when they need to, they'll receive a little "tug" on the string.

It might even be worthwhile to give them the ability to tug back, as well. When an adult invites their child to download the app, they can set up the connection to allow un-ignorable  to be sent in both directions. If your teen can send these kinds of messages to you as well, that proves it's not just about control: you care about them, and you think it's just as important that they can reach you when they need to as well. It also shows that you trust them, and that's never a bad thing (at least, as long as you really do trust them).

Dad Creates App Requiring Kids To Reply To Parents

Written by Reuben Westmaas September 19, 2017

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