"Whose house did she stay at last night?" I ask my husband as I return from a weekend trip after leaving him in charge.
"Not sure," he replies, sheepishly. "She wasn't very clear. I thought they were coming here. I texted her and she didn't respond."
In a matter of seconds, I have the answer on Friend Finder. I track her phone and find the precise address of where she is. I reach out to the mother by text to confirm she is indeed there and safe. Confirmed.
Some of my friends also have GPS trackers on their children's cars that not only reveal their location, but alert them when their kids drive too fast.
This technology makes parents feel like we can keep tabs on our children at all times. And while there is some benefit in this, I think it also gives us a false sense of security because, while we may know where they are, we don't know who they're with or what they're doing.
When I was growing up, parents didn't have this fancy technology. If they were concerned, they simply called the parents at the house where you said you were going. If no one answered, they got in the car and drove over.
Can you imagine the look on your teenagers' faces if we simply showed up at one of their friends' houses unannounced? Maybe we should ...
I think the best approach is a two-tiered one, a combination of technology and good old fashioned talking to our children and their friends' parents. And yes, occasionally getting in the car and checking things out for ourselves.
It takes more than just a GPS. It takes a village ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.