Parents Go To Extremes To Keep Tabs On Kids

CHICAGO (CBS) — There are so many temptations for teenagers these days. So how do you keep them safe?

Some parents go to extremes to track their teens. Private investigator John Frycek is often hired by desperate, worried parents — including the mom and dad of one suburban teen.

“The parents wanted to make sure, hey, is my kid hanging around with the wrong kids? Well, the answer to that was yes,” said Frycek, the owner of Special Solutions on North Harlem Avenue in Chicago.

It’s a worry that’s driving some parents to do the spying themselves, going to incredible lengths to keep track of their kids.

Frycek’s top sellers include hidden cameras and GPS tracking devices.

“It’s the world’s smallest GPS real-time tracking device that will track a person, car, place or thing every 10 seconds,” Frycek said.

One of the most popular items that parents come to his spy gear store to buy is an Internet tracking device. It’s a USB drive you download into your teen’s computer. It will document and track all e-mails, chat rooms and websites.

There are also websites, like Cybersiblings, that monitor what children do online and send parents a weekly report.

Mark Royce is a Cybersiblings monitor.

“We make sure that they’re not posting any harmful information, any cyber bullying, or any other inappropriate activity that kids may do on social networking sites,” Royce said.

Manuel Hernandez has a 13-year-old daughter. He subscribes to Social Shield.

“It might not just save your child, or protect your child, but also another child that could be going through a problem, and they may be afraid to approach their parents about it,” Hernandez said.

His daughter, Mireli, said, “He’ll help me if I make a mistake or something, then he can tell me and he can try to help me with it. So I don’t really mind.”

Mireli knows her dad is keeping an eye on her activity. Experts say that’s a good approach to take.

Margot Gay Mahan, a clinical psychologist, said: “Trust is the foundation of every relationship. … So you need to talk to your youth about how you’re going to be supervising them.”

Manuel Hernandez said: “If I thought that it was something that was beyond my being able to trust her confiding in me, would I consider prying a little more? Sure. I would, whatever it takes to keep my daughter safe.”

GPS is also available via smartphones. Click here for more information on Cybersiblings and click here to find out about Social Shield.

Special Solutions is located at 7524 N. Harlem Ave. in Chicago. The phone number is (847) 803-6922.

  • Kathleen

    I May or May Not tell my child if I was monitoring them…It all depends on their age, & the activities they’re involved in. Sometimes it’s better left unsaid!
    Kids today are smart…some will find a way around it, & end up in trouble anyway.
    I Didn’t ever feel I owed my children any explanations!
    My thought is: When they’re old enough to support themselves, then they can go on their own, & do what they like then. They turned out fine & without trouble!
    Whatever I did for my children, I Knew it was in their Best Interest…Enough Said!

  • ismael martinez

    The parents use these methods when there is a lack of communication. I mean communication in person not thru a cell phone. I talked to all my kids everyday, when in school they knew before they went out to play homework was first and they had a set time to go bed. Today’s parents distance themselves from the kids. The kids go to their bedrooms and the parents are happy with that. In my house there were no locked doors, whatever they were doing the doors were open and i knew their friends.Today i am very happy with the way they turned out to be, non smokers, no alcohol and hard working kids. i am proud of them. You see i communicated in person

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