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New app locks down kid’s phones until they respond to parents

Wednesday, Aug. 20 | By Hannah Dellinger
Courtesy Photo
Almost every parent in America will tell you that their kids sometimes “forget” to respond to their texts or calls.

Sharon Standifird, a fed-up mom in Houston, in a brilliant and slightly diabolical move, has created an app for androids that can lock down a child’s phone from everything except dialing 911 or responding to their parent or guardian’s attempts at communication.

After parents purchase the Ignore No More app for $1.99, download it and set it up, all they have to do is select the name of their child on the screen and enter a four-digit code that initiates the lockdown.

“Not responding is a complete lack of respect,” said Gwen Cook, a mother of two boys in the Fauquier County Public School system. “My two sons knew from day one that they must respond to our texts or calls or they would not have a phone.”

Cook said that her sons are pretty good about getting back to her in a timely manner, but she might consider downloading the app if it becomes a problem.

“If it were a problem, I can assure you that I would most definitely use it,” she said whole-heartedly. “I know that they would be highly upset, but that wouldn't deter me from using it. Life has consequences and so does not responding to your mother.”

Judy Olsen, the chair of the School Support Council for FCPS, said that her daughter sometimes ignore her calls and texts.

“It's not very often but it does happen,” she admits. “Usually she says it's because her phone was in her backpack or somewhere else and she almost never has the volume on so she doesn't realize I'm trying to reach her.”

Although Olsen does get ignored every now and then, she said that she wouldn’t use the app.

“If I did use it, I think she would be annoyed by it,” she predicted. “But, I can see where it would be useful for those parents who really have issues with their kids responding.”

Olsen said that there are other parenting apps that she does find useful.

“Dinner Time Parental Control lets you shut down access on their smartphones for 30 minutes to 3 hours,” she said. “That would allow me to shut off her Internet access etc., at bedtime or when she really needs to focus on studying.”

While Olsen would love to use the app, it is only supported on android phones and she is an iPhone user.

Standifird and her team are currently working to develop an iOS version.

She told CBS that she currently uses the app on her own children and it’s working.

In the same CBS piece, her son, Bradly Standifird, was asked what he thought about the app.

He replied, “Well I thought it was a good idea, but for other people, not me.”

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