As parents of teenagers, we have a lot to contend with when it comes to both getting our kids’ attention and ensuring that they are staying on the straight-and-narrow. With social media sites and all kinds of private messaging services, we can’t be blamed for wanting to check in on them every now and again.


One US dad is thankful that he followed his instincts recently, after an app alerted him that his teenage daughter may have been involved in drugs.


The father – known only by the name Trent – shared his experience of an app called Bark, which analyses kids’ social media, messaging and email to notify parents of any dangerous or concerning activity. Parents are then sent a notification, along with screenshots of the messages, for them to deal with accordingly.


Trent admitted to Yahoo! Parenting that he was suspicious when he received a text from his eldest daughter, telling him that after finishing up her restaurant shift she would be heading to the cinema with a friend and her mum, and then going back to their house for a sleepover.



The next day, Trent received a notification from Bark containing a screenshot of a direct message sent by his daughter to a friend, saying that she was going to get some ‘bud’. While Trent initially thought she was referring to beer, he soon realised that she was actually talking about marijuana.


When his daughter arrived home, Trent sat her down and, armed with the incriminating message, asked her to explain everything. After some initial reluctance, she admitted that she had stopped to buy some marijuana at the request of her friends – but she herself did not purchase or consume it.


Trent believed his daughter and went on to ground her for lying to him. He told Yahoo! that both of his teen daughters have been well-behaved ever since, and he has not received any more concerning notifications from Bark.


Noticing a definite change in his daughter’s attitude, Trent said: “It was eye-opening for her. And I feel like in the conversation and subsequent conversations with her mum that she fully grasped that things can go wrong, and a drug possession encounter with law enforcement can affect your future.”


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