I recently watched a movie with my husband and daughter entitled Cherish. It's about a woman who's been sentenced to house arrest for a crime she didn't commit. She has to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of her house arrest, which leaves her in a tricky situation, as she has to find a way to get out of her house in order to clear her name, which she eventually does, in case anyone's wondering.

My daughter was intrigued by the ankle monitor and decided to do some research. She went online and found that there are companies that deal in GPS devices that actually lease them to private citizens. A couple of them even promote them as a way of monitoring wayward teens.

She has asked her father and I to lease an ankle monitor for her to wear. I know how crazy this request sounds, so let me explain her reasons for wanting it. First, she's interested in a career in the justice system, possibly as a parole or probation officer, and is curious as to how accurate they truly are, how people react to those who wear them, etc. Second, she confessed to us that she ditched school several times last year without us ever knowing and was tardy on several other occasions. She says she really wants to be more focused on school this year and is afraid she'll give in to temptation and skip. She would like us to use the device's geo-fencing features so we'll receive alerts if she's ever late for school or tries to play hookie. That way, she'll have to be on time each day and won't be able to leave without us knowing.

We told her we'd need some time to think on this one. Maybe I'm crazy, but part of me wants to grant her request. I know it's weird that a teenager would actually request being put on a leash like this, but I understand and admire her reasons as well. She's said she'd be willing to wear the device for the remainder of the school year and possibly for her senior year as well. What do you all think? Is indulging this request a bad idea or should we go for it?

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    Technically, since she wishes to start wearing it, she can wish to stop wearing it any time - it's completely her call. But now that she's volunteered the information that she's skipped school many times, how would you react, if after a week or 2 or a month, she decides she wants to stop wearing the ankle monitor? Would it make you suspicious that she's up to something? Would it bother you?
    – learner101
    Oct 4 '18 at 7:07
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    Hi, welcome to the site! I'm inclined to say that this question is too much of an opinion-based question for this site, as this format doesn't really work well with "what should we do" questions that don't have a factual or semi-factual basis for answering; questions like this are answerable when they ask how to approach the problem but not really when they ask what the answer is.
    – Joe
    Oct 4 '18 at 19:30
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    @Joe I disagree about putting this on hold. Most of parenting is opinion based and I think there are some solid points to be made when answering this.
    – Kevin
    Oct 5 '18 at 18:48
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    @Kevin You won't find someone who agrees more than me that Parenting tends to be more opinion based than other Stack Exchange sites, for sure. But when the answer to the question must itself be an opinion, that's outside of the realm even for this site unfortunately. It's much better suited for a discussion forum rather than a Stack Exchange site in that case.
    – Joe
    Oct 5 '18 at 19:47
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    Yea I’m going to go with this shouldn’t have been closed. Please reopen this. It’s perfectly ok as is.
    – SomeShinyObject
    Oct 7 '18 at 2:29

One way to satisfy part of her request is to have her turn on "find my friends" functionality in her phone (assuming she has one) and share the location with you. Then she might act differently knowing that you can see her physical location at any time (and with Apple phones, you can turn on geofencing so you can get alerts when she arrives or leaves at locations).

This doesn't address the question of accuracy of the actual ankle monitor, or of the reactions of others around her. To go the whole way, you'd probably have to get an actual ankle monitor. If she is interested in the topic, and she voluntarily wears it, I don't see any harm. And if it's leased, you're not left with a possibly expensive device if she decides to quit wearing it next week!