A stylish young mother of two is defending what some say amounts to a Pavlovian approach to parenting after a video she posted to TikTok went viral.
Vada Stevens is an eight-month-pregnant mother of two beautiful little girls, Stella (4) and Serena (2), and she discovered on TikTok a way to keep tabs on her precocious toddlers.
“I saw a TikTok about a mom who puts Apple AirTags in bracelets on her kids and I thought it was the coolest thing,” Stevens shared with her 1.3 million followers. “You can find them on Amazon and you can track them and make a beeping noise. And you can train your kids to come when they hear the beeping noise.”
Sure enough, at the push of a button, the two little girls come bounding into the room.
“You beeped for us?” the laughing girls ask.
“What did you need?” asks Stella.
The undeniably cute clip probably would have gone without much pushback, had Stevens not uploaded it with the caption, “Today we are dog training.”
@stevensfam Today we are dog training Outfits: @Kailani Kids Mom genius: @Lacey Johnson ♬ Funny Music Background – original_soundtrack
Turns out, conditioning children like puppies doesn’t sit well with many Mama bears.
“Kids are not animals,” replied one mortified user. “Stop tracking them with tracking devices wtf dude? Just look for them normally!!”
“Or you be a parent and not treat your kids like a hunting dog in training,” suggested another.
“It’s giving shock collar vibes,” noted a third.
But others praised the idea.
“That would definitely save the headache of having to yell their names so they can hear you on the 2nd floor,” noted one user. “Love it!”
According to Stevens, it’s a matter of safety.
“I am extremely paranoid about everything (related to) safety,” she told TODAY.com. “I thought the bracelets were genius.”
While Stella and Serena are both homeschooled, they do often visit their grandparents for sleepovers and venture to the park or the movies.
“Instead of calling my parents to say, ‘Where are you?’ I check the AirTags,” said Stevens. “I want to make sure that if anything were to happen, I can track my kids immediately.”
The AirTag, regardless of where it is placed, can be tracked via a Bluetooth signal, with the help of the “Find My” app on an iPhone or an Apple watch, according to Apple.
It is “perfect,” especially when it comes to keeping up with little Serena, Stevens explained.
“My 2-year-old doesn’t pay attention and runs off so if she happens to get lost, (the AirTag) is a perfect way to find her … it just takes one second to look away from your kid and they’re off in a crowd somewhere,” she said.
No stranger to social media, Stevens said she tries to avoid reading the comments to her posts.
“I try to stay away,” she said. “No matter what it is, you’ll always have parents with something negative to say.”
“I don’t care if people think I’m crazy,” she added. “In this day and age, you can’t ever be too protective.”
“People think I’m a crazy mom — one even said I needed to sign my child up for therapy … I’m doing this to prevent my children from ever being taken or lost,” Stevens stated. “I’m going to do my best to know exactly where they are.”
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