parenting

Mom creates 'Ignore No More' app to get teens to return calls

Aug. 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM ET

Getting the silent treatment from your kids? A new app lets you lock their phone until they respond.

The “Ignore No More” app was created by Sharon Standifird, a Houston mom who describes herself as a school teacher turned entrepreneur.

Video: A Houston mom created an app called “Ignore No More,” which shuts down kids’ phones when they ignore their parents’ calls or texts.

“Few things are more frustrating than your children refusing to answer your calls or respond to your text messages,” her website explains. So the app lets parents remotely lock their kids’ phones until they get in touch.

“(Now) your child has only two options — he or she can call you back, or call for an emergency responder. No calls to friends, no text, no games, not until they call you back. When they do, you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so. How's that for parental control?”

Here’s how it works: Parents install “Ignore No More” on their phones and set up a list of contacts the child can call when their phone is locked. 

When you decide to lock your child’s phone, he or she can only call the contacts on the special list you’ve set up. Those contacts can provide a password to unlock the phone. The child can also still always call 911. Standifird promises that it is “virtually impossible” for kids to remove the app from their phones.

“The son of the inventor thinks the app is a good idea. What?” TODAY’s Matt Lauer said to laughter Monday, before adding the rest of the boy’s comment: “...For other people.”

Lauer wasn’t a fan of the app, calling it going one step too far, but Tamron Hall saw its potential.

“I’m paying your bill and you’re ignoring me?” said Tamron Hall. “Activate the app.”

Natalie Morales said she would take a different approach.

“I think you just take the phone away,” Morales said. “You say, hey, I know you’ve been ignoring my phone calls so I’m taking that phone.”

The app is available for $1.99 for Android phones. Standifird said she’s working on a version for the iPhone.

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