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If this exchange sounds familiar, you’re probably one of the legions of parents driven to distraction by a kid who doesn’t text back.

“Hey, sweetie, did you see my text earlier?”

“Yeah.”

“Well??”

“Sorry…”

“!!!”

(repeat ad infinitum)

But get ready to cheer, folks, because we’ve got some great news. When tech savvy British dad Nick Herbert realized that his 13-year-old son was screening his calls, he took action and designed ReplyASAP, a newly released Android-based app that promises to put an end to kids ignoring their parents’ frantic texts forever.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Here’s how it works. Once the app is installed on the parent’s and child’s smartphones, ReplyASAP will not only lock the child’s screen until they respond to their parent’s text, but will also sound a continual alarm until the text back happens – even when the phone’s sound is turned off. (OK, that part might be kind of embarrassing.) The app also texts parents when their child has seen or “snoozed” their message, or displays a “Pending” sign if the child’s phone is turned off. Simple concept, sure – but so ingenious we can’t believe no one has come up with it before.

We’ll admit that many kids and teens might find the whole alarm bells and text-back-or-you’re-locked-out thing a bit, shall we say, controlling. But from our perspective, the whole reason we give our kids smartphones in the first place is so we can reach and communicate with them when necessary – so really, an app that facilitates that connection (and will override a phone set to silent in a real emergency) feels like a logical next step.  Just make sure, Mom and Dad, that you’re not texting your kid in school, the library, church, etc., or you might be the ones getting in trouble.

Just one question, though: when will this thing be available for iPhones?

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