We just got a new puppy. One of the first things I did was take him to the vet who inserted a chip in his ear so if he ever makes a run for it, we can track his whereabouts. Dogs are one thing, but can chipping our kids be far off?
I recently read an article about how some parents are equipping toddlers and grade-schoolers with GPS devices that enable them to know the kids' locations at all times. In addition, some parents who have teens are acquiring spyware to monitor their children's online and cell phone activity. Others are resorting to home drug-testing kits. New York Sen. Eric Adams stars in a YouTube video that offers tips on how to search your children's bedrooms for drugs and weapons. He insists children have no constitutional right to privacy at home, and shows how contraband could be hidden in backpacks, jewelry boxes, and under a doll's dress.
After viewing the YouTube video, I did a sweep of my own. I found some very incriminating evidence in Saxon's Lego box. There, buried among his Star Wars Legos, were a dozen contraband mini-Snickers bars wrappers. This kid is so busted. He has been sneaking candy behind my back. What's next? Heroin? While we're on the subject of snooping, I don't need any fancy-pants spy gadgets to monitor my kid's cell phone activity. I'll just conduct my detective work the old fashioned way—by scrolling through his texts after he goes to sleep.
Truthfully, I am more of the Lenore Skenazy mindset anyway. She is the author of a book called “Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).” My husband and I keep the lines of communication open with our kids, strive for a good balance in our family life, and ultimately trust them. And if we suspect a problem, we address the situation.
How about you? Do you think parenting has reached a state of paranoia? Should we watch over our children Big Brother-style?
Thanks to our newest Mom's Talk contributor, Maaliea Wilbur for last week's question about the challenges of planning a modern-day party for young chlldren.
Here's the sage advice offered by Mom's Talk contributor Dyan Chan:
"I say when your baby is turning one, the party is still for the parents! Do what you want and invite the folks who are important to you as a parent. You're celebrating a successful first year of new-momhood! Beckett will probably be asleep (or crying) when it's time to blow out the candles, but everyone will still ooh and ahh and congratulate you for making it through the first sleepless year. Now, when your child hits five or so and has strong opinions about theme, color scheme, refreshments, activities, what kind of cake to have and where it should come from, which friends he's friends with that day/week--then you have more to worry about! But then again, I have girls, so maybe it's different. :)The challenges of planning a modern-day party for a new child can be daunting."