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Good Mother or Just More “Big Brother” [Poll]

Is using GPS tracking of your kids a justified parental peace of mind tool or a case of technology blurring the lines between safety and privacy invasion?

It’s a new year and with electric cars, videos streaming to our phones and computers smaller, slimmer and faster than ever, it’s obvious this is so not the same world many of us grew up in. I don’t know about you, but I’m old enough to remember riding in cars without seat belts and being able to go door to door by myself selling Girl Scout cookies without a care in the world.

For better or worse, today’s kids seem to be growing up faster with more freedom and opportunities to be out and about without much supervision. Unless you only have one child you are probably finding it harder and harder to juggle your schedule never mind those with two, three or even five kids in your care. Keeping track of where everyone is at any given time can be overwhelming. If only there was an affordable, easy-to-use tracking device that you could access anytime, from just about anywhere that would give you that peace of mind that parents yearn for when it comes to knowing that their child is safe and where she is supposed to be…well yearn no more! GPS chips and assorted tracking apps aren’t just for military drones and family pets anymore. With kids as young as eight carrying cell phones, teens driving themselves to school (you hope) and stylish footwear always in demand, with a small investment in the safety of your child, you - yes you - can watch your kid’s every move. Wrist watches, backpacks, sneakers, cell phones, nanny cams and microchips for cars and assorted other 'personal' tracking devices all available to parents, our kids should be thankful that their parents can find them in as little time as it takes to send a text message.

Since this isn’t the world of your childhood, and with the prevalence of child predators and abductions making headlines weekly, it only seems logical and appropriate for parents to take advantage of everything they can to protect their children. What about the increases in your car insurance because your teen is constantly caught speeding or getting into trouble because they weren’t where they were supposed to be? Those are very valid reasons to keep tabs on your kids in order to protect their lives and your wallet right? Wrong. According to some this is just a case of controlling, over anxious, paranoid parents crossing the boundaries of trust and privacy.

Well what do you think? The Parents Council, which includes one parent who is able to pull up the whereabouts of her kids based on a GPS tracking chip installed in each of their vehicles, wants to know your thoughts on the following:

Do you think GPS tracking technology is a valid and useful tool for parents to keep tabs on their kids?

At what age would you consider it appropriate to track your kids?

Would you tell your kids they were being tracked?

What would you use GPS tracking for? (i.e.: general peace of mind to be used in an emergency, track driving habits, catching lies)

Do you consider GPS tracking of your teens an invasion of their privacy or a necessary evil for their own good?

Would you really follow through with any consequences if kids lied about where they were or doing things they shouldn’t be?

If I can track my lost pet, why not track my lost child? They are both valued members of my family.

Please add your thoughts in the comment boxes below and take the poll below. You can also join us next week to discuss this and other topics by dropping in on our weekly meetings at Brewed Awakening’s in South County Commons on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Erin Tiernan January 12, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Thinking back on my high school days, I think GPS tracking would have been scarier for my parents than my privacy.
Farmer T January 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM
If you never show your children that you trust them and their decisions, they will mature into self-determined adults. If you demonstrate to your children that you do not trust their ability to tell the truth or to make their own decisions, they will forever be emotional infants.
Farmer T January 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM
should be "NOT" mature into self....

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