There isn’t a single generation since man walked erect that hasn’t said “things were different when I was young…” and meant it. As a Father in his <gulp> 40’s I never thought this particular cliche’ would land as squarely on my shrinking shoulders as it has. Living in the Information Age has provided us all progress and prosperity as well as perils and pitfalls. The question of the day is; “How do I use this to my advantage as a parent?”
Depending on the age of your precious offspring(s) you have many options available to you to help look out for them that our parents couldn’t have dreamed of. The easiest revolve around a smart phone of any kind. I’m not going to get in to the Apple Vs Android debate here, (<sniff> “iPhone” <sniff>), but there are many services that allow you to track where family members are at any given time. Some go so far as to monitor and notify based on pre-set locations. (i.e. – ‘Tell me when my Son gets to school’).
For those of you like me with pre-teens at home, (sans cellphone), believe it or not there are some effective tools out there as well. The home automation industry is about to be busted open by inexpensive internet based solutions that let your home scale from ‘Smart’ to ‘I’m a little slow, but I’m trying hard to learn’ as your budget, lifestyle and interests change. A small sensor in your child’s backpack can alert you to the comings-and-goings of said wee one as warranted. In fact, some of them can even be logic based. (i.e. “Tell me if my Son doesn’t come home by 3:15 on a weekday”).
As you make your own parenting decisions, my suggestion is to harness the tools available to you – less they be used against you. Remember – Google can be your friend as you edify yourself. No matter the solution, I’m of the opinion that the security of parental oversight far outweighs any impulse your kid may have to surpass it. Then again, I am a new parent – so I might not be that smart, but I’m trying hard to learn.
This is just how I see the world. Your view may be different.
Aroundaboutmedia.com – March 2015