From Let Grow reader Malka Neustadter (email: malka.neustadter@gmail) comes this disturbing article illustrative of a growing trend: Convincing parents that if they are not keeping their kids under constant surveillance they will are not parenting prudently:
Dear Let Grow: I thought you would want to see this:
theincidentaleconomist.com/ wordpress/could-tracking- devices-improve-caregiver- peace-of-mind/
The article places high value on saving taxpayer money, which is certainly an important thing to do. However it seems to assign no cost to kids living with tracking devices on them and that can't be right.
How can we (we = people who identify with and support "Let Grow" principles) get a message out that this isn't great safety at no cost but a clash of opposing or at least, conflicting values? Putting zero-risk safety out there as an ideal has high educational and societal costs, but it seems harder to explain that.
At Let Grow, one way we try to stop the fear being shoved down America's collective throat is by encouraging families to take an hour or so that they would have watched Law & Order (this is on 24/7, so you can choose any hour of the day or night) and go outside with the kids. This is not only fun, it also allows us all to recalibrate our fear-o-meter, from the "Mean World" we see on TV to the real world we live in, with neighbors, pets, plants, and probably more than a few "Hello"s on the way.
Let Grow also tries to remind folks that we are not living in the End Times, via our handy Crime Stats page, here. It shows that we are enjoying a 50-year crime low. This is not to say all neighborhoods are safe. We wish they were. But most of today's kids are no less safe than their (untracked) parents were.
Finally, we'd suggest parents think about how it feels to grow up under constant surveillance. Here's an essay by a college student on just that -- not a happy read. By the way, we are always looking for more essays from young folks on this topic. (Please send them to Info@LetGrow.org.)
And how about you, readers? Are you tracking your children one way or another? Why or why not? This is one of the biggest parenting questions of the day, so please weigh in.