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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Safety For Your Family > Tethered


With advances in technology and advent of cellphones, it is now possible to monitor every step of children. But this has not brought the children any closer to the parents, the distance is all the more increasing. Read here how technology has created a distance between parents and child.

Recent advances in cell phone technology and marketing are helping parents maintain an electronic umbilical cord. New cell phones are equipped with a host of services that enable children as young as six or eight to carry the device with programmed communication capability for reaching just their parents or any other recipient as programmed by the parent. Further, with other cell phones equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System), parents are now able to track the location of their teenaged son or daughter, in real time within a few meters of accuracy. However, as parents use technology to keep their kids closer, fact is, the kids may be slipping further away.

Cell phone technology may provide a false sense of security. While a young child may be able to communicate more easily, no amount of technology can compensate for judgment. Kids may still place themselves at risk and communication devices provide a means for assistance only after the child may have fallen prey to harm. As such, parents are still well advised to have meaningful discussions with their children with regard to where they are going, when they will return and who will provide for their supervision. It is the pre-planning that can mitigate the risk of harm in the first place. Further, no number of electronic devices can ever replace feeling connected to your child as through the relationship itself and relationships can only be developed on the basis of actual time spent in each other's company.

As for teenagers, this is notably the time when children are seeking to differentiate themselves from their parents and forge their own identity. An electronic umbilical cord simply is not "kewl" and smacks of trust and control issues. The collective moan in the background is the sound of all youths cringing at the thought of their parents so keeping tabs on them. Give a kid a cell phone with built-in GPS and you may increase the likelihood of the device floating in the river or being mysteriously lost time and time again. Youths are well adept at outsmarting their parents when it comes time to increasing their independence. It may well be that your youth will strike a deal with a friend to keep the device at their home whilst actually out for a night on the town. Can't seem to raise your kid when you call. Umm sorry, I guess the music was too loud.

If you are determined to deploy a cell phone with GPS technology, best to approach it from the point of view of mutual safety and concern. And as always, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. As important as it is to know where your kids are, it may prove even more important for them to know how to raise you. Hence this sword cuts both ways. Want your kid to carry the GPS, then you might as well too. As a role model you are demonstrating that the issue really is one of safety and concern, versus trust and control.

As media news highlights child abductions, young driver car crashes, youthful misadventure leading to injury and death, parents are more frightened for their kids well-being. Further, as more families rely on dual incomes and more single parents are required to work, children are left unattended in greater numbers. We used to talk of "latch key kids" in these circumstances. Now it's being tethered by the electronic umbilicus. Either way, there is precious little that can ever compensate for time spent directly with the kids. Through time spent directly with the kids, we transfer our own value base, improve their sense of worth and know firsthand of their safety.

Relationship first, devices second.

To see other article by Gary Direnfeld or contact him: click here

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Manjit Gill.5 years ago
The new generation is learning and adopting fast to the needs of the fast growing society People have less time now are no time to relax upon things and work patterns are very quick.I think this can only be bridged if parents try to get acquainted to new trends and try to understand their children needs so as to remove age gap and give space without getting out the respect factor.
Rakesh Paul.5 years ago
recent developments in technology has accelerated overall development in every field and with very short time things which seemed to be considered impossible are now the usual things.The things which were considered luxuries at some time are now needs of today.People who are already adjusted to a particular lifestyle find it very difficult to adjust to new trends and requirements.
Kumudini.5 years ago
parents are just so busy with their work and jobs that they don't have time for their family and their children. This they realize it when there has a huge distance between the kids and the parents. Only if parents give their children some time from their busy schedule then there would be no such problem. At times you need to act as a friend to your children in order understands them more nicely.
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