Friday, 11 July 2014

“Tobias are you reading me, it's mummy - over. Tobias?...Tobias...?!”

I'm going to talk about those new child tracker wrist bands. They are actually going to become 'a thing' apparently.
They can be purchased by any over anxious parent, desperate to keep track of their child's movements, any time soon.
For those of you who have not heard about them as yet, the idea is it is a wrist band type set up which your child wears, that allows you as the parent to call them up using a regular phone. If the child does not respond by answering the call within the space of a few rings, the wrist band will click in to allow the parent to hear whatever is going on in the vicinity of the wrist band down their phone line.
The idea would be, if the parent could hear their child was in trouble it could be all systems go to rescue them.
My chief concern is these tracking devises could generate more harm than good when it comes to the emotional and mental well being of not only the child but the parent. I think if you as an adult and child combo find yourselves in the situation where you are allowing, for example, your young child, to go out and play with their friends, but beforehand you are insisting they put on their wrist band tracker devise to ensure their safety, you are planting a very worrying and ultimately damaging seed in both parties minds'.
If I had my way, my children would grow up in an Enid Blyton world where butterflies flew overhead and the greatest harm they ever came to was tooth decay as a result of one too many ginger beers. But whilst I appreciate I am never going to fully get my wish of bringing up the Famous Five – or in my case the 'terrific two' – I feel as a society we could go too far, and are going too far, in the direction of planting seeds of fear and doubt and general paranoia in the minds of children about the outside world and the people in it, which wouldn't have been there in the first place if we hadn't brought it up.
There is a huge difference in my opinion between educating children about keeping safe and scaring the lives out of them.

I think these kind of devises are far more about pandering to the fears of parents than anything else. Believe me I'd quite happily wrap my children in cotton wool and keep them within my sight at all times until they were 27 but the fact is as soon as we give birth to our children we have entered into a quite terrifying world of constant worry about what could befall our little ones and it becomes a matter of tempering and dealing with these concerns within ourselves, rather than clamping a wrist band onto our child's wrist and hoping that will solve everything.

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