Maybe it’s just because I’m not too far out of my teenage years (I’m 20) but the thought of having been tracked by GPS all my life is really scary. Can’t people trust anyone anymore? Kids will be kids, and there will be a time when they’re gonna go against what their parents want them to do (i.e. go somewhere other than where they said they’d be) but is it more reasonable to assume that that’s exactly what a child would do, even before they do it? I mean, start tracking a newborn just in case when they’re 15 they sneak out of the house? Better parenting practises and dealing with issues and problems when they happen seems like a hell of a lot more reasonable approach to me. Besides, kids will figure it out eventually, and they’ll find some way to screw up the system…I don’t believe this could ever be all that effective. It allows parents to give up a certain amount of responsibility, effectively saying “If the kid goes somewhere he/she shouldnt, I’ll know by GPS and punish him”. It’s threatening the kids rather than saying “You know, I really wish you wouldn’t do that. If you want to go someplace, let me know, we can talk about it”. That’s how my parents viewed things, and when I went behind their backs, I was punished for that event, and that event only. I wasn’t restricted afterwards, and my parents trusted me to do the right thing next time. There are always ups and downs with raising kids, but there are much more reasonable ways to handle those problems than GPS tracking.
It’s like the NetNannys, and TVNannys and everything else designed to relieve parents of the stress of having to ensure that their kids are exposed to only “decent” material. If kids cant get it at home, they’ll get it somewhere else. I’m not against putting filters or restrictions on TV or Net access for young kids, but I also feel that parental involvement and education is much more of an infulence on children than is the little v-chip in the TV. Parents seem to assume nowadays that the world is out to corrupt their kids, and so they set up all these barriers…teach the kids about the world, let them know what’s acceptable behaviour and what isn’t, and take responsibility for your child’s behaviour. If all a child knows is that something is “off limits” but doesn’t know why, then how can you punish him/her for wanting to find out about it?
The world doesn’t exist for the sake of babysitting your child. School’s aren’t there to teach your child everything, and if you need to rely on GPS, NetNanny, V-chip etc to keep your child in line, then you need to reevaluate yourself, how you relate to your kids, and how the time you spend with them is spent. Otherwise you end up with overprotected, naieve children who, once allowed to do things on their own once they reach adulthood, will have no clue how to deal with the world, and the problems so conveniently avoided when they were growing up will be twice as difficult to handle once they’re expected to behave in the “real world”.
I have no kids. I have little experience with raising them. But I do know how I was raised, I see university students go wild in their first semester because they’re finally “free” of overbearing parents, and I hear many stories from my mom and other teachers about how young kids are being raised, or how parents assume morals and decent behaviour are covered in school, as well as math and reading. So the above is just my (somewhat uneducated) opinion, but there it is anyways.
I see the merit in a sociological study, or in learning about toddler movement, etc, but I think this is just way too extreme.