A growing industry has cropped up to take advantage of our parenting paranoia: parental spy gear. Whether it’s making sure your baby is still breathing or testing your teen for drugs, there are a number of high-tech devices on the market that can help you monitor your child’s every move.
The big question here, of course, is whether you should be spying on your kids in the first place. Some experts say it’s a slippery slope, and can erode the trust you’ve built with your child. Others say parents have a duty to protect their children no matter what it takes. Dr. Rosalind Dorlen, blogging on the American Psychological Association’s website, says nothing replaces a trusting and communicative relationship with your child. If you must spy, however, say because you are concerned that your teen is involved in dangerous activity, she recommends the following:
” … give your kids a heads-up and tell them what you are doing. Talk to them about why you are adding these [monitoring] programs. You could say something like: ‘We are very concerned about your safety and well being. From time-to-time, we will be monitoring the Internet with a goal of keeping you and the rest of our family safe. We are telling you this so there are no surprises …’ This is one of the ways a parent can monitor their children’s activities, but feel less sneaky ahout the process.”
The Associated Press took a look at some of the spy gadgets that are now available for parents. Would you consider using any of these?