Pros and Cons of GPS kids watches and tracking devices
When looking at purchasing GPS kids watches and tracking devices, it is important to always weigh the pros and cons. Parents should ensure that their motives for purchasing a GPS kids watch or tracking device are honourable. Parents should also consider how wearing a GPS tracking device will make their child feel - they should sit down with their children and discuss what wearing a GPS kids watch or tracker will mean and get them to write their own list of pros and cons.
Parents need to emphasize to their children that wearing a GPS kids watch or tracking device is more for their own safety. They also need to tell their children that they want to know where they are, so should something happen, there’s a greater chance of finding them.
The most prominent concern for most people who choose to use a GPS kids watch or tracking device, is the growing threat of abduction. One of the major pros for purchasing a GPS kids watch is that it allows parents to safeguard against events such as this. It’s an awful thing to think about, but every responsible parent needs to consider the very real danger and threat of abductions, particularly in this day and age. A GPS locator could be crucial in helping the authorities locate your child quickly enough to prevent serious harm in the event of the unthinkable.
As a parent, one can never completely protect your child from the risk of abduction at all times, and some precaution that you might be considering, could really limit your child’s sense of freedom and autonomy. By using a GPS kids watch or tracking device, your child will be able to have the freedom of navigating the world and developing both self-sufficiency and independence without parents worrying too much about their safety. If parents wanted to let their child walk home from school, for example, they will be able to monitor this process with ease - taking note of when they left school and when they arrived safely back home.
The above are all pros of using a GPS kids watch or tracking device, but what about the cons?
The first, is the issue of trust. Using a GPS kids watch or tracking device could destroy any trust between parent and child. It could also give the child the idea that he or she is never too safe - adding to the list of unnecessary things that children are afraid of.
There are concerns of a practical nature too when considering purchasing a GPS kids watch or tracking device. One, is that children are unpredictable and can take the watch off while playing. Another aspect to consider, is that kidnappers could find the GPS kids watch or tracking device and throw it away. A very scary, yet true statistic, is that most abuse comes from perpetrators who are either part of the family or are known and trusted. Even though parents know where the GPS is, it doesn’t definitely mean that you know that it is still with the child or even that you can get there quickly. Another concern is that technology can be unreliable, and systems can stop working and/or give wrong information.
Finally, the greatest concern is that if this technology is abused, it could replace active parenting, which involves teaching good problem-solving skills and decision-making strategies. Technology is certainly no substitute for good parenting.
Parents need therefore, to weigh the pros and cons very carefully before bringing a GPS kids watch or tracking device into the home. If parents do agree to use the devices, then kids need to be informed that its first and foremost for their safety. Parents and children need to communicate clearly about safety and establish a trusting relationship so that a GPS kids watch or tracking device becomes an emergency plan, not an overt method of control.
Technology means more choice for parents, but it also means more decisions. As a parent, making the right ones for your family can be a daunting task, but by conducting research and talking to your children, you will be able to make the correct, informed decisions.