The San Francisco Chronicle looked yesterday at the new trend of parents using high-tech spy technology to monitor their children. The writer, Janine Defao, offers many explanations for why parents might do something like this. Chief among these excuses is that parents feel at a disadvantage when they need to keep tabs on their tech-savvy teens. Many parents see these snooping tools as an extension of the standard safety measures one might take. Some even seem to think that not buying these devices is akin to inviting ill fate on their children. (One father responded to queries about a car monitor for his daughter with the highest of irony: "I know how I drove when I was in high school.")
There is a lot of posturing by many of the parents in the story to paint this as a fine line that they're walking, or to make it seem harmless or even in the best interests of their child. It is only when we hear from parent educator and author Jane Bluestein that we find anything approaching reasonable parenting advice. To Bluestein, monitoring children without cause or provocation will more than likely cause more problems than it resolves.