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#1 of 12 Old 04-19-2014, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm Vybhav and I'm a stay at home dad. I'm particularly concerned/paranoid about my kid's safety when she's either travelling to school or her friend's house and I was thinking of implementing some sort of location tracking/parental control mechanism, atleast untill she turns 14-15.

 

I was wondering if I'm alone in the way I think? How do you deal with a situation like this? Let's say your kid's start going to school on the school bus and you'd like to ensure that he's left the school on time, on the right bus, travelling on the right route,etc. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this matter too.

 

If you have implemented any solutions? What are they and what are they missing?

 

Cheers,

Vybhav

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#2 of 12 Old 04-20-2014, 03:57 AM
 
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First of all, welcome to the community. :)

 

I can relate to your problem because my sisters being teenagers like me, are all vulnerable to abduction and stalkers. Let me clarify though, our adult family members are well known. As my sisters home school so there is no worry about travelling to school. But I would say pretty confidently that there is safety in numbers, as school children wait together for the school bus. Only it is risky walking alone to the bus stop. The only way round that is to drive your daughter to the bus stop and leave her there with her school buddies to pick up the school bus. Kids seem to enjoy riding the school bus, they seem chatty enough. I've seen parents drop their kids off at bus stops, though I live in the UK where perhaps our Brit culture is a little bit different to yours.

 

This 'tracking/parential control mechanism' you mentioned is not new to me. My younger sisters and I have tracking devices sewn into their clothes. It's what we have become accustomed to, what we have to live with because 5 years ago before I was adopted into my family, one of them got abducted. I can't talk about it except say she was rescued.

 

I don't suppose you would want to go that same extreme as my family. But you can safeguard your daughter's online activity using software known as Virtual Private Network. This, usually 256-bit encrypted software renders her invisible to anyone spying on the internet (like hackers) except to the website she is on. This not a Proxy. Proxies can be hacked. You might find this very useful:

 

http://lifehacker.com/5759186/five-best-vpn-service-providers

 

Shop around, but don't use free VPNs. Pay and you'll get the service tailoured to your needs.

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#3 of 12 Old 04-20-2014, 06:24 AM
 
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Welcome to Mothering, Vybhav. I want to let you know that I noticed you started this topic in several locations. I decided to leave this one in teens and the one in your local tribal area. Two topics is plenty because otherwise the feedback is spread out. 

 

I really liked Gavin deBeckam's book "Protecting the Gift".  


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#4 of 12 Old 04-20-2014, 08:21 AM
 
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Well, you aren't alone but personally, this isn't a route I took as a parent. For starters, my kids didn't really start "travelling" or being without an adult in metropolitan areas until about 13. I work part-time around the kids schedules. We aren't in walking distance of anything. They get driven and dropped. I was a little nervous when my first started going to movies and such with friends and no adults but that passed and I haven't been nervous about my youngest doing the same things. I got a little nervous when my eldest started driving and would ask her to text when she got places but I've relaxed about that too. I really can't fathom putting a tracking device on either of my kids.

 

It's good to remember though that stranger abduction is still, statistically a very, very small risk. It's not really the school bus or getting to a friends house you need to worry about. The best thing you can really do is raise confident kids who have strong connections with family. Kids who trust their gut and embrace basic safety rules like having a buddy, ect. Those kids aren't the preferred target. 

 

I recommend an age appropriate self-defense class. My kids took their first around 7 and go in every few years for an update. DD 17 is going to one next month in prep for college. They are very empowering and may make you feel better about letting your children explore the world without an electronic leash.

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#5 of 12 Old 04-20-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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Yes, get your daughter to learn self defence. Taekwondo is excellent. This martial art effectively "throws away" an opponent rather than bashing them about. (That said, I do like a good scrap and that is by no means a sissy cat fight). :wink

 

In this litigious society, though, Taewondo is recognised as more of a passive form of self-defence. But learning any form of close combat will hold your daughter well good.

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#6 of 12 Old 04-21-2014, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the welcome. Before I start, I couldn't help but chuckle at the Simpsons reference in your username :)

 

Wow, that's a pretty intense childhood that you had to go through. I'm very happy to hear that your sister is safe and happy. 

 

I liked what you said about safety in numbers. That's something I feel I should explore as an alternative to installing a tracking-device/app in my daughter's phone (with her consent , of course). 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story and your thoughts.

 

Cheers

-Vybhav

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#7 of 12 Old 04-21-2014, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

Thanks for the welcome. Well , Yes. I did post in multiple forums because I wasn't sure where the crowd was :) . But now that I am getting so many awesome replies here, I'm very pleased and I feel I've come to the right place.

 

Thank you for moderating. You folks do an awesome job!

 

Cheers

-Vybhav

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#8 of 12 Old 04-21-2014, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello "Whatsnextmom",

 

You hit the nail right on the head. I too have mixed feelings about monitoring and it's awesome to see the other side of the coin from someone who has felt the same way I now feel about their kid's safety. 

 

It's interesting you mention that a kid's overall social skills development will make him/her confident in facing real life challenges like what we are all concerned about as parents, especially what you mentioned about the buddy. That's something I should look at as an alternative to tracking my kids/being paranoid. Atleast I could give it a try.

 

Thanks for your inputs again.

 

Cheers

-Vybhav

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#9 of 12 Old 04-21-2014, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This conversation was brilliant and it gave me some thoughts!

 

Would you feel safer and a whole lot more comfortable if there was an app/tool which allowed you to figure out the number of kids/parents in any particular location before you send your kids to that area? Would you pay for that? As a parent I would definitely pay for a service like that, if at all there is one , just to give me some peace of mind.

 

Cheers,

-Vybhav

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#10 of 12 Old 04-21-2014, 03:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybnmts View Post
 

Thanks for the welcome. Before I start, I couldn't help but chuckle at the Simpsons reference in your username :)

 

Wow, that's a pretty intense childhood that you had to go through. I'm very happy to hear that your sister is safe and happy. 

 

I liked what you said about safety in numbers. That's something I feel I should explore as an alternative to installing a tracking-device/app in my daughter's phone (with her consent , of course). 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story and your thoughts.

 

Cheers

-Vybhav

 

Hello Vybhav :)

 

Juniper my little girl started calling me "spidypig, spidypig" after seeing the Simpson's, so it's kind of stuck. And then I found that delightful purple pig and turned it upside-down. xD

 

My family's professional side is light years' different than anyone I know, and it's taken me nearly four years to let their opulent lifestyle completely roll; wash over me. They have a farm that is being professionally managed, which I visit every day to work. Shunning the public face the older family members bask in, their Dassault private jet, their Rolls Royces and Bentleys and the X-Men idiotic types that follow us everywhere, I turned my back away from them to love the rural peace and tranquilty, the verdant hills, the woodland I can get happily lost in, and live the live I have chosen for my little girl and the delightful children my Aunt is mother to. The farm, though has cctv cameras everywhere, is my little place of calm, perfect for our kids to love without living beneath threat of danger. But nevertheless one has to travel, whether into Brighton or up to London or go abroad on holiday with them, for that is when I have to accept that life is going to be very different.

 

For example, one of these is fitted to my mobile: http://globaltscmgroup-usa.com/products/phone-scrambler/ 
 

And this is what we all have to live with, whether on the farm or elsewhere: http://www.iiiweb.net/tscm/

 

Let me tell you right now that you don't need all that. But that is what I have to live with. Until I reach 21. And then I can be the master of my destiny and go somewhere else to live of my own choosing. Can't express just how much I am looking forward to that day.

 

I daresay where you live, you could find a child minding service that is best suited to you. That is discreet so your daughter is not troubled in any way by their presence. In the ideal world - that would be scintillating; the reality my teen sisters and I live, is far, far different.

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#11 of 12 Old 04-28-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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While I understand that every parent worries about their children's safety, I think it is overly paranoid to put a tracking device on your child unless you are in some unusual situation like being extremely rich or famous, living in a very high-crime area, or having a persistently unreliable child but nobody available to supervise her.

 

My son is 9 and in third grade.  I walk him to school each morning on my way to work, but in the afternoon he is allowed to play with his friends outside the school for up to 1 hour and then walk home, a distance of 5 blocks or about 1/2 mile with a crossing guard at the only busy intersection.  He does not enjoy playing alone so doesn't hang around after his friends go home.  Sometimes he walks home with a friend part or all of the way; other times he is alone.  He is also allowed to go for a walk in the neighborhood just for fun or to run an errand, if he tells a parent he is going (this includes getting permission for any business he wants to visit--he is not allowed to go alone into the newsstands that sell pornography, for example) and stays within his boundaries, which we expand every so often as he shows more responsibility.  Here's some more detail about how we've made decisions about where our child is allowed to go alone.  He does not have a cell phone; neither do I, actually, and I have NEVER been in any situation where I felt that a cell phone would have increased my safety.  We live in a major city, but our neighborhood has excellent safety statistics; violence against adults is quite rare, and there has never been an abduction of a child by a stranger from the neighborhood, which has been densely settled for nearly 100 years.  Other parts of the city are more risky, and my son will not be going there alone until he is a teenager, and then we'll start with daylight visits with a buddy.

 

Quote:
Would you feel safer and a whole lot more comfortable if there was an app/tool which allowed you to figure out the number of kids/parents in any particular location before you send your kids to that area?

No, I would not find any technological answer to that question particularly comforting.  I would rather be familiar with the place and the typical patterns of use from my own in-person experience.  At my son's current age, he is not allowed to go to playgrounds unless we are certain that at least one adult he knows will be there.  A lot of kids from his school go to a nearby park on Friday afternoons, and some of the kids (especially younger ones) are accompanied by their parents.  For 3 years my partner met our son at school every Friday and went to the park with the group.  This fall, he began sometimes allowing our son to go along with the group and then walk home.  This is a very familiar playground that is well-populated any afternoon when the weather is decent, but we want him to have someone he KNOWS to turn to if he gets hurt, etc. 

 

At the other public playground near our home, knowing the number of people present would not be helpful because that playground is frequented by families who don't speak English--while I'm sure they are nice people, it would be more difficult for my son to communicate with them if he needed help.  Also, while 95% of people we see there are children and parents, it is also a common location for teenagers to hang out smoking weed at the farthest picnic table, and we don't feel our son is ready to deal with them alone if they were to try to befriend him.


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#12 of 12 Old 04-28-2014, 05:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ybnmts View Post
 Let's say your kid's start going to school on the school bus and you'd like to ensure that he's left the school on time, on the right bus, travelling on the right route,etc. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this matter too.

 

 

I work at an elementary school and we have a system for getting kids on buses, and we haven't had a single child get on the wrong bus on year.

 

I understand the desire to know where a child is and that they are safe, I think I tend to be a little over protective. None the less, your concerns seems over the top to me. When my kids were younger, they were with me or with a trusted adult ( I consider school safe and school bus drivers to be trusted adults). When they got older and more independence made sense, I got them cell phones. I taught them to let me know where they were at all times. So if they were at a friends house and decided to walk to the ice cream place, they would send me a text letting me know.

 

It accomplished what you hope to with a tracking device, but in a positive, respectful way.

 

I have my dogs microchipped, but *to me,* it isn't appropriate for human beings.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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