Helicopter Parenting And Protecting Children

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Helicopter parenting has led to the creation of tracking technologies that monitor children's safety thus micromanaging children from birth to college and beyond.

Parents' concern for their children's safety has both shifted and intensified, and that is leading to the creation of monitoring and tracking tools that are increasingly sophisticated, according to a new report from the futurist research and consulting firm Social Technologies.

"The growing trend of 'helicopter parenting' is fueling this development," explains senior analyst Kevin Osborn. "It is characterized by micromanagement of kids from birth to college - and beyond - and carries the message that unwatchful parents are bad parents."

The rise of social networking sites that virtually link tens of millions of kids, teens, and college students to each other is viewed by parents as another source of bad influence - and potential abuse, Osborn adds, noting that exposure to computers is occurring at increasingly younger ages.

Fortunately, concerned parents can breathe a sigh of relief as more helicopter parenting tools are being developed.

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"While developments in information technology fuel new fears, they are also providing a stream of new products designed specifically to alleviate parental concerns," he explains. "Parents can now monitor a child's activities with everything from toys to mobile phones."

IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT

The decreasing cost of sensor technology, and advances in sensing and virtual interaction technology, is helping this new generation of tech- and Internet-savvy parents.

Osborn forecasts: "These new products will significantly expand the monitoring and tracking capabilities of parents, enabling them to keep track of whom their kids meet online, monitor their kids' movements and location, and keep tabs on their behavior and lifestyle."

Here's How

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