Is surveillance of kids good, effective parenting?



Is surveillance of kids good, effective parenting?


In today’s time, a parent can have a huge monitoring system to keep tabs on their children. Technology has made many advancements in the world of surveillance, so good that parents can use gadgets to monitor their child from the time they are an infant to close to early adulthood. Many parents believe that using equipment to watch their kids is a perfect way to raise them. But there are also parents who think they should not stay in their kids business all the time and let them learn through their own decision making. It’s obvious that family life has changed because of such things like the Internet,Xbox, and cell phones. One issue that has been brought up now in our present time, is if using technology to monitor children is an effective way of parenting. One reason why parents use monitoring gadgets is because they are affordable at a cheap price, available at most stores, and easy to use in most cases.It’s time for parents to use technology in a fashionable way to monitor their children so they can function well in their lives.


 Since there has been rapid advances in technology these past few years, individuals now can use surveillance tools that were once only available to the government and law enforcement. Video cameras and GPS tracking devices have been added on to smart phones. Parents can now connect their computers to WiFi and through a webcam watch over their property and their loved ones while away from home. The gadgets you read about in spy novels have now become a reality and parents can pick them up at a store at a local mall.


Many parents have the “helicopter parent” trait, which means they watch over their kids constantly. This is where a parent like this would see surveillance technology beneficial to the challenge of raising their kid. Most parents are super busy and work long hour jobs each week and they feel like it is helpful to monitor their kids since they can’t see them in person all the time. A young mother may listen to her baby monitor or look to see if the baby is in crib through her web camera that’s set up. Or in a teenager’s case, a parent may stick a GPS tracking device on the teenager’s car to see where he is going that night. Other parents feel like this is not a positive way to raise kids, because these parents have a “free range parenting” style where they let their children learn from their mistakes and be independent.


State Sen. Eric Adams states, “You have the duty and obligation to protect the members of your household.”  Some government officials believe that children don’t technically have constitutional rights and that parents should constantly search their kids for contraband. They think there are just too many uncertainties involving the Internet and other things in life that can alter a child’s growth and healthy lifestyle choices. Many parents are fearful and are scared by child abduction and the dangers lurking in cyberspace. In most cases, parents will buy into the multi-million dollar industry that creates tools to monitor kids.


( In some cases, using technology to monitor you children can create drama and bad tension. Children can start to feel anger and possibly lose the ability to trust  or feel that you as the parent, won’t ever trust them. Usually you would start to see this scenario in their teenage years where they could start to be more rebellious. Parents should allow their children to have free time to do what they want in their own privacy and let them go out on the weekends in an appropriate manner. It’s just not great for a kid to constantly be throwing tantrums because of a parent’s excessive monitoring.


I understand that parents want to monitor their children more than ever now. There are so many harmful things they can discover on the internet that could possibly alter their well-being. It would only make sense for a parent to save a young toddler from seeing something that could scar him or her for life. Let’s not forget that it’s wise to put a baby cam in the house while the nanny is taking care of your child. High rates of kidnapping young children have definitely raised a serious issue and made parents more aware. Yes, there will still be parents who let their kids experience life with a less of a strict attitude. This can work because it teaches the child how to be more independent and not to always rely on their parents. Either way, it will most likely continue to be a debate issue on whether parents should monitor their kids using surveillance tools.  When it comes down to it, parents should try their best to find the perfect way to monitor their children in a fashion where the kid can function well socially and keep a healthy relationship with the parents and other significant people in their lives.







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17 thoughts on “Is surveillance of kids good, effective parenting?

  1. Great post! I agree that monitering your children to an extent can cause harm in a relationship between parent and child. Trust is something that needs to be present in families, especially if you want your child to be wise and self-sufficient when they are older. With small children, I think monitering is okay because they cannot make their own wise decisions quite yet, but when a child is old enough to know right from wrong (pre-teen-ish) , a discussion should be had with the family about boundaries, curfews, trust, etc. instead of automatically installing tracking devices and looking through their personal things.

  2. Interesting post. I tend to lean on the side of the parents for this one, mostly because I have no faith in teenagers whatsoever. It’s the parents business to keep them out of trouble, and if the only way to do that is to bug their phones and tap into their calls and texts, then so be it. The teenager will probably hate it, as they should, but its really for their own good.

  3. Great post! I definitely think that there are two different types of parents, the “helicopter parent” and the “free-range parent.” I think that a parent should be a good balance of both. They should watch out for their child, but also give them enough space. Child abduction and things in cyberspace are very important things for parents to be worried about, but it think there is a good way to monitor that without monitor every second of the child. I agree that there are pros and cons to each side, but I think that there can be a good balance found.

  4. Excellent post! I agree with Alex. There’s the care-free parent and the over protective parent and to be the best parent you can be, you have to have a good balance of the two. A child should know their boundaries but should have the opportunity to make mistakes and sometimes even test those boundaries to be able to grow and thrive and learn from their experiences. Yes, of course you want to find a way to keep children away from cyber threats and predators but I believe that children can be taught to understand and avoid those things and there must be a better alternative to prevent and monitor that than spying on them 24/7.

  5. Good Post! Very Interesting! I agree with Jordan that there has to be a balance between an over protective parent and a care free parent. If the parent is too over protective then their child will rebel and if the parent is too care free then their child will do what ever they want. The child should have somewhat of a sense of right and wrong. They should know when they go too far. All parents want to protect their child and would do anything for their best interest. But having parents monitor their child and spying on them will destroy trust.

  6. Thanks for the post. I believe that there is a delicate balance which needs to be struck between child and parent to maintain trust and safety. I think that a one size fits all approach would be harmful to many child-parent relationships. I think that communication and transparency is key to this issue. While I’d disagree that minors don’t have constitutional rights, I think it’s key to remember that parents are held accountable for their children in many ways. It’s up to each family to decide where they draw the line. Of course, it is ultimately up to the parent.

  7. Like many of my other classmates have stated, I think there needs to be a balance between being over protective and letting your kids do whatever they want. My opinion of monitoring children varies depending on the situation, there are some kids that need more monitoring than others. Ultimately it is up to individual parents to decide what is best for their children and their relationships with their kids. Great post.

  8. I agree that there needs to be a balance with the watch of children. I think that children need to be educated by their parents the right use of how to use the internet and through time more trust should be given to the child, if they prove they are ready for that kind of trust. You did a really good job on this post!

  9. Good job! I agree with what Alex Oviatt said, that trust is important in families. I think that parents should definitely monitor their children, but not in a way that complete invades their privacy. They should monitor what their children do on the internet by discussing with them, not through installing secret tracking devices. Parents should teach their children what is appropriate internet behavior and then trust them to act according to what they have been taught. Good, effective parenting doesn’t come by secretly monitoring your child; you should be open with them and trust them to in turn be open to you.

  10. This was a great and interesting post. I was against parent surveillance, but now I think if I were a parent many questions would arise about my child’s safety. For instance I know that some parents have a camera inside their home, to see when their children arrive. With so many kidnappings, this might be useful. And the thing about “nanny abuse” makes parents even more aware and cautious and that’s fine as long as they don’t go overboard. And Like Oviatt stated that parents should give their children space. Educate them on safety whether it be internet, school campus, off-campus and trust that they’ll follow through with what you’ve taught them. Parents should trust their kids and trust themselves that they’ve done what they can

  11. I think trust is the main issue when it comes to monitoring so i think that if you are going to monitor your child you should tell them so that they know. I don’t installing something to monitor your child without them with out knowing will come back to bite you in the end. Parents should teach their child better when they are younger so when they are older all they will have to do is set boundary like a curfew.

  12. Somewhat Less Secret Spy Guy

    I feel that it depends both on the child and the parent. It could (with knowledge with all parties involved) be a productive way for parents to keep tabs of their children. I feel that in general however, children need to be given some autonomy and privacy. When a child closes their door on their room, they want time alone. I feel that a similar approach should be taken to other things. I am also without children, which I am sure influences my views on this matter. Interesting article!

  13. Is surveillance of kids good, effective parenting? The cops disagreed when they caught me surveying my neighbors kids. Can’t be a vigilant member of the community these days without someone knocking on your door with a subpoena.

    In all seriousness, effective parenting shouldn’t be judged on how closely a child is monitored. If anything, a parent should instill awareness into their child at a young age about the dangers of the internet. But if they want to go big brother on their children or not, there’s nothing stopping them. Surveying them will not teach the child anything. All it will be is a form of suppression and making sure a kid doesn’t get into trouble. Effective parenting would be explaining why something is wrong, like getting into my white van, and providing punishment and/or security with the specific reasons in the child’s mind. Helicopter or free-range, a parent won’t be effective if the kid doesn’t understand his/her actions. Sure the kid might be safe, but he/she’s not being enriched.

  14. I think that parents who monitor their children via technological means, are simply using their resources. I don’t think that if a parent surveys their children it means that they are bad parents. As well, I think that parents who monitor their kids are only acting out of good intent and are doing what they feel is best for their kids.

  15. I think that parents who monitor their children via technological means, are simply using their resources. I don’t think that if a parent surveys their children it means that they are bad parents. As well, I think that parents who monitor their kids are only acting out of good intent and are doing what they feel is best for their kids.

  16. Really good post! I think that like we discussed in class, knowledge on both parties of the monitoring is a good idea. I think that if children are secretly monitored, that they will lose trust in their parents and it will ultimately cause problems. I do understand how monitoring some children might help keep them out of trouble and protected, but I still think it should be done in an appropriate way by at least informing the child that you will know where they are/what they are doing on the Internet.

  17. I firmly believe that parents should monitor their child’s internet activity considering the amount of lewd and morally objectionable material available on the internet at the click of a mouse. That being said, I also think a degree of modesty should be taken into account, meaning that sitting over a child’s shoulder might be a tad bit overzealous. After a certain age children should also be given trust and have it redacted accordingly if they break that trust.

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