DO YOU PARENT FEARFULLY?

Hair iron

One of my earliest memories is that of me going up to my mum in the supermarket aisle, grabbing her leg and caressing and kissing her knees.

I was an affectionate child and public displays were my forte.

When I looked up and realised I was caressing and kissing a complete stranger’s knee, I had a small heart attack. Then I saw my Mum, who was basically lying on the ground, beating the floor with her hands as her eyes cried with tears of laughter.

The lady whose leg I had basically been dry humping, was also laughing. I was four and had just had my first experience with ignoring the message of Stranger Danger. And humiliation.

Stranger Danger has come on in leaps and bounds since the mid-70s and we are now at a point where a lot of us are paranoid.

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There are dozens of different devices now that allow you to track your child. You pop a wristband on your kid and if he/she wanders away from you by at least 30 meters a buzz is emitted alerting you to the fact.

Starting at $399, you can get such a device from the company GPS Nanny:

“Have you ever turned around and realised that your child has disappeared? What makes it critical, is that once missing, you have no way of knowing if your child is safe, simply wandered off, or if they need any emergency assistance. Children have a natural urge to explore and parents have a natural desire to know where their children are. These devices can save lives and eliminate the unknown.”

I have a natural urge not to be connected to a device that beeps at me.

I believe that these types of products flame our fears further. Of course I do not want someone to steal my kid. I cannot imagine the horror of that happening. But I also want them to implement their “natural urge to explore�?.

Here is a thought! Why don’t we give our kids some really strong boundaries and allow them to explore freely within them. And no, I am not talking about the boundaries of your backyard. I am talking about something so simple, like crossing a road to go to the shops and returning in a timely fashion and in one piece.

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