Amy 11-15

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Nov 15, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: I have two girls in the seventh and ninth grades. I love them dearly and often worry about their whereabouts. I would like to install one of those GPS location tracking programs on their cellphones, but my wife says that it is deceitful to do it without telling them. Telling them would probably compromise the technology. My wife would rather believe them and trust their explanation. I don't see "trust" as being the issue if they don't come home one night.
I would like to know where they are instead of relying upon where they say they are. So what do you advise on the electronic monitoring of minor children?-- Concerned in Wisconsin
DEAR CONCERNED: I am completely, totally and utterly opposed to installing tracking or monitoring technology on kids' devices without their knowledge. This sort of tracking device can create unintended and dangerous consequences. For instance, let's imagine the worst happens and your child is abducted. This tracking technology can easily be used to throw anyone searching off course, wasting valuable time.
Most important, it creates the dangerous illusion and a false sense of security that you can use technology in place of teaching values and instead of doing the hard parenting work of trusting and verifying.

You cannot use technology to mitigate the work (or risks) of parenting. Your kids need to believe that you expect them to be truthful, and if they are not you will find out and they will bear the consequences.
You should confirm their whereabouts the old-fashioned way -- by getting to know their friends, calling other parents to verify plans, and by driving them from place to place and occasionally showing up early.

For a professional perspective on issues of trust, safety and security, read security expert Gavin de Becker's important book, "Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)" (2000, Dell). I once interviewed de Becker on the topic of tracking devices for kids and he stressed that these devices help suppress the greatest safety tool humans possess: our instincts.

DEAR AMY: I'm stressed about Christmas and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet! We have a large family and a large extended family. We have invited everyone over to our house on Christmas Day for dinner.
We love having them for dinner -- our house is packed to the limit -- but we feel weird having them sit around while we open our gifts to one another. Shouldn't they leave when we start opening our gifts? And shouldn't they contribute to the meal? None of them do.

Can you give me some direction, please?-- Stressed

DEAR STRESSED: I agree that it is quite awkward -- and just a little rude -- to perform your gift exchange and open gifts in front of guests (unless you are at a bridal or baby shower).
The answer seems obvious: You should schedule your large family dinner to happen after, not before, your gift exchange. That way you won't feel compelled to kick people out of your house in order to rip into your own presents.
If your Christmas Day schedule is too crazy to fit everything in, you might want to have a mellower gift exchange with your immediate family on Christmas Eve.

Your holiday guests might not know what to contribute to a holiday meal. If you want them to pitch in, you'll have to give them some direction. Ask for something easy to prepare and transport and trust that your guests will do their best.

DEAR AMY: Regarding your advice for "Confused," the high school daughter with an early curfew, I had the same problem with a curfew laid down by my parents; there was no discussion allowed.
I ended up leaving early, sad, resentful and walking a mile and a half home alone in the dark, when walking later with friends would have been safer. I did not make that mistake with my daughter, and she turned out just fine.-- B. Nelson
DEAR B: I agree that one advantage to letting "Confused" stay to the end of the dance is that it could be safer for her to leave when everybody else does.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Nov 15, 2012
 

Judged:

3

2

2

1- Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#3
Nov 15, 2012
 

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L1: Listen to your wife. Your kids aren't animals to track.

L2: You're creating your own stress. Most people enjoy contributing to big gatherings -- makes them feel more wanted. And the gift thing, that's your doing. You know when you schedule the party.

L3: Sigh.

Since: Jan 10

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#4
Nov 15, 2012
 

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L1: "I am completely, totally and utterly opposed to installing tracking or monitoring technology on kids' devices without their knowledge. This sort of tracking device can create unintended and dangerous consequences. For instance, let's imagine the worst happens and your child is abducted. This tracking technology can easily be used to throw anyone searching off course, wasting valuable time."

Since Amy rarely refers to knowledgeable experts and authorities, I'm going to go out on a limb here and think that law enforcement professionals would disagree with Amy on this specific issue.

L2: I think it would be incredibly boring to watch another family open all their Christmas gifts to one another. OPen them on Christmas Eve like we normal people do. ;)

Since: Jan 10

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#5
Nov 15, 2012
 
L1: How will you survive when they go away to college?

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#6
Nov 15, 2012
 

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L1: "I am completely, totally and utterly opposed to installing tracking or monitoring technology on kids' devices without their knowledge. This sort of tracking device can create unintended and dangerous consequences. For instance, let's imagine the worst happens and your child is abducted. This tracking technology can easily be used to throw anyone searching off course, wasting valuable time."

This makes no sense. Seems to me it would have a higher likelihood of being used to throw searchers off course if the kid DID know about it and told the abductor(s). If the kid doesn't know, they can't spill the beans.

I don't think technology should substitute parenting and grudgingly admit that Amy makes a good point here, but I don't think that *supplementing* good parenting with technology is necessarily a bad thing. Also, I know a few people who have recovered their kids' lost or stolen phones because they had GPS tracking on them. I think that happens a lot more than abductions anyway, unless we're talking about Paris Hilton's future kids.

L2: So open your gifts in the morning before everyone gets there. Duh.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#7
Nov 15, 2012
 

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LW1: "I would like to install one of those GPS location tracking programs on their cellphones, but my wife says that it is deceitful to do it without telling them."

I think you're both wrong. Deceitful my ass. You wanna keep tabs on them without them knowing, I have no problem with that. We were all young once. We know what we did. Trust, but verify.

As far as "compromising the technology", I don't think the intended purpose of those programs is to spy on someone who does not know it. But aside from that, maybe I'm wrong, but I'm thinking most 9th graders with smartp phones know a lot about them. Dealing with battery getting drained from high usage, wouldn't most know to turn off GPS if they're not using it or else the battery will die much faster. Once they do that, you're tracker is rendered useless. And I would think they download apps all the time. Wouldn't you think they'd notice this new app they didn't install?

"This sort of tracking device can create unintended and dangerous consequences. For instance, let's imagine the worst happens and your child is abducted. This tracking technology can easily be used to throw anyone searching off course, wasting valuable time."
Are you a friggin moron? Its MORE likely that in such a scenario the tracking software would HELP. And if there was no tracking software installed, the police could and would still get the help from the cell company to track the phone without that 3rd party software.

LW2: You are deluded. YOu want to invite people over to your home and expect them to just know you want them to leave because you are opening gifts? WTF? I've never heard of such nonsense. Sounds like YOU are more uncomfortable than them. And you invite them over to dinner and expect them to just automatically contribute to the meal? Really? Someone invites me to dinner, I assume they are providing a full meal unless they ask me to make a dish. HAve you asked anyone to make a dish?

Since: Jan 10

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#8
Nov 15, 2012
 
Nick's 5yo's ipod needs a tracking device. It's lost somewhere at the mom's boyfriend's house (and his evil kids probably took it anyway).

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Nov 15, 2012
 
LW1: What Gavin de Becker said.

LW2: It is way too early for Christmas sh!t.

LW3: Good thing you didn't get abducted, since this had to be before the time of smartphones.

Since: Jan 10

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#10
Nov 15, 2012
 
squishymama wrote:
LW2: It is way too early for Christmas sh!t.
Local station has been playing only christmas music for over a week now.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#12
Nov 15, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Local station has been playing only christmas music for over a week now.
That is just WRONG!

Saxamaphone man on the corner of Michigan Ave was playing Silver Bells a couple of days ago. At least wait for that until the Salvaation Army folks are actually out.

Please.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#13
Nov 15, 2012
 
1 Forget the phone, chip your kid.

2 Nice thing about living alone, my gift list is really, really small.

3 Wow, did not even have a boyfriend to walk you home. You must have been buttugly.
Sam I Am

Huntingdon, TN

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#14
Nov 15, 2012
 

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1. Screw the phone, just have a chip implanted in their skull, then they can't mess with it. And they won't resent you at all. BTW, knowing where they are doesn't tell you what they are doing or who they are with.

2. People should bring something for the meal, that is common sense. And maybe if you are going to invite a large group, you should have gift opening another time. That also is common sense. Maybe you should ask for some for Christmas.

3. Awesome rehash, keep it coming!

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#15
Nov 15, 2012
 
LW1: Whatever weirdo - just use locks on the doors, window bars, a moat around the house, and attack dogs outside, instead. Umkay?

LW2: Simma down, lady.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#16
Nov 15, 2012
 
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Whatever weirdo - just use locks on the doors, window bars, a moat around the house, and attack dogs outside, instead. Umkay?
LW2: Simma down, lady.
Can't you just wait til they are old enough to gasp date? He will resurrect the chastity belt.

Dear LW. Too much control yield kids who cannot be indepenednet but who figure out how to rebel anyway

Anyone remeber the parts of the DaVinci Code where they toss the GPS on a bar of soap onto a moving truck, etc etc?

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

United States

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#17
Nov 15, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
And you invite them over to dinner and expect them to just automatically contribute to the meal? Really? Someone invites me to dinner, I assume they are providing a full meal unless they ask me to make a dish. HAve you asked anyone to make a dish?
The polite thing to do when you're invited to dinner is to ask if you should bring anything.

Since: Jan 10

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#18
Nov 15, 2012
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
The polite thing to do when you're invited to dinner is to ask if you should bring anything.
Conversely, it's not rude to NOT offer to bring something.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#19
Nov 15, 2012
 
What Angela said. Its about expectations. Yes, it would be nice if I asked if you wanted me to bring anything. But not asking does not make me rude. If you expct me to bring something, then that expectation needs to be explicit, not just assumed.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#20
Nov 15, 2012
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Can't you just wait til they are old enough to gasp date? He will resurrect the chastity belt.
Dear LW. Too much control yield kids who cannot be indepenednet but who figure out how to rebel anyway
Anyone remeber the parts of the DaVinci Code where they toss the GPS on a bar of soap onto a moving truck, etc etc?
If he really loves his daughters he'll combine GPS tracking with a geo-fence and a shock collar. You can never be too safe, you know?

Since: Jan 10

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#21
Nov 15, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
What Angela said. Its about expectations. Yes, it would be nice if I asked if you wanted me to bring anything. But not asking does not make me rude. If you expct me to bring something, then that expectation needs to be explicit, not just assumed.
And if you're close enough to that friend/relative to invite them for thanksgiving, you're close enough to speak up and ask if they canhelp out by bringing a salad or something.

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