Considering Tech For High School

So, our first born turned 11 this week. It seems like no time at all since we were waiting patiently for her to arrive – or not so patiently (or coherently) after the best part of three days of labour.

As a new parent you have all sorts of fears – will I be able to keep them alive, are they really going to let us walk out of the hospital with her without a chaperone, does it come with a manual?

After you have kept them alive for a year or so, you then worry whether she should be walking by now, talking by now, able to play Handel’s Messiah on the Bontempi? You try to avoid the competitive mums at Playgroup – its not nice for them to have to come to the realisation that their offspring are losers.

Then comes nursery, followed far too quickly by primary school and further concerns – will she make friends, will she make the right friends, will she be one of “those” girls?

Now, after smooth progress through the first 7 years of schooling at an amazing school, comes High School (der, der derrr!) She seems cool about it, with fingers crossed she gets into her first choice. If none of the other fears have been fully founded, the expected level of independence that is coming is truly frightening.

We have resisted her walking to school alone so far, as is the right of passage for Year 6, using the reasoning “Well, we are all going in the same direction anyway, so might as well go together….” The realisation has come that this can’t last forever, and so we are looking at getting her first phone. In this day and age technology is a given – you seemingly can’t just arm them with 20p to use in a payphone if they need to get in touch.

For fear of sounding like a luddite, and appreciating the side my bread is buttered on (being a blogger and all), I don’t feel our increased reliance on technology is a good thing. Having taken part in Anti-bullying week recently, it is clear how a lot of bullying and intimidation takes place online rather than IRL. We need as parents to therefore ensure an appropriate balance is struck between being able to keep in touch and her getting into things only visible to her.

On the plus side phone finding technology and other monitoring software such as you would find if you click here allow us to covertly check what is going on in her life (staying the right side of privacy, of course). You could even Click here and take the data analysis a step further.

We hope that a number of her current classmates will be moving up the same school, but the scale will increase so the issues of her getting in with the ‘right’ crowd are on the horizon once more. We are considering a vetting process of potential friends and management of an appropriate database to monitor undesirable activity ( may well be able to help us with this).

Standing back though, our little superstar has exceeded expectations at every turn, and we can only hope that she continues to do so. And when I wake with the panic at 3am the next time over what may be, I’ll repeat that mantra to myself.

This is a collaboration

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