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GPS tracker watches in schools

GPS tracker watches in schools

GPS tracker watches in schools: Introduction

Should GPS tracker watches in schools be allowed?

Nothing can be more terrifying and induce panic than to loose your child in a mall, in a crowd or even on a family outing. It is a natural part of most parents to worry about the safety of their children. One of the questions, in an unsafe country like South Africa, which is at the order of the day, is whether allowing GPS tracker watches in schools could be the answer to your child’s protection and safety. GPS means global positioning satellite and a chip is used in a variety of GPS devices such as watches, clothing, cell phones and clothes (a surgeon can even implant a GPS chip into a child’s body). A GPS is a technology which informs you where people and things (e.g. your car and child) are at all times.

In thís article the focus is especially on GPS tracker watches in pre-primary schools in South Africa. Some of the devices can track children continuously, while others only start to respond if a child leaves the boundaries of a specific area. Some tracker watches even have a panic button and / or a cellphone to make an urgent call. Technology offers more options and choices, but it also implies that more decisions should be made by parents. Parents admit that they are under “responsibility pressure” as well as “peer pressure” to decide whether it will be good to buy their child a GPS tracker watch to know exactly where their child is and to protect their child. What complicates the tracker watch option more is the controversy among parents and professionals like teachers and therapists whether the answer to buy a tracker watch for your pre-primary child should be a yes or a no.

Like so many other puzzling questions with regards to your child, which have no definite yes or no answer, this is the conundrum here. Now what should a parent do? First know the pros and the cons of a GPS tracker watch for your pre-primary child. 

Click here for a link to where you can shop for GPS tracker watches

GPS tracker watches in schools: Pros of tracker watches

  • Parental peace that comes from knowing where your child is all the time.
  • Should there be an emergency, for example a kidnapping, the police and others can immediately start to search for your child and find him more quickly.

    GPS tracker watches in schools
    GPS tracker watches in schools
  • Parents can be more relaxed when their child goes for a play date to a friend, instead of saying no and deprive their kid of the chance to better socialize; or saying yes, but worrying about the safety of their child all the time.

GPS tracker watches in schools: Cons of tracker watches

  • Children are children and can break the device or take it off when they play.
  • A child attacker who is well informed will look for a GPS tracker watch and get rid of it.
  • Strangers aren’t the greatest threat to a child’s safety, sometimes a close friend and / or family member can be more dangerous and be well aware to remove the GPS tracker watch.
  • The GPS tracker watch gives parents security to know where their child is, but emotionally a child can become too dependent and over reliant on his parents.
  • The change exists that parents as well as their child rely too much on the watch and that parents tend to omit to teach their child about his own safety as well as safety rules, for example what to do when a stranger approach you and how to remove yourself from dangerous situations.
  • Technology is not perfect and systems can fail.
  • Be careful not to become a helicopter parent.

GPS tracker watches in schools: What is a helicopter parent?

“The term “helicopter parent” was first used in Dr. Haim Ginott’s 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens who said their parents would hover over them like a helicopter; the term became popular enough to become a dictionary entry in 2011. Helicopter parenting refers to “a style of parents who are over focused on their children,” says Carolyn Daitch, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders near Detroit and author of Anxiety Disorders: The Go-To Guide. (Taken from What is helicopter parenting?

GPS tracker watches in schools: What do professionals say?

Dr. Erik Fisher, psychologist and author of The art of empowered Parenting says that there are indeed pros, but examples of pitfalls are:

  • A child gets the idea that he’s never too safe and today kids already are scared of too many things.
  • The replacement of being an active parent which includes teaching your child problem solving skills and to be able to make decisions.

Fisher’s advice to parents is to determine their real motives for having a GPS tracker watch on their child. Parents should further determine how their child feels about the device, but it’s more applicable for older children than for pre-primary kids, as most pre-primary kids are still in the development phase where they find it difficult to express their feelings in language.

A psychologist from Ohio New York who does research on parenting, says the following: “I can understand how a parent might want to know if their child is having a problem, but I don’t think it’s necessarily helpful for children to always be able to turn to their parents when they are struggling. We want children to develop problem solving skills and the capacity to manage stress.” No matter where you as parent stand in the debate, remember the “traditional” methods of looking after your children and know where they are. Know what your child wear in case of separation and report. Teach and repeat and point out boundaries in their different environments where they will be at different times of the day. Teach your child to whom he can go for help.

GPS tracker watches in schools: Pre-primary Schools’ dilemmas

Dilemmas / questions / challenges?

Have you ever thought that technology also causes challenges at your child’s school?

Think of the following practical examples: Pre-primary education is all about developing your child’s skills in order to reach his full potential as a whole child (emotionally, physically, socially, mentally) and to get him ready for school. Activities are therefore carefully planned and rotated to give your child the opportunity to develop and practice these skills. These developmental activities include sand, clay, paint, water, drawings, etcetera. In order to be able to play freely many kids want to take off their GPS tracker watches.  And then, it’s watches everywhere, children everywhere, teachers who need to keep a good eye on the children and watches full of sand, water, paint and sometimes crying children as their parents told them to take good care of their tracker watches.

Another factor to consider at school is the right to privacy. Some GPS tracker watches also have a small microphone attached to the watch, which allow parents to listen to what is happening around their child, almost like a baby monitor.

This could be problematic, and could infringe other children, or the teacher’s right to privacy, and hence should be addressed by the school’s management team, in consultation with the school’s legal advisor.

So, let’s get back to the point again. Please go back and read the pro’s and cons of buying a GPS tracker watch for your pre-primary child. You want a child with strong “wings” who can fly. Keep that in mind and make the best decision for the sake of your child.

GPS tracker watches in schools: References

Do You Know Where Your Kids Are? GPS Tracking for Children;

Tracking devices are getting increasingly popular;

Pros and cons of GPS watches to track your kids;

GPS Tracking children: Good or Bad Idea;

Exam stress tips for parents midstream pretoria

Spel en leesprobleme: Opvoedkundige Sielkundige raad

Spel en leesprobleme: Inleiding

“Help! My kind sukkel met spel, skryf en lees!” Dis ’n noodkreet waarmee opvoedkundige sielkundiges daagliks te doen kry. “Niemand het my ooit gesê dat daar enige probleem met my kind is nie!” Dis weer ’n baie algemene uitdrukking van ’n ouer se frustrasie met ’n kind wat skryf, spel en leesprobleme ervaar.

Spel en leesprobleme: Die basis

Het jy al ooit aan die volgende gedink: Ten einde te leer spel, lees en skryf, moet jou kind die volgende weet:

  • wat die name van sy liggaamsdele is;
  • waar sy linker- en regterkant is (belangrik: om dit werklik te ken, moet hy ook weet waar links en regs is as hy byvoorbeeld na ’n ander kant toe kyk);
  • deeglik kennis dra van die grondbeginsels: voor/agter; bo-op/onder; langs; tussen; voor/na; en so meer.

Spel en leesprobleme: Begin hier

Jou kind moet ook (onder meer) die volgende kan doen ten einde gereed te wees om skryf- en leesvaardighede aan te leer:

  • huppel en galop (ritmiese bewegings);
  • stap, draf, hardloop (ritmies en op die maat van musiek);
  • op ’n reguit lyn vorentoe en agtertoe kan loop (sonder om vir sy voete te kyk en sonder om langs die lyn te trap);
  • vloeiende en egalige skrifpatrone kan maak.

Spel en leesprobleme: Wat?

Bogenoemde voorbeelde klink vir baie ouers na ’n spul twak, veral as hul kind ook die volgende moet kan doen: sterspronge, op een been staan, touspring, eenbeentjie of hinkspel (“hopscotch”) kan speel, ritmiese patrone kan “na-klap” (“copy”), krale kan inryg, netjies kan knip, ’n bal kan vang, skop, gooi, bons en so meer.

Spel en leesprobleme: Dis als oor ritme

spel en leesprobleme
Spel en leesprobleme

Die rede waarom jou kind al bogenoemde aktiwiteite moet kan uitvoer, is omdat lees en skryf ritmiese bewegings behels. Bogenoemde aktiwiteite vorm met ander woorde deel van die boustene vir lees en skryf. ’n Kind wat byvoorbeeld nie weet waar die linker- en regterkant van sy lyf is nie, kan probleme ervaar om tussen b en d te onderskei. ’n Kind wat nie weet waar voor of na, of eerste/middelste en laaste is nie, sal moontlik probleme met spelling en die volgorde van letters ervaar soos byvoorbeeld: mat – watter klank hoor jy eerste/laaste/in die middel of voor/na.

Spel en leesprobleme: Wanneer moet ek begin?

Baie ouers vra die vraag: Moet ek my kind formeel leer lees en skryf voor graad 1? Die antwoord is “nee” – gaan speel net met jou kind, want so berei jy hom voor om gereed te wees om te leer lees en skryf. En wees versigtig om nie te dink dat as jy jou kind ’n oulike werkboekie in die hand stop en saam met hom deurwerk, hy goed voorberei word vir lees en skryf nie. Wat jou kind nodig het, is (in hierdie volgorde):

Driedimensionele aktiwiteite:

  • opdragte soos: “Staan agter/voor/langs die swaai”;
  • “Skop die grootste bal”;
  • “Raak met jou regterhand aan jou linkeroor”.

Tweedimensionele aktiwiteite:

  • kaartspeletjies;
  • bordspeletjies;
  • penborde;
  • opdragte soos: “Sit die rooi sirkel aan die linkerkant van die blou sirkel”; “Watter prent is die naaste aan jou?”.

Eendimensionele aktiwiteite:

  • papierwerk en werkkaarte.

Jou kind moet eers driedimensioneel kan speel en leer voordat hy gereed is om op tweedimensionele vlak te speel en te leer. Die eendimensionele vlak is die laaste in die ry.

Spel en leesprobleme: Waar kry ek hulp?

Waar kan ’n ouer wie se kind sukkel met spel en lees aanklop vir hulp? ’n Opvoedkundige sielkundige kan ’n assessering doen ten einde te bepaal wat jou kind se verstandelike vermoë is en indien wel, watter gapings jou kind toon. ’n Opvoedkundige sielkundige sal jou, indien nodig, na ’n arbeidsterapeut verwys, indien jou kind se vaardighede ter gereedmaking van lees en skryf nie vasgelê is nie. ’n Opvoedkundige sielkundige sal ook die nodige verwysings kan maak na ’n pediatriese oogkundige, oudioloog, spraakterapeut en so meer, as sy vermoed dat daar enige probleme in hierdie gebiede is.

Spel en leesprobleme: Nog inligting

Wil jy meer weet hoe om jou kind te ondersteun om gereed te wees vir lees en skryf? Gaan lees dan meer oor onder meer klim en klouter, middellynkruising, balans, luistervaardighede (ouditiewe persepsie) en sigvaardighede (visuele persepsie), sowel as growwe en fyn motoriese koördinasie.

Spel en leesprobleme: Ten laaste

Let wel: Hierdie artikel geld nie slegs vir graad 1-leerders nie, maar is ook van toepassing op ander leerders in die grondslag- en selfs primêre fase (en soms ook sekondêre fase) wat lees- en skryfprobleme het – tensy ander probleme soos disleksie en/of ’n disfunksie in sy brein gediagnoseer is. Indien daar geen disfunksies by jou kind gediagnoseer kan word nie, kan die opvoedkundige sielkundige die nodige verwysings maak na relevante professionele kundiges wat jou kind kan ondersteun. Die deurslaggewende faktor vir sukses word uiteindelik grootliks bepaal deur die ouers se verbintenis (“commitment”) om hul kind tuis met die huiswerk, wat die terapeute gee, te help.

Hierdie artikel is deel van ‘n reeks artikels wat ek vir Maroela Media in 2015 geskryf het.

Seven hints for a grieving person

Seven hints for a grieving person

Seven hints for a grieving person: Introduction

Grieving people are usually concerned about their feelings and experiences. They wonder: Am I normal? What is wrong with me?  So here are seven hints for a grieving person.

Seven hints for a grieving person: Dealing with the changes

As discussed in a previous post, a grieving person may experience a lot of changes and feelings throughout his body as well as in his relationships with other people. These physical-, social-, and emotional changes (see a previous post) are normal. If you are going through the immense pain of the grieving process, print out the following seven hints for a grieving person and read and remember it many times during your days:

1. You are loveable even when you are a confused mess.
2. Crying is a gift.
3. Almost every thought, behaviour and feeling is normal.
4. You are not alone.
5. People are uncomfortable with grieving people.
6. No matter how bad you feel, you will survive.
7. It takes as long as it takes.

Mary Kelly Perschy

Mental toughness, Pretoria, Centurion, Midstream

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