October 10, 2006

Train A Brit Up The Way He Should Go, Then He'll Want CCTV For His Kid's Crib

The UK's Future Foundation published its latest study, "The Changing Face of Parenting," last week, and most of the attention was on vague, headline-friendly phrases like "super-parents" and "lifestyle choice" and the "professionalisation of parenting."

The conclusion that jumped out at me, though, was the phrase "culture of fear," which was used repeatedly to explain that parents worry about their children's well-being. Also, it means kids don't play outside anymore; instead, they play inside where parents "can" spend more time with them. Yeah, culture of fear!

With fear comes opportunity, though, and the report is very chirpy about new "parents' interest in child-tracking technology": "Evidence of growing anxieties and support for a surveillance society such as the nanny state cannot be made more clearer than the chart below," it says, referring to a graph showing that younger, newer parents are more likely than older/more experienced ones to describe child-tracking technology [41% vs 26%] and cribcams [31% vs 11%] as possibly "helpful" to childrearing.

Which tells me that 12 years in, the UK's grand experiment with putting CCTV cameras everywhere is having a positive [sic] effect, as people who come of age under surveillance are more likely to want their own kids under surveillance, too.

Of course, skeptics could say the survey actually shows the vast majority of parents of all ages think surveillance technology is extremely unhelpful. But there's apprently no place for that kind of "glass 80% empty" attitude in a think-tank owned by the credit-tracking agency Experian.

Family life is just like a business for middle-class parents
[telegraph uk]
Finance biggest deterrent to having children [guardian]
Previously: UK gov't database to track every kid from birth--well, the non-celebrities' kids, anyway

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