Spy Parents

How much do we really need to know about our children’s every-day lives? Do we need to monitor what they’re choosing at the school cafeteria? Middlebury Professor of Sociology Peggy Nelson found herself pondering these questions after noticing the emergence of technical gadgetry designed to help parents with surveillance of their kids.

In her new book, Parenting Out of Control, Nelson looks into the motivations behind what’s now a familiar phenomenon — helicopter parents, hovercrafts, parents from hell — lots of names, but most of whom are trying their best to be good parents in anxious times. Among many notable discoveries, Nelson found a clear divide along class lines in terms of the acceptability of technology for keeping tabs on kids and the very nature of the anxieties parents feel for their children.

Nelson’s book has gotten plenty of notice in the press. She was recently interviewed for a Q & A that ran in USA Today. Click here for more video clips of Peggy Nelson discussing her book and research.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Middlebury College, Middlebury Magazine. Middlebury Magazine said: New from the blog: Are modern-day parents getting out of control? http://bit.ly/bRzzsN […]

  2. […] Post, which ran the essay in its Sunday Outlook section. The author of the recently published book Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times, Nelson used the Post essay to address the “Helicopter Parents” phenomenon. The piece […]

  3. Interesting topic. My parents never knew what i was doing especially in my mid teens. I dont think they really cared as long as didn’t have the police coming around. I thankfully an a little more watchful with my children. http://youtu.be/3uWZ1UAWOh8

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