Care and Feeding offers parenting tips

Care and Feeding offers parenting tips

Tech Highlights:

  • While I am pleased to see Jack taking an interest in his peers, I get a weird feeling about his spreadsheet. As much as I don’t condone the behaviors mentioned, it seems a bit creepy for him to be monitoring his classmates. I also wonder what he is trying to do with the document. Another concern is that we are white and some of the kids on the list are Black. Given the long history of white people policing Black existence, I question whether Jack is the right person to be taking on this task and whether it would be more appropriate coming from a BIPOC person.

  • My 14-year-old son, “Jack,” has been keeping track of all of his classmates’ bad behaviour on a spreadsheet. Jack has always struggled to fit in, but he is a caring and brilliant young man. To avoid being radicalised by alt-right websites, we don’t allow our children to have their own computers, so they share a laptop that we monitor and regulate access to. In Jack’s folder, we discovered an excel spreadsheet with all of his classmates’ names, as well as dates and descriptions of their troublesome behaviour. “Has a cop mother,” “no pronouns in insta bio,” “laughed at a fat joke,” and “lists problematic show as on” were among the descriptors I noticed.

We have asked Jack about the spreadsheet and he denies involvement, but we know that it couldn’t be anyone else. Am I right to be concerned about Jack’s list? I don’t know that it is the best way for him to engage with his peers and promote social justice. On the other hand, I am proud of how committed he is to this cause and I don’t want to stop him from bearing witness to injustices within his own community.

I respect your viewpoint about being uncomfortable with Jack policing the behavior of his Black peers, but as a Black man, that should be the least of your concerns. Your main objective is to find out why he wants to monitor his classmates in the first place. Is he trying to be a social justice vigilante in an effort to be viewed as cool? Does he want his classmates to be “cancelled” for doing things that he considers to be wrong as a form of payback for not being accepted by them? The possibilities are endless. If you don’t feel equipped to get to the bottom of it, then I highly recommend getting a therapist involved because his behavior is not typical for a 14-year-old.

Based on what you’ve mentioned here, his list does seem a little creepy. Kids at that age should be having fun, not documenting every transgression his peers are making. Also, the fact that he’s blatantly lying about his involvement in creating this list should be a huge red flag. If everything is on the up and up, then what does he have to hide? I would personally call his bluff and say, “OK, if this spreadsheet has nothing to do with you, then let’s delete it.” If he raises a stink, then you know that something bigger is at play here.

Crypto Allows Us to Reimagine Economic Systems — And Build New Ones. Decentralized finance cuts out the middleman: banks, investment firms, and other traditional gatekeepers. With Anatha, that means radically accessible self-sustaining value. On a positive note, there are far worse things Jack could be doing than this—and it seems as if his heart is in the right place by being in the corner of marginalized groups. He could use his energy to volunteer as a Big Brother, write for the school newspaper (if they have one

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