Spy Kids: All the talk of parents wiring their kids to capture evidence of verbal bullying by teachers has me remembering a post I wrote on About.com last year about wishing I could rig up a stealth lunchbox cam to capture cafeteria interactions, and the comment it received from someone who claimed to work with youth with disabilities, saying I scared him and calling me overprotective and neurotic. Guess he really should be scared, as those stealth devices move into classrooms and target the professionals. I just wanted to know how my kid was doing with his peers.
And I still do. My son's got some social stuff going on now that's causing him anxiety -- maybe to the point of contributing to the busted ulcer that landed him in the hospital last month -- and it's really hard to get a handle on what's happening. It's like a high-school version of Rashomon, with everybody giving me their own subjective report, many of them further limited by the developmental level of the reporter. Part of me would love to get a surveillance tape on all those teenage social interactions, find out if my son is really saying the things he claims to be, find out what others are saying to him, provide some useful advice. And part of me is pretty sure I'd hear things that would break my heart and make it impossible for me to send my boy to school.
For now, my strategy is to hold my breath, cross my fingers, and pray for the swift arrival of June and graduation and freedom from these particular fears. In college, tape-recording his classes will be one of his accommodations, and there'll be no secrets.