Best of the Web: Breaking Through With Autism, Outsourcing Parenting, and Tracking Students by Phone

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

My Son Sam

(Australian Story, ABC)

This is a powerful, emotional story of a journey to Africa by a father and his autistic teenage son. The trip by James Best and his then 14-year-old son Sam was designed to provide intense exposure to unpredictability and uncertainty. The aim was to develop Sam’s everyday skills. It was stressful and demanding on both father and son. Yet early on, there was a moment where James would think, ‘Maybe we’re onto something.’ You can also read an Age article by Sam’s mother Benison giving her perspective.

Can parenting be outsourced in the sharing economy?

(Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner)

We’ve heard more lately about how parents are turning to the ‘sharing economy’ online for help with everyday demands. It seems easy enough, writes the eSafety Commissioner.  ‘But what about when the service that you need is the care of your children by a babysitter, nanny or au pair?  How does the sharing economy rate for safety – and what do you need to know?’ This blog offers advice and links to resources to make sure your child stays safe.

How schools are tracking students using their mobile phones

(Henrietta Cook, The Sunday Age)

The debate over protecting young people from online dangers continues with this report that some schools are tracking what students do on their mobile phones using technology that can also disable their cameras. The surveillance tool being rolled out at 40 schools can also block student access to inappropriate internet sites and ‘distracting’ phone apps. Students and privacy groups have raised their concerns.

Why it is good for our children to fail

(Kerri Sackville, Essential Kids)

The decision by the Riddells Football League to cap the score margins in junior levels to prevent large losses ignited a lively discussion. This article argues against the move. Not only are we denying children the chance to learn resilience, we’re making the painful situations much worse, writes the author. ‘Failure isn’t appalling. Failure is a perfectly normal part of life. And this is the message we should convey to our kids.’

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