I have to admit that I invade my son's privacy quite a bit. Some of my friends chastise me for it and others believe it is neccessary nowadays to know what your kids are up to.
By invading his privacy I mean going into his Facebook account and if he left chat windows open I will read his conversations that he had with his friends. I will also go into his Private Message box and read what he and his friends have emailed back and forth. If he knew I was doing this he would have an absolute FIT. Which on one hand I would not blame him one bit as I would have reacted the same way had my parents done something like that when I was a kid. Big difference now though because there was no such thing as the internet when I was his age.
How much invasion is too much ? How do you know when you have crossed a line? Or have I already crossed that line? Sometimes, I'm sure many parents of teenagers feel similiar but maybe not, I feel like that's the only way I would find out what my kid is all about. He's not big on sharing information. Sometimes he is, sometimes not. Sometimes I wish he wouldn't share some of the things he tells me and other times it is like pulling teeth to get him to talk. I think that is fairly typical of a teen. At least I remember being that way.
Suppose you find out something that needs to be brought to attention? How do you bring it up with them without clueing them in on how you found out about it?
I think all parents have a right and responsibility to know what their children are up to, especially in this age of instant communication. No longer do you have to save your dimes to call a boyfriend in the next county, now all you do is text on your cell, call or IM in Facebook.
***Edited By: DeputyDog on 6/1/2010 11:39:31 PM*** Reason: TMI
You can't win if you don't play the game -- Me!
All cruelty stems from weakness -- Seneca
Sometimes a dog is as good as any man -- Bell/Houser
well i'm not going to be rude or anything but if you can't trust your son then take away the computer! and about the " How do you bring it up with them without clueing them in on how you found out about it?" just be like 'example': so what you been in to on the computer? and kinda say what they have been doing! you know like so have you___________? this is what they say back(most of the time) HOW DID YOU KNOW????[lol] then you got 'em hope this helps which it prob. didn't it prob. made things worse!!
Hi Scout, I've just got two girls out of High school last week. Hang in there.I feel that every child is different. Parents have a built in gut feeling as to when they should or shouldn't moniter their childrens activities. As long as parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe I believe that parents should also be the judge of how far they need to go to keep tabs on the safety of their kids. Never feel guilty about checking up on them. (Been there done that.) Children need oppertunities to earn trust, true, but children may encounter circumstances where in their young life extra support from a guiding parent is very much appreciated in the end. What do you say when you need to confront a child after finding something dangerous to them? It depends upon the circumstances and if you can deflect what's happening without hurting your childs pride. See a counselor if you need to. Hope all goes well, Becky
All4One I think you may have misunderstood my post or I myself was not clear enough. It's not that I don't trust what he is doing on the computer, ie: going to bad sites, etc. I know he doesn't do any of that kind of stuff.
I was just wondering how far is too far when it comes to spying on your kids and if a parent should happen upon something that could harm their child, how do they bring the subject up without clueing them in to how you found out. One thing i found out I brought up to him and I notice now that he deleted stuff out of his facebook inbox. He must have figured out that that was how I found out about something and I don't want him doing that because then I'll never know anything and I won't be able to intervene before something really serious is going to happen.
Did I explain it better this time?
Thanks Deputy and Becky. i have gotten a huge amount of Flack for my spying so i was just curious if i am the only parent who does this to their child.
I don't think it is bad at all to spot-check now and again. If you find that generally there is nothing alarming, I'd not be doing it on a regular basis.. but if it seems that something isn't right and he's not talking to you about it.. I'd check whatever resources are available, including internet stuff. It's your job to keep him safe and IMO you are just doing your job by checking out what's going on.
My son doesn't have a facebook page (he is 12) but I have his password for a site that he goes on called Roblox and also his email password-- he knows that I require to know any password he might have and that I may check in anytime I want to.
My son (11) does have facebook, but we have the password for that, because we set it up. Shiny mine LOVES Roblox as well, LOL, he is fascinated by it. But if he wants to join anything he has to send the verification e-mail to me, and he know that.
I think that looking in to what they are doing on the internet, monotoring their cell phone bill, ect, is not wrong at all. Especially if you pay the cell phone bill. Many kids today post stuff on the internet and don't realize that once the info/pictures are out there, there is no getting them back. There are alot of sick people out there who prey on kids via the internet.
Also, checking their rooms occassionally is ok IMO as well. My 10 year old daughter and I had this conversation not too long ago. She does not use the internet unless it's to play on myepets, but she does have a journal. I don't read the journal because, well, she's 10, what could she be up to? When she told me that she wanted privacy in her room and I had no right to open the door at random. I told her that yes, it is YOUR room, but her room is in MY house.
Beautiful new babies. Mama and all are doing well.
Unfortunately, these days kids must be supervised on the internet. It is a whole different world then the one we grew up in.
Not long a go, I happened to visit my friend's 13 year old girl's facebook page, and couldn't believe the provocative pictures she had on there. She had several of them topless with only her hands or arms covering her boobs in sexually explicit poses that no 13 year old should be in. I immediately contacted my friend to tell her about it. Apparently she was clueless. It never occurred to her to check what her daughter was doing on the internet. within 15min those pics were gone. and she is now watching her online activities like a hawk, just as every parent should.
If it helps ease your conscious about spying on and invading your kids privacy, being upfront and open about it might help.
We gave our kids a choice. They wanted their own computers in their own rooms. We said no problem, as long as we know what they are doing with it at all time by installing a monitoring program on them to spy on and record all their activities. They begrudgingly accepted the offer. At first I was constantly checking it, but now, not so much. the program notifies me automatically when they visit questionable sites or use objectionable language or discuss certain subject matters, so constant motoring isn't necessary. besides, they already know what they should and should do, and what will get them in trouble. knowing that they can't get away with anything they do or say on the internet keeps them inline... in the house anyway.
When they get older, they will surely rethink our current arrangement and will want to amend our agreement, but by then, all we can do is hope that we have educated them enough and gave them the common sense to make the right choices on their own.
This is a dangerous world we live in and as parents, we got to do anything to protect our kids from themselves just as much as from others. Even if they will resent us for it.
The essence of hypocrisy is the tendency to make an exception of oneself.
My son knows that I feel free to check what websites he's been on, what texts he's been sending/receiving, what's in his room. We hashed that out a long time ago. He also knows that he's welcome to check out what I've been doing on the 'net and on my cellphone. Have I found questionable sites/texts? Yup. We talk about it, he knows I feel it's inappropriate, but he's free to continue as he sees fit. He's 18 now and graduating high school; the rules were different awhile ago.
If you let your kid(s) know how it's gotta be, I don't see it as spying. Will they hide things? Maybe, but that may be more work than it's worth.
Until my boy gets his own place, his internet/phone privacy is up for grabs as far as I'm concerned.
Sorry, I don't know how to bring up stuff to your kid when you've been spying. We're all up front here. But maybe you could start a general conversation and let your kid know how you feel about it?
Thanks for all your advice. He and I had a long talk tonite while we were cooking dinner about some of the things I was concerned about. I didn't come right out and say exactly how I found out about these things but from what I said I knew he could figure it out easily enough. I just hope he knows how much I care and that it is because I care that I do what I do and not because I want to make his life miserable.
All he ever does on the computer is go on Facebook and talk to his friends. He hasn't shown any interest in anything else on it. I have the computer set up as much like Fort Knox as I possibly can. To the point where it annoys me because sometimes I can't do something as simple as look at family photos on Flickr ! Plus the computer sits in the middle of our living room so at any given point someone can walk by and see what's going on. Plus all my family and some of my friends are his friends on there so if something pops up on his page, I hear about it right away. Luckily so far nothing besides two girls having a 186 comment fight over him has been brought to their attention but at least I know I have backup if it's needed lol.
Scout....I did this as well with my kids when they were teenagers.
I think of it more of good parenting than spying. Its not that we dont trust our teens per se, more that they are teens! It is that time in their life when friends are huge influences, alot of things intrigue them as well as doing the opposite of what their parents ask!
I did monitor the kids internet. All sites had to be pre-approved and I had to have the password with their understanding that I was free to look in any time I wanted.
I also check internet histories regularly, and if they were to be sneaky and erase it then they would be grounded from the computer. I would also snoop in rooms time to time as I cleaned.
You HAVE to be on top of things these days. The world is so mouch more dangerous than we were kids and alot more crazy people and undisciplined kids to influence them out there.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.
From a teacher's perspective, granted I don't have children of my own, I would be appreciative if parents kept an eye on what their children were doing online. We had a case of online bullying at my school this year and the families involved were totally shocked to see what their child had written to someone else's child. Trust is a good thing, but teens especially can be very mean when they don't have to make the connection that the person behind the other computer is real and that they will have to face them the next day at school or wherever.
Another crazy twist we had this year was one parent didn't see anything wrong with what their child said online and it was something that would never be tolerated if it was said to their face.
Now, with that said, I am not sure what I would do if I were a parent.