This is an article that will help you to better understand we do what we have to do as responsible parents. I remember years ago (well, a decade or more now) when AOL was fairly new and the IM’g was the “hot ticket for teens” - I would sneek a peek at what my young teen was chatting about. I still believe that we have to be a responsible parent - respect their privacy but also know that if we suspect strange behavior, we need to take the appropriate precautions to keep our kids safe.
Here is my personal opinion - Parenting is parenting. It is not espionage. When you bring a child into your home to raise and love and care for there is an unwritten contract of sorts that you will do everything you possibly can to keep that child safe from harms way, give them a safe place to come home too and love them unconditionally.
Lately, there have been several articles in the blog world about parents that are concerned about “spying” on their children. The big problem with this concept ( as one mother reminded me the other night ) the operative word here is “child”.
Somehow as parents we have been given a bill of goods that watching over their Internet life is somehow sneaky or invading their privacy.
In real life, you ask them where they are going and when they’ll be home. You check up on the friends they are hanging out with and if they were to put up a big gigantic poster on the front of your home saying terrible swear words - you would probably make them take that down.
There is really not very much that is “private” online.
If they are posting something they wouldn’t want their mother to see it can be just as much of a problem for them as if that post was a poster on the front of your house. It is out there for the public to see. And as parents, we are part of the public. If they are posting something that a million other loons can view I definitely want to be one of those loons.
Talk to your child about what is a reasonable expectation for Privacy while they are under 18. It is completely reasonable for them to expect privacy in the bathroom - it is completely reasonable for them to expect privacy when they are talking to their friends face to face.
There is even a reasonable amount of privacy in their own bedroom - as long as there are no internet connections in there. You can even ask them directly what they expect in regards to privacy. Talk about privacy issues as it regards to them at school and other public places as well. Then just let them know that you love them and that there are boundaries that are set by parents and clearly define what yours are.
We are not a secret society of espionage agents - we are their parents. It’s not spying - it’s parenting.