For anyone out there who thinks monitoring your kids' electronics is 'snooping', or wrong...

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Muttogamer - posted on 12/14/2014

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The electronic device is just a means of sending and receiving information just like paper and pens.

Do you go through your kid's mail and diary/journal?

I mean, you might as well, after all, "you own it."

I built my first computer back in highschool (it was 2006 and I was a sophomore) and it very much became my portal into the adult world. I looked at porn, I watched rated R movies, played violent video games, learned how drugs scientifically worked, learned how to make explosives, and so much more that my parents would have never approved of. But, whenever I was grounded for something and they took my PC away, they NEVER EVER went through MY files and MY internet history. And my Dad is a techie, he could have very easily done so.

But because my parents raised me correctly, and respected me, even without snooping around my files, they knew I wasn't doing anything to harm/disrespect myself or them.

I've never understood your mentality. You don't own the interactions your kids have online. That is their matter, not yours.

You can take away the device if you feel they don't deserve to use it.

But, if you think your kid is doing something wrong behind your back, maybe you should change your parenting skills or kick them off the internet, but to go through their personal files/messages? That's as disrespectful and shitty as it gets. And good luck being a parent if your kids don't respect/trust you.

Chet - posted on 08/26/2014

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The majority of 13 year olds do not take and share naked pictures of themselves. If your child is engaging in this sort of behaviour you need to ask yourself why. The problem isn't likely that they need policing. The real issue is that they think this behaviour is reasonable.

Parents need to approach these situations with the ultimate goal of having a tween or teen who doesn't want to participate in this sort of behaviour, and who clearly understands why it's a problem. It shouldn't be fear of your mom checking your phone that keeps you in line, it should be an actual desire to NOT do this stuff.

Frontline did a show a several years ago now called Growing Up Digital and in it they have a panel of youth talking about kids who engage in risky behaviour online. The teens aptly point out that most kids are fine, and the ones who are risky online were the same kids who were risky in real life.

It's true that the internet can magnify mistakes. It's possible for kids to get into certain types of trouble much more efficiently online. However, if your child is making bad choices online they are at risk for making similar bad choices in real life. A kid at risk is a kid at risk.

The ideal strategy is always to mitigate a teen's risk factors rather than to police them. You can't always be there to police a child, but you can give a child the tools, the knowledge and the strength to navigate on their own. Kids can work around parental controls. They can take and share sexy photos with friends' phones and tablets. Monitoring your child online will always be something that some parents feel the need to do, but nobody should consider it a true safety net.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/25/2014

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Honestly, I'd hate to get that call, too...I'm always paranoid when I see it's the school, or the local cops calling...LOL...even though my kids were awesome...

My first thought is "what did they do..." Which is my form of plan for the worst/hope for the best, I guess... But I was pretty strict with the electronics

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/25/2014

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That's exactly right! Most parents don't seem to understand that they can also be held responsible for their kid's actions until the kid is 18...

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