How do you control social media with your teenagers?

Rubina - posted on 12/11/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I would like to know what rules all of you have for cell phones and social media. Parenting these days in the age of cell phones and social media is so much harder than it used to be. Some of the questions I have is do you allow your child to have a cell phone? Do you monitor who they are talking to? Do they have a Facebook? Are you friends with them on Facebook? Do you have their password? If they have a phone, are they allowed to take it to their room at night? Is there ever an age (while they are a minor) that you feel you shouldn’t be looking through their phone or social media or if they are a minor, should everything be monitored? Thank you!!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/11/2013

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No different now than in the era before instant communication.

Set rules and keep them. Set limits, and enforce them.

I provided cell phones for my kids from the age of 13 on. Prepaid "burn" phones until they proved they deserved more. Now my eldest pays for his own prepaid monthly plan with verizon, and my youngest has just been upgraded to a basic smartphone, prepaid monthly plan.

When I provide the phone, I specify that the phone is MINE and they are being allowed to use it. As such, I reserve the right to go through their phones at any time, with or without notice. Neither of my kids ever had a problem with that. If I don't know a name or number in their contact lists, I ask them about it. If its an adult that I'm not acquainted with, that number gets removed, the adult gets contacted and told not to contact my kid again, and we move forward.

In my home, everything is monitored until the age of 18, or until they start paying for it themselves. This includes any internet use (fully under parental control until they are 18), any phone, any gaming system, any tablet, and any social media. Both of my kids were allowed FB at the age of 13 (per FB rules). I am friends with both, and keep passwords for any child under the age of 18. Again, I reserve the right at any time to log in to their accounts and review activity, friend lists, etc.

I've never had a problem with making them surrender electronics at a certain time each evening, because all of the parental controls are set to shut down at a specific time each evening, and will not allow them to log back in until their designated time the next day.

As they get older, and continue to abide by the restrictions set by me, they're allowed freedom from "searches"...unless, that is, they've pushed their luck and been stupid about something, but they are still subject to the same rules of "I reserve the right to review activity at any time".

Once my eldest reached the age of 18, I turned his phone over to him, account and all, took my passwords off of his computer, removed parental control and let him be an adult. He still has me check up on him (more to show that he's still being responsible than out of any need for me to monitor...I think he feels "secure" knowing that I'll check up on him if he asks)

Since I'm personally responsible for the actions of my children until they reach the age of majority, there is never any age under that of 18 that my child shouldn't be under some sort of monitoring. Simply because of the fact that (in the US, at least) a parent can be charged for a crime committed by a child. Should my 17 YO decide to "sext" someone, child pornography laws can be enforced on me, his parent. I am NOT going to let that happen.

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