How much privacy do teens have a right to?

How much privacy do you give your teen and when do you make sure to keep a more watchful on them?

31  Answers

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I have a 13 going on 14 year old daughter. I have her password to everything she has accounts for from emails to facebook. She complains alittle because all her friend's parents don't have their passwords. I have explained that it's not so much about what she is doing but what other kids are saying regarding bullying or god for bid she goes missing one day. I want access to her info and friends list. I do go through her phone from time to time but don't find it necessary.

Teenagers are still kids! They are learning to figure things out and I told her that she has a right to make mistakes but to make sure they are the small ones. I have explained that the news is constantly showing kids missing and their parents had no clue who they were or what they had posted on facebook or emails. I don't want that with her. I check in with her regularly to make sure things are ok.

She knows she can come to me about anything. She has come to me for advise on friends and mistakes they are making and how she should handle it and I am thankful she knows to come to me but I won't interfer unless she asks so.

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watch out for hover spot. that is one my daughter had and it's not a good site. She was about 14 15 when I found it.

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I don't know - by 12 I was all about porn (no sex, so y'know, compensating), and by her age she's almost certainly obsessed with it. Do you really want to take the risk of seeing your daughter's jerk off material? I'd really rather not know about that kind of thing.

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As a teenager and daughter, you're daughter may know that she can go to you, but know that if you are going through her things, she won't. She has to earn your trust but you have to earn yours. I just discovered that my mom posted something on my facebook account acting like ti was from me. When I got mad at her, she took my phone from me, calling me entitled for wanting privacy. She may be able to take that away, but it's a crappy idea because she just lost all my trust and will have to earn it back before I ever feel comfortable talking to her again. As hard as you try, your kids are smart and will find a way around your "privacy policies." Know that if you give them space, they will come to you. If you invade their privacy, they will go around you. Don't underestimate your children and their rights. You may have good intentions, but we wont trust you as long as you don't trust us and we're smart enough to get around what ever "protection you set up." If you want to keep us safe, give us space and we'll come to you concerns.

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you are kidding me folks !!!!! I have seven kids and number three are four are 17 and 16 respectively and I wouldn't dream of going through their private thoughts like that . you too were young once and I know I hated my mother for spying into my personal life . give your children some breathing space and let them live . they need secrets and a life to grow up in without you knowing every twist and turn - learn some trust and respect for your off spring!!!

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I have 8 kids and don't want to know everything going on in their lives. Maybe I'm naive but until I have to be suspicious, I'm gonna stay out of their lives. For everyones info, I did have a daughter run away and had her back before noon of the day she left, not because I had her passwords, but because a worried mom is better than any police detective. Give your kids space...they need it and need some secrets too.

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We all know our own children and we all need to do what is best for them. If giving your kids privacy and space works for your family, great. Me making a decision to let my daughter earn her privacy is my choice and it is working out well. She is realizing that choices she makes today definitely affect her future with or without me knowing. I will not be doing anything any different for my other 3 children either. They will earn my trust. A child is not capable of making all good choices and decisions on their own. They NEED guidance. I do not talk to my daugher about everything I see, but she is aware that I am watching and I think that is good. My kids are my priortiy and I am doing what I feel is best for them. I think parents need to do what works for them and not judge others for making the decisions they make. :)

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I just have to agree with Lynette. I think it is definitely a personal choice and is also based on the needs of that child. I have all of my 13, almost 14 year old sons passwords. He had been trustworthy so I hadn't really checked into his stuff, I just had the info. Then I found out, like someone else mentioned, that he was telling some little white lies, and now I watch him much more closely. I agree that privacy is earned, and as a 13 year old he doesn't have the ability to make the same decisions that we would. When I was younger, I was a bit of a wild child, and always felt that if my mom really cared about me, she would have checked more into what I was doing all the time. Whether my son gets mad at me for making him earn his privacy, at least he knows that I care. When he is a little older, like 16 or 17, I probably will not be as vigilant with his passwords and such unless he gives me reasons to be. It also has a lot to do with his age.

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I think you are kidding yourself. If kids could be trusted they wouldn't need p arents.

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Wow, Starli! Did someone pee in your Cheerios or were you trying to be funny?

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I agree to a point that teenagers should have privacy, but at the same time too much privacy can lead to very bad choices. I have my son's passwords to his email and Facebook (he's 13 going on 14) and I check his text messages every now and then. I also monitor who he is conversing with online while playing his PS3. I was a child who was pretty much left to do my own thing and had my parents had a better understanding of what was going on...I probably wouldn't have made some of the choices I made as a teenager. I let my son make his mistakes, but he also knows he can come to me about anything...chances are...I already know about it.

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Yes I was young once too...that is right! And my parents gave me privacy....sure did! So when I was 15 years old, I got to tell them they were going to be grandparents and that my grades were bad, and that I did drugs and drank! And they never would have known had I not told them. And you know...I even asked my mom for birth control..she said no and didnt want to know why!! I BLAME MY PARENTS along with myself!!!!! Had they snooped and followed me and paid attention....yeah they could have protected me! But thats ok, nothing has changed in 15 years. Girls are not more promiscuous, sexual activity and drug use dont start earlier...nope its all good! (shaking head)...sorry but my children will earn trust and learn to respect me...FIRST!!!!

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Debbie I could not agree with you more. I want to give you a big squishy internet hug :) :)

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Been there, done that. Today is 2014 and kids are less responsible and growing up more slowly. Girls especially need someone watching over them like it or not. I have had to redirect my 16 year old so many times due to this internet, face book, and unteen other apps that she has gotten in over her head in behind my back. It is a wonder she is still here and has not been abducted. She is now finally understanding what I was trying to do for her as she has some younger friends heading down the same paths I rescued her from. The difference is their parents have the same attitude as yo and many others. They need to make mistakes and learn or I was once young too. Well I was young and I had to learn from my mistakes but it is not about smoking a ciggarette or breaking curfew anymore. It is about saving your child and teens life so they have a future and not finding them, addicted to drugs, raped or dead on the road side through all of this technology.

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if you don't get on your children's business someone else will.

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My daughter is only 13 so she has very little privacy. I just don't "snoop" behind her back. I tell her that I am looking at her texts, I have her password for her email and her facebook. Like I have told her many times....when I feel she is being responsible and trustworthy, she will earn some privacy. I believe it is a priveledge and that trust is earned, not just expected. Unfortuantely she has given me some reasons not to trust her, mostly from lying.....little white lies mostly....but when it becomes too easy to lie with no consequences.....the lies and distrust just gets worse.

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I have 2 teens now :( 17 yo dd and 14 yo ds...I have emails and facebook passwords for both and every other week or so, go through their text messages...there is nothing wrong with this as we all talk openly and nothing is done behind their backs! If there was some sneaking around, it would be more often, but there has never been an issue! As far as going into their rooms, I do a general check once a week to make sure there is no huge amount of laundry/garbage etc, but I do not feel the need to really check into their lives at this point. I am not against it, we just don't have a need for that. We do have open conversations on a regular basis and that helps us to build the trust that has been gained! Hope this answers your question. Jenn

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Being a teen myself you people are fucking nuts having your kids passwords damn ur kids must hate you and just because they dont say bad shit about you over the internet or texting it dont mean they arent doing it so i guess almost all over you do not trust ur kids ay.

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I agree, I'm also a teen and my parents deliberately look away if I'm typing in a password next to them. They respect my privacy!

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Respect for Privacy lasts as long as trust is not broken

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A teen should be given as much privacy as the parent decides to give. Whether it be none, some or all. I personally check everything from rooms to online activity. It is not up to the teen, but the parent! Mine earn their privacy also. When they are 30, they will thank me!!

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Got new for ya. It doesn't matter if you have all the passwords and you watch everything they do at home. Secret accounts for any site can be made anywhere else they are. I can say I have my kid's passwords. I'd be a fool to say I have them all. If a teen wants to do something without mom and dad finding out, guess what? THEY WILL. My oldest just turned 18. Her sister is 2 years behind her. Whatever you think about your teens lives is WRONG. You think they're safely at their evening job? Think again. I've lost track of how many times we've been lied to. Think your kids are doing well in school? Don't just trust them. Talk to the teachers. You think you know their friends? Ya right. Those friends will protect your teens private lives and be every bit as willing to lie to you as your own teens. You may not be able to stop your teens from doing fantastically stupid stuff but you can make it difficult. Make sure you personally know the computer lab teacher at school and tell that teacher your concerns. Search rooms regularly. Secretly follow your teens at random times so you can see what trees and bushes they frequent to hide stuff in before they get home. Know the parents of their supposed friends and be in contact with them. Know what music they're listening to. This is a warning to you parents! We thought our then 14 year old was doing well. She seemed happy, well adjusted.... She came home sick one day from school. Stomach upset. She sat at my kitchen table, joking and laughing with us between bouts of puking. Then she got scared from all the puking and told us the truth. She had taken a huge handful of asprin to school with her in an attempt to kill herself! She spend the next several days in intensive care! She wasn't being bullied at school. She just hated herself that much and would not have us know what was actually going on in that head of hers!
It's been a battle and a half. Counselors didn't help. She told them what they wanted to hear and continued to be extremely secretive. We didn't start being so invasive in her life till that night. She's 18 now and graduating in may. College in August. Secretive? How about sneaking out after bedtime and not coming home till 3 AM? That was just last monday night! We wouldn't have known except the neighbor reported seeing headlights in the alley behind out house in the middle of the night. The 16 year old turned her in to us. As we told her, she may be 18 but she hasn't graduated yet, still has to live here, and still has to abide by the rules of this house INCLUDING not going out on school nights and TELLING us where she's going, who's she going with, and WHEN she's going to be back.
TRY to keep communication open with your kids. But keep it in the back of your minds that if they want to do something, THEY WILL.

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This must be terribly difficult on you. If I may ask, how many counselors did you try? Sometimes it can take awhile to find the right one. I have suffered with severe depression, panic disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder almost my whole life. (started with the panic disorder when I was in grade school and went down hill from there) But when I was your daughter's age, I didn't like the doctors or the therapists we tried, either. For one thing, what does an old man with ear hair know about a 17 year old girl? So, I told them what they wanted to here also. If she hates herself, is still being that secretive, having no fear of consequences, etc. she is still at risk for self harming or suicidal behavior and/or she has little to no fear of dying. Some things to look out for are, cutting/burning one's self, drug or alcohol use/bingeing, (I'm sorry to be so crude!) engaging in unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners (trying to find a feeling of love and acceptance), sleeping all day, change in her eating habits. I am strongly urging you to be vigiliant, stay involved even if it pisses her off, talk to her friends, talk to her teachers, don't give up on finding the right therapist and/or doctor. If she won't go, you go. Learn how to cope with this and how to best encourage her to get help. The 2nd attempt is easier than the first, believe me and it keeps getting easier until you get it right or until you get help. I'm sorry, I could go on forever and for all I know you've heard and done all this before. It's just when I hear a story like this, my heart aches and my body jumps into "rescue" mode (for lack of a better phrase) because I just never want another person to suffer as I have/do and if even one thing I say makes the tiniest difference, it doesn't seem like it's all for nothing. I wish you all well and hope your daughter opens up soon. Try to be patient and be prepared when she does start to talk, it could get ugly, either way, it will definitely hurt you, as her parents, to learn whatever it is that has been making her feel this way and "if you had only known," you could've done something about it. If/When that happens, do your best to let it go as quickly as possible. It won't do any good to go over the "what if's" and the "if only's", it is what it is and it can't be changed. So, now you focus on what you can change/what you can do to help your daughter. That was one of the hardest things for my mom to do when I finally let her in and I still struggle with letting things go myself. Ok, I'm really done this time. Take care and God Bless.

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It was very difficult. But now there is absolutely nothing we can do. About a month after she turned 18, she left. We didn't know it when I last posted but that night she was out till 3am, she was actually out alone on a back country road with a 34 year old married man who is well known for his exploits. We had tried counselors and therapists. Several. They don't do any good if the kid doesn't want help. I found her online blog. Ya. How painful is it to read that she was just waiting for everything to calm down and for us to stop watching her so close so she could give killing herself another shot. I look back and carefully examine my actions as I was raising her. And I have found absolutely nothing wrong. I was always available anytime she wanted to talk. I always gave her the truth no matter how painful the truth was. She'd been lied to enough by her bio-mother (who is a complete drug addicted prostitute). When she tried to kill herself, it was my butt in that chair next to her in ICU all weekend long. She will never open up to us. It wasn't long after she left that she ended up moving in with her boyfriend who is 11 years older than her and a single father of two kids. Only NOW does she shower, brush her teeth, take care of herself at all ONLY because her boyfriend likes a clean woman. She left here because we were disconnecting the net from her cherished computer. We were sick of her munching groceries, going without personal hygeine for weeks at a time. doing NOTHING around the house, calling in sic to work half the time (she was only scheduled for one evening a week!) treating everyone else in the house like crap for the tiniest thing (Hey, your teeth are solid orange. Is it time to brush them?)... She left rather than do the most basic of things. She made it clear she rejects us and everything we taught her as right. I've cried myself sick many times since she left. This is NOT the little girl I raised. This is NOT who I taught her to be. As painful as this whole thing has been, life is better here now. The 16 year old openly tells me she loves me. She doesn't have her sister secretly bullying her behind my back anymore. The lies, manipulation, and misery have left this house. We joke, have fun, and get things done that need to be done, and in general, enjoy eachother as a family should. I told the 18 year old the truth when she came back for the rest of her things (EXCEPT her damn computer. THAT she can have back the day she is safely installed at college which we went through hell to set up for her!). We love her. We miss her. But until she accepts responsibility for her actions and lack of actions, till she is ready to live honestly and true, we won't have her misery in this house anymore. I see her occasionally when I go in to town. I end up shaking so hard I almost throw up. And once I get back to my car, I cry and scream till I can't hardly breath. I miss my daughter. I still have two more kids that need me though even if this one rejects. Pray for her. She needs all the help she can get.

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there is no privacy. if they have to hide it from you, there is something going on. privacy is an illusion

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I gave my girls privacy and did not snoop in their room s or computer accounts as long as I felt they where trustworthy and following the rules expected of them. If I I suspected otherwise, all privacy privlileges were off the table. I respected their privacy as much as they respected our expectations of them. With teens and all the things they are timpted with it can be a matter of life or death. Would they get angry? Yes. But part of parenting if need be.

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My daughter is 15 and I have her passwords to everything. I periodically check her emails to make sure there isn't anything from anyone that there shouldn't be. I also installed software on her laptop that emails me updates letting me know what websites she's been to and any keystrokes she's made. It picks up key words and send that to me as well. Best thing I've ever invested in and was recommended to me by a local detective at our police department. At one point, my random "spot checks" on her text messages revealed texts from a boy that I didn't know. When I questioned her about it, she advised that it was a boy that she had met online and lived several states away so she wasn't "worried". In reading those texts, he was talking about meeting up with her. This caused much alarm and I then brought it to the police. They launched an investigation, and after a month or so, advised me that they did confirm that it was a boy that lived several states away and was the age/name that he had stated he was. HOWEVER, if the same circumstances were to arise again, I would do the same thing. There are too many children abducted "through" the internet, and until my "child/teen" is capable of making fully informed and intelligent decisions for herself (and until she's not a so niave teenager), then I have a right to protect her. And unfortunately, in order to protect her nowadays, I have to invade her privacy to a certain extent.

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I would be interested in the software you mentioned. Can you let me know the name of it?

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While you definitely have cause not to trust her, I don't think you're going about it right. Better to take her offline completely and cancel her phone - she can still have privacy, but she can't meet up with strangers.

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I think that it depends on the age of your child (sometimes the difference between 13yrs old and 16y is a huge difference in what they need and you, as the parent, feel they need.) Also no one answer is right for all children of the same age. Some children grow up faster, while others tend to love being a child longer. How comfortable do you feel that your child is open and honest? Do you feel that they are a little sneaky? Don't let anyone talk you into snooping when you don't feel it's necessary but also don't let anyone talk you out of checking up on your child if you feel you have a good reason. We have our gut instincts for a reason, listen to it!! Our kids are in a learning stage and they do need us to look out for them, that's our job but the other part to that job is to give them wings and let them fly. As a parent we just have to balance what our kids need as best as possible. Refuse to feel guilty if you have to check up on your child as long as your not doing it to be nosey or just to do it. With my 16 yr old, I let him know that he has to turn over all passwords (we keep them in his safe that I have the combo to) and I have the info should I need it and that if there is a reason I will use them. As long as he is honest in his answers and open I have no need to use them unless my gut instinct flares or there is some reason. I find that he is alot more open with me with what's going on in his life than what I ask and he has even tattled on himself when he has gotten into some trouble, instead of going it alone. Find what works for you. Don't be concerned with being a friend to your child instead be their rock and let them know they can trust you to make the right decision whether you or they like whatever the decision is. Good luck! Parenting is hard but you'll be great!

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I agree with you totally. Our family trusts each other and respects each other's privacy. But there are circumstances when you might need to find out something. We also have our children's passwords, but we trust each other not to use them unless necessary. I was raised to respect other's privacy, my husband was raised by someone who snooped thru everything. He got into a lot of trouble as a teen, but he also learned to be very sneaky. So we think that it is better to have a good relationship instead of a confrontational one. We think of our family as a team which is so much nicer than "us against them".

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Personally I think your overprotective if you go through anything of your child's you are worried about the truth and if they don't find something out through the internet they'll find it out another way and they won't trust you .

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Hi I’m new I have a question... would I be ok to take ur child’s door for a single bad grade and it’s a D

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My thoughts are Respect for Privacy only lasts as long as Trust is not broken. Once my 16 year old son broke my trust in him by sneaking out in the middle of the night, driving his car after his Level 2 Driver's license curfew, I don't think he deserves privacy. The worst thing is the sneaky way he did it...I am shattered and don't know how to not take it personally. It's good to see I am not alone.

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Honestly... I am a 15yo girl. my parents in January had allowed me to have snapchat. it is mainly my dad who is very strict on me. if it werent for him, I would have had snapchat a long time ago. Maybe he doesnt trust me.. maybe he just thinks I am the type of person to do bad things, but I cant take it anymore. I believe it was May when he took my phone and did a full search on it, for what? I dont know. but obviously the way I talk to friends and things he didnt like. he took my phone for almost a month. Right before he gave it back, he did another search. he gave my phone back with restrictions. he deleted my snapchat. my phone does not have an app store (so I couldnt download any apps without asking my parents). he deleted all my games. and he invaded my privacy to an extent of where I had a breakdown. he says that the phone is to be used as a tool. not for my entertainment. He is now saying that he will call the carrier and get a time list of all the texts I sent out..and compare it with the texts on my phone to see if I deleted texts. I feel as if I am suffocating with this type of a helicopter parent. I feel like I am a good girl. I am in high school and am taking the most difficult classes I can while also getting 4.0 GPA. I just feel that a little freedom to talk to my friends should be allowed and to not restrict me this much because I am not a little kid, you would think I would have a little privacy if any. He always tells me " I want you to tell me EVERYTHING" and if I dont tell him the smallest things, he gets so mad and yells. he wants to know is happening every single second of my life. but frankly, all this just makes me more eager to go to college and get AMAZING grades so that I can get THE HELL out of his life and be on my own. I honestly want to leave as soon as possible, but I dont think its normal to feel this way. he treats me like a baby and is always on me. he expects me to tell him my feelings, but when I do, he shoots me down all the time

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Okay honestly, I'm a teenager and I only made this account because 90% of these posts made me cringe. All these people going "ah yes i have all my kids passwords to everything XDDD" is some seriously weird stuff. Maybe I'm just spoiled, I don't know. I have social anxiety, and honestly the internet is the only place I can actually talk to people without completely breaking down due to the anonimity the internet provides. I have made great friends on here that I wouldn't have met if my parents were anything like some of the people on this thread. My anxiety already restricts me on real life, and if I had that kind of restriction on here too then I would probably feel more isolated and helpless than I already do.

Yes, I have had creepy people ask me for my name and such. Yes, I have had people try to link me to unfamiliar websites. But I could handle it, because my parents taught me to look out for all that stuff beforehand.

I do believe there should be some restriction, (i.e "never give out ANY PERSONAL INFO AT ALL" and "never agree to meet up with someone online, EVER) but not to the extent that some people are going to in this thread.

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totally agree, i am 15 and only mad this account to to tell parent how the kids feel. i feel like im suffocating with the amount of restriction my dad puts on me

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The more you helicopter parent your kids, the further away they will fly when they are free. Let them make mistakes, but teach them common sense.

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You ignoramuses! If your kids want to do something without you knowing, they will. Keeping an eye on them will make them want to do this. If you weren't just a snoop all the time, and if you didn't keep checking their emails, they wouldn't be secretive. You don't share your emails with them, so why should they? And I don't want to hear "they're young, they don't have as much of a brain". Well, they do. You give them less credit than they deserve.

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None.

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The ideal is to not need to snoop. It's best to recognize that it's normal for teens to need space and privacy, and that if you really want to know what's going on in their lives you should treat them in a respectful way so they will want to talk you. You should treat their friends in a respectful, non-judgemental way and get to know their friends. My feeling is that any relationship is in a bad place when either party feels the need to spy or snoop on the other. Moreover, parents should understand that it is normal for teens to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. You should not be aiming to buffer your teen from ups and downs of life. The older a child is the more detrimental the effects of helicopter parenting.

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I let my grandaughter have private time in her room alone if she needs it. However we
make sure she interacts with us the same amount. Her private time usually consists of homework or talking to boyfriend, she does not have a facebook account, she is good kid.Outside of the home I have to know were she is and with who, as privacy cannot be
before safety.

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I have 5 kids...kindergarten to high school. Our job as parents is to protect our kids...this is more important than any right to privacy.

Parents spend an incredible amount of resources parenting in the “real” world. Thousands and thousands of dollars protecting their kids and thousands and thousands of hours making sure that they are safe and making good choices and basically growing up to the wonderful young adults we all hope our children become. So why is it that some parents are so against protecting and monitoring what their kids do online?

Let’s face it. Parenting has NOT kept up with technology. Hmmm….now that I think of it, parents have never really known as much as they thought they did about what their kids were doing. Remember the 80’s? BUT we have to realize that a whole other world now exists, the online world, where the kids are that much more removed from us…and what we think we know.

Most parents wouldn’t dream of letting their kids go hang out at a party with much older kids. Why? Because they wouldn’t want their kids getting exposed to things they just are not ready for yet. Once your kid’s innocence is lost…you just cannot get it back. But then how come some of these same parents don’t think twice about letting their 12 year old girl set up a Facebook account or video chat in her bedroom with the door shut? Or don’t seem too concerned about letting their kids roam free all over the Internet unsupervised?

Wake up! Hope is not a strategy! Parents need to protect their kids with the same kind of passion and enthusiasm that they do in the real world. The reality is the online world IS the real world for kids now. The line is completely blurred.

Check out www.parentingtodayskids.com for great information about parenting at the intersection of kids and technology!

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I would suggest that your job is not to protect your kids. It is to teach your kids to care for and protect themselves. In the real world and on the internet. Invest when they are young so they are ready to be self asserted teens (teens you don't feel the need to stalk and spy on). The Internet is just a tool. Kids can use it positively or negatively, but like any tool it allows the user to be more efficient at what they do - good or bad. There have always been teens who wanted to hang out with older kids or who were sexually curious at an early age. There have always been teens who wanted a social place to be free from their parents. The internet is a new venue for a lot of stuff that's been going on for generations. And unfortunately, it's a more far reaching venue.... so mistakes can go farther and haunt you for a lot longer. Invest in building a strong relationship with you kids. Be a positive resource for your child, not an Internet sensor. There is lots of good information available for parents of teens pertaining to social media, but recognize that have your child's passwords and monitoring their social media use is not the key to raising a your teen into a confident, socially strong, emotionally sound, successful adult. Most parents wouldn’t dream of letting their kids go hang out at a party with much older kids. Why? Because they wouldn’t want their kids getting exposed to things they just are not ready for yet. Once your kid’s innocence is lost…you just cannot get it back. But then how come some of these same parents don’t think twice about letting their 12 year old girl set up a Facebook account or video chat in her bedroom with the door shut? Or don’t seem too concerned about letting their kids roam free all over the Internet unsupervised? Wake up! Hope is not a strategy! Parents need to protect their kids with the same kind of passion and enthusiasm that they do in the real world. The reality is the online world IS the real world for kids now. The line is completely blurred. Check out www.parentingtodayskids.com for great information about parenting at the intersection of kids and technology!

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I agree that nothing can take the place of building a strong relationship with your child. Putting that time into the relationship to build trust with your child as well as being a positive role model are also essential. Monitoring software is just a tool that parents should consider when they want to give their children a safety net online. Personally, it provides me with information that provides another level of safety and assurance, sorta like insurance. Getting to know and understand who my kids are hanging out with online is just one of the things I do as part of really getting to know them.

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i have a 14 yr old sister. and she doesnt really act like a 14yr old. and it buggs me.because she comes home late at night like 4am.. by the time shes back home. my parents are sleeping and im getting home from work. what should i do to stop this behavior or what should i have my parents do?

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i have a 14 year old son and is starting to detach himself from me. having been a single mother for 13 yrs and a wife for a year, we were (and still is) very close. however, i noticed that he doesn't share much of his thoughts and observations this past few months. luckily, i work in the school where he is going now (i really planned it to be) and somehow i know things through his teachers (which are also my friends). i know that it would seem like i am going behind his back, but i don't always confront him if what i have heard from other people is not that serious. things like having been bullied im sure to meddle, but if it would be about crushes or petty fights between him and his peers, i let him handle it and self-soothe (so to speak)...last night while having dinner i have noticed he couldn't eat well.he's been at that state since coming home from school though i only though he was just tired. i was surprised to see him leave the dining table and go to the living and cried like a baby. i probed on him to tell me what bothers him but he only said "i don't wanna talk about it"...as a mother,my heart is breaking for him and i long to help him but i was also thinking that maybe it was a good indication that he could handle things on his own and i should step back more often now.it was his first time to tell me those words but i know that saying those words would mean that he could now be in charge and that he is matured too.

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4 11

That is a hard question to answer as everyone faces a different situation with each child. My own parents always wanted to know who, what, when, where and why. I never had a problem with that, although my older sister did. Of course, that was because she was sneaking out at night, etc. With my own children, I always ask those same questions. When they were younger I had parental controls on their tv and internet access. I never let them go to a friends house if I knew the parents weren't home or if I had not met the parents. Their "privacy" extended to the bathroom and their bedroom only. We didn't check our son's phone since he was 18 when he got it but we kept a tight watch on our daughters. Her phone also had a lock on it so that she could only call or receive calls from certain people. Nor could she text. She got her phone at a much earlier age but that was because our son was no longer at home and my hubby and I wanted to make sure she always had a way to reach us (and we could reach her), no matter what. If we discovered something that seemed suspicious, we immediately asked about it. We didn't go snooping. As she got older we allowed her more freedom with her phone, internet, etc. Until a few months ago, I didn't even let my 17 year old daughter go to the mall and "hang out" Were we overly strict with our children in using these guidelines? Possibly, by some standards. But I see no reason why I should not know who, what, when, where and why. This has worked for us. It may not work for someone else. I just feel that with all the bullying (internet, texting, school, etc), all the reports of pedophiles using the internet to hook up with kids, parents have to be vigilant.

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1 0

I have a 15 year old and 13 year old. The 14 year old has no facebook. I have passwords to their email and the 15 year olds FB. I do read their texts and have bloecked people who I thought were inappropriate. I'd rather they hate me than wind up with the wrong people or run away with some old pedophile. They have some friends whose parents have passwords and some who dont. It was well understood before they got phones, emails or FB that this would be the conditions under which they could have those priviledges. Thats what they are priveldges, not rights. I say keep their passwords and check up on them. Look thru their room. Tell them that they need to learn to trust you, their parent, to know whats best for them until they are of legal age to take care of themselves. Parents, we've been there, we were teens once. We know what its like, we know what they will go thru. Our life experience should count in their lives.

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1 0

*!3 year old has no facebook...

2 20

I don't have teenagers yet. My oldest is 12 years old and so far, she has not shown any interest in "keeping secrets". I thank God for that. My three know that if I see any suspicious actions, they will have privileges taken away. Very important, follow through with your intentions. If you say there will be consequences then, by all means, follow through. It's NEVER too early to start righteous discipline, but there is a time that it can be very difficult to instill new ideas in older children. Don't let the reigns loosen, too soon. It will be hard to take them back in...

I am not going to say that I will NEVER have the situation arise, we live in a fallen world and unfortunately, temptation is in their face constantly. All I can do is pray that the fear of the Lord has been impressed in them so much that they think long and hard before taking steps they will regret in the future.

I am a homeschooling mom, and though they are not in a traditional school, they still live in this world and they have been taught not to conform to this world; (Romans 12: 2). In the end, the choice is theirs to decide and know what is right and wrong. As long as they live in my home, they will abide by my rules or there will be consequences...

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14 20

I have a 14yr old son, and I have just recently given him permission for Facebook. He also just got his email back after secretly making a Facebook page. His rules for having them both was that the passwords never get changed and he is only allowed on them on hid dads computer or mine. I still think he is to young for a cell phone and if I get him one, it will not have text messaging on it.

I know it sounds harsh, but I was raised that my mum needed to know where I was and what I was doing all the time, and I raise my kids the same way. I had one scare with him when he was 8yrs old and not coming home from school right away. We had the cops searching for him for 3 hrs. He finally came home in different clothes and found out he was at a friends house. After that I pretty much took his privacy away. When he is 18 and out on his own he will thank me for how hard I was on him. He wants to be a Lawyer in Jag, so I do get tough!

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7 17

It definitely depends on the teenager in question. First, parents have the right to ensure the safety of their children, even if that child feels as if he is all grown up now. Keeping passwords in a safe place, but not abusing the privilege of having them is a must. If you want your children to come to you and trust you then you have to also make sure that you keep your word as well. If you plan on using those passwords then tell them. If you are just keeping them safe in case something happens - explain that as well. A child that is making good grades, communicates well with you, and has been following the rules of the house have earned more privacy. A teenager that has been slipping in grades, hides in their room most of the time, and displays a lack of interest in family or friends may need a little more invasion of privacy just to make sure that you understand that there are no serious problems. A teenager that has bad grades, skips school, has had trouble with authority, and refuses to cooperate has lost all rights to privacy and must work to earn his rights back. The bottom line is that as a parent our job is to help, teach, and keep our children safe. Some children take a little more effort than others, but regardless on the behavior of the teenager, communication is a must. Even if they seem unwilling to communicate they need to know that those channels are always open.

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20 39

I monitor what my son does on the computer by putting blocks on some websites, but allowing others. He does have a Facebook page, but I monitor it too! So does the rest of the family. So far I have not seen anything inappropriate so over time I have learned to trust him, but that doesn't mean I let my guard down completely. He is only 12 and going on 13 so he still very young and learning about life and the evils that lye around us! I try not to over react because I don't want my son to be scared to live, but rather live the way Jesus would teach us and that the internet doesn't have to be an evil place is we just stay safe and do what our parents ask of us. I think it's important as parents to be monitors, but that we don't hover over our children all the time because then they never learn to grow!

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23 30

Well I have had my share of that situation. 3 of them went pretty good so being me I let the slake go alittle with my then 17 yr old. If I would not have changed try to be a cool mom or just for her to like me alittle more I would of know the horrile person she got involved with.His mother was a State worker and told her she could run away at 16 and there was nothing I could do.She told me a school counsilor told her that so I went after the wrong ppl.Well there was nothing I could do. There was a all state alert for her just so we would know she was ok.3 wks I didn't know where she was,didn't know if she was safe..It got out of hand she was on probation and that dumb ass told her she needed to go in for a pee test so she flipped on me and for 3 days she cleaned her system out.She passed and threw it in my face. I begged for help and no one would listen to me,
I know where my daughter is now she is resting in ST,Mary;s Cemetary,She died 28 days before her 18th birthday....
You ppl protect you children and you do a check on the ppl they are seeing.

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13 43

I'm so sorry for your loss.

1,355 3

Oh my goodness, that's awful, no parent should ever have to bury their own child. I can't imagine the pain you must have gone/are going through. I will pray for peace and comforting for you. I am so sorry for your family's loss.

215 8

Oh Lisa, God be with you. The trouble I go through with my oldest is trying to prevent this kind of thing from happening. A girl I used to babysit, my best friend's niece went down that path. And now she's gone. And the gang member ex boyfriend that did it walks free. It is very important to stay involved in your kids as much as possible no matter how they shove you away.

23 30

Thank you ladies.

23 0

Why do people in families need privacy when each member is looking out for each other? They have no privacy. Young children, the elderly and ill people should be watched like a hawk, observed, and attention to in any area of concern by any means, nonharmful, with intent to do good by them. Yes, all teenagers, I would look through bedroom drawers. Any concerning change of behaviour, I'd contact a Dr before a real stroke hits.

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