Technology has been a bonus for parents, you can now keep in touch with your kids via call or text when they’re out of reach; see their summer camp photos online to see if they’re having a good time, and countless other things. While their phone facilitate communication between you both, it also exposes your teens to sempiternal content and some of which may be misleading.
Let’s assume you were friends with your teens on Facebook, but one day you’re unfriended. Why, because they felt you had been checking their profile a lot. They might even change their handle on Twitter when they don’t want you reading their tweets. They even leave the room if a friend calls in and may not talk to them in front of you especially with their close friends. This is concerning for parents because they are blind to their teens’ activities. Like many parents, you may want to know what your teen does online. But how do you do that? Do you check their phones behind their backs? Is it caring or intrusion? When do you cross the line from ensuring their safety and being nosy?
The little device, they hold so tight, can land them into trouble they can’t even imagine. Think of all the possibilities; cyber bullying, inappropriate content, online dating, sexual predators, harassment, sexting etc. The list is interminable! But what is a parent to do? Spying? Oh wait!
Spying on teens
Go back in time: you’re a young teen, you have a lot changing in your life, you write all about it in your diary; it’s a gateway to your heart and one day you find your parents reading it behind your back. How bad would you feel? Probably you’d be really hurt by this. The same is with your teens!
The majority of parents, who do spy on their teens, tend to feel guilty about it. Moreover, when your teen finds out that you were spying on them, they would feel infuriated, hurt and privacy breached. If they get to feel a lack of trust from your side, consider your bond is jeopardized. Believe it.
More parents agree to ‘monitor with child’s consent’ instead of ‘spying’. They feel it’s a complete right thing to do when children spending much of their free time on their gadgets. According to a poll, almost 43% of parents monitor their teen’s activity with their concent. Like these tech-savvy parents you can use parental monitoring apps, to keep an eye on your teen’s activities both online and offline. These apps let you:
- Track your teen’s location.
- View their web-browser history and bookmarks.
- View the complete list of apps installed on their phone.
- Block any app you find inappropriate.
- View their call logs and contacts.
- Remotely lock their phone to reduce screen time.
Why be the bad guy when you can be a cool parent?
Give your teens the confidence that you trust them, and monitoring is for their own safety. This will not only foster the bond between you two, but your teen will also act responsibly with the knowledge that you are aware of their activities. Give up the old-school ways and shift to digital parenting. Keep in mind monitoring and communicating go hand in hand. Be open to your teen about everything. It’s better that they see you as a friend before a parent.
What is your take on this? Which is better, monitoring or spying? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.