Today’s topic is one your kids probably will not like, mine don’t. In fact, some of us may disagree as parents, but my experience suggests, great parents choose protection over privacy. And here’s what I mean.
To know what we were thinking when we were kids, our parents simply had to read our diaries and the primary threat to many of us was the walk home from school. But consider this list of private communication mediums this generation is commonly using. It’s not just email, text, Facebook, Twitter and a web browser anymore. Apps like Snapchat, Kik and Photo Secret Calculator are responsible for national stories surrounding sexting, teen suicide and child abductions. The prospect of managing our children’s presence in the virtual world can be daunting. After all, there are new apps every day, and our kids know more about all of them than we do. But parents who are successfully navigating these waters have several things in common.
First, they’re open with their kids about monitoring their devices and their accounts. This is couched in terms of love and protection, even if our kids don’t agree with it.
Second, they require passwords from their kids.
And third, they randomly check various apps and devices. Now they don’t daily check 18 different websites and devices. They simply use discernment and check on things on a regular basis. If you’re not already doing these things, there’s no better time to start. Sure you may experience some initial blow back, but that pales in comparison to what’s at stake when unawareness rules the day.
You might be surprised to find your child is relieved to know you’re watching. After all, it gives them an easy way out of peer pressure and according to one survey, 75% say they are secretly hoping their parents will play the role of the bad guy.