Should You Be Monitoring Your Kid’s Texts & Social Media?

Should You Be Monitoring Your Kid’s Texts & Social Media?

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Around 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds are carrying a cell phone and most of these are smartphones.  These kids are spending an average of 6 to 9 hours on various devices. Many of these kids are using their phones for texting, social media accounts, and much more.

 

 

 

 

Your child may be using a variety of ways to chat with other people:  Kik, Skype, Snapchat, video game consoles, and of course texting and email.  On top of this, kids are getting smarter and there are various apps, Ghost or Conceal,  they can use to conceal pictures and texting.  These apps look like calculators or clocks. With all this chatting going on, how is a parent to know what is going on in their child’s life?

Sure, we can talk to them, but if your child is like mine the talk happens when they want it to. You can always check their devices, but what if they delete things or have hidden apps? Using a cell phone tracker can help you spot problems like smart phone addiction, sexting, and cyber bullying.  The experts behind these apps recommend telling your child you will be monitoring their phone and talking with them about responsible use.

Here is how TeenSafe, a cell phone tracker works. When your child’s device is connected you will see the GPS location of the phone and the latest calls and messages on the home page.  However, you need your child’s Apple ID and password for an iPhone and Google Play information for Android. Setting it up for an iPhone is fairly simple, but it is a bit more complex for Android.

You can track them and see all their interactions. You can also follow them on social media. You can take their phone and look through it, because more than likely you are paying for it and you are the parent.  One of the perks this program touts is the ability to delete your child’s text messages. Is that really the relationship you want with your child? Deleting text messages your child has received without them knowing can border on manipulation and intrusion.

The bottom line is this, yes, legally you can monitor your child’s phone if they are under 18-years-old. You can see and manipulate their online presence. However, they don’t learn anything unless you are talking with them about their online activity.  This program should be used as a tool and a way to connect with your child. If it isn’t about teaching them responsibility then what will they learn for their future, when you can’t monitor all their online activity?

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