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Home » Family » Why I will keep checking my kids phones!

Why I will keep checking my kids phones!

Both of the older children now have their own phones. Cameron has had one for a while now and Kiara got mine when I did my upgrade recently.

Kiara is still at the games stage and has three of her school friends on Whatsapp but Cameron has a lot of group whatsapps going, he is active on Facebook and Instagram – so basically he already has an online footprint!

A few weeks ago his phone was at home and I checked through his messages and checked his friends Instagram profiles. I regularly check his emails, both their Facebook privacy settings as well as randomly google their names to see what comes up.

When I tell people I checked his phone I am met with mixed reactions – some agree while others feel like I am invading his privacy. Maybe I am but until he is 18 and is able to adequately understand the consequences of his actions, I will keep invading his privacy!

He is thirteen years old! He may be a mature 13 year old, he may make smart choices a lot of the time but he is still only thirteen years old! He doesn’t have the life experience, the emotional maturity or the street smarts yet to fully understand what it means to be online. He has shared meme’s because he has found them funny on a 13 year old level but hasn’t seen the real meaning behind them. The same applies to Kiara. She is ridiculously naive about the workings of the world. I have to constantly remind her not to engage with people she doesn’t know. I am more vigilant about checking her messages because of this.

They are my responsibility. Until they are legally adults, all of my children are still my responsibility. I also have to deal with the consequences of what they share online. If they are sharing inappropriate content or liking inappropriate or concerning pages – it is my responsibility to be on top of that and deal with it appropriately. I can not distance myself from my children but I can allow them to form their own opinions and interests as long as they do so respectfully.

I can’t parent with blinkers on. I think the biggest mistake parents can make is to parent with blinkers on. You can’t give your child a phone, unlimited access to the world wide web and then walk away. It doesn’t matter how “good” your child is, you simple can not afford to do that in today’s world. I do not ever want to be the parent who stands over their hurt child saying “I had no clue they were being bullied or were depressed or were starving themselves.”  Children share with their friends more openly than they do with their parents, you have to be on top of what is going on.

I don’t check everything they do everyday and I don’t read in depth the conversations they have but I do check. I make sure I know what the apps do that they download. I make sure the content they are sharing is appropriate.

I will not apologise for it, I will not stop doing it. There is a big scary world out there made scarier by the internet and smart phones, I can’t stop my children from being a part of that, I don’t want to but while they are my responsibility I will make sure I keep as much control as I can.

It is something I feel very strongly about. If you have a child with a smart phone you need be on top of what they are doing, the message they are sending to the world. I strongly believe you are doing your child a disservice if you don’t.

 

 

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14 Comments

  1. 21 September, 2015 / 11:01 am

    Totally agree. My dad is a total techy and when we first got Internet when I was at high school he had it linked to TV and we knew that he could click a button and see everything we were up to and I think it was a brilliant plan 😉
    ella recently posted…kidnapped toys, bad guys and monkeys in the looMy Profile

  2. 21 September, 2015 / 11:17 am

    A knew the moment she got her phone that the basis is that I will check it. I totally agree with you.
    cat@jugglingact recently posted…Books and more booksMy Profile

  3. 21 September, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    I AGREE 100%. I’m one of ‘those’ moms too. My kids, my responsibility. Like you, I don’t check every last detail of their chats but I do make it my business to check every app and content they share. We have a no password rule. I call it assertive parenting.

  4. 21 September, 2015 / 3:18 pm

    J and I are already talking about this. There is no escaping technology, and the sooner we know where we stand on it the better we’ll be at providing the guidelines K will need. I’m so with your plan of checking, especially because kids seem to get phones younger and younger.
    Cassey recently posted…Five for Friday: Keiden EditionMy Profile

  5. 21 September, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    As the mom of a 13 year old, I totally agree with you!!!! Thank you for this post xxx

  6. 21 September, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    Yup. Megan and Michael both have phones now. Michael still has NO clue about WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter or even email and sms – he watches YouTube videos and plays games. But Megan is on WhatsApp (she only has about 6 contacts, 4 of whom are household family members ;-P ) and she’s exploring other social media… I am All. Over. That. Shit!!
    MeeA recently posted…(I’m) A Little Bit of EverythingMy Profile

  7. 21 September, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    agreed. Cal knows I will
    Check it and if he gets messages from unknown numbers he brings it to me immediately

    • Laura-Kim
      Author
      22 September, 2015 / 9:35 am

      Ja the unknown numbers and random whatsapps from strangers freak me out the most!

  8. 21 September, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Agree wholeheartedly and I believe I will be the same when my kids get to phone bearing age…

    PS – what IS phone bearing age these days? I was thinking 13 but clearly that’s too “old”?
    Sam recently posted…Mommy Time Out….My Profile

    • Laura-Kim
      Author
      22 September, 2015 / 9:34 am

      Sam – I have based ours on “need” – Cam got one last year because of his unpredictable schedule – soccer matches end at different times etc. He was behind the curve though.

  9. 21 September, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    my inner teen screamed “Oh no you didn’t!!” – but you know what? I would do the same thing. The world has changed and our kids are too innocent to even comprehend the dangers out there. Luckily I still have a little while to go, but it is a scary thought to have them be so vulnerable and accessable at such a young age

    • Laura-Kim
      Author
      22 September, 2015 / 9:33 am

      Maz – it took me a while to actually do it but you really can’t just trust that they will always make the right choices -they are still learning how to do that!

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