Friday, July 10, 2009

An Informal Poll - snooping

What's your position on keeping tabs on your teens?

Check their texts/journal/games/whatever-else-there-is on occasion?

Or just stay out of it entirely?

Is there a middle ground I should know about? We are just dipping our feet in the pool of teens & technology, and I'm a little bit reeling from the temperature of the water.


Kristina P. said...

Here's what I would advise if you were a parent and came into our center.

I would definitely establish some ground rules. I would state up front that you have the right to check up on them at anytime, if you are the one paying for the cell phone, Internet, etc.

However, I would tell them that you will only do so if they give you a reason not to trust them. I would not just check up on them without cause. Give them some rope.

Just my two cents!

Nancy Face said...

Hey, I'm no expert, but I'm ALL ABOUT the snooping! It's just not very easy when the teenagers are so much more skilled at technology than the parents are! ;)

I also ask lots of questions...lots and LOTS of questions! Annoying? Oh, yes! But my teenagers never had to wonder whether or not their mama was interested in their life!

This has been helpful: let them host their friends at your house and supply yummy food! It helps immensely when you know your teenagers' friends, and when they're at your house eating up your food, you don't have to wonder if they're safe or what they're up to! ;)

Roblynn and Rebekah said...

I would have to agree with the advice of "good luck". My kids are so much smarter about hiding and erasing and I have found I will not find answers they don't want found techy wise. The real key is the asking questions and talking, talking, talking! Whatever time, wherever. My boys always liked it when I took them to Village Inn for pie and a chat. In fact they would make up things they had to talk about! The girls like to cook, sweets preferably and that is a good chance to talk. The key is trying to be cool and not mess up anything up when they tell you something shocking while you are cooking :)

Anonymous said...

Just plan scary the thought of teens. Take good notes so that when I get there you can help me. Loves Kel

Emma J said...

Talking is best - what they all said above - I like it that the girls come in and debrief, pour out all the doings of the day when they've been away. Of course, I imagined we'd go on little walks together or have regular outings where they'd share their secrets - instead it happens usually while I'm driving them home or to the next activity or when we're doing dishes together, or they pull up a chair and talk to me while I'm trying to work at something else. I try to stop and listen to keep the channels open.

But I also keep a tab on email and messaging and texting - the computer is in a public part of the house, I'll casually read over their shoulder sometimes, and they know I have access, that I check up on them on Facebook, etc. Not rabidly, but from time to time. And not out of suspicion but just (as we tell them) to keep up on what's going on with them.

I did at one point read one daughter's journal - without her knowledge - which was helpful for that particular situation. I don't as a rule, but I wouldn't rule it out

We also have set curfews - for being home and for talking, texting, emailing, etc. - no good conversations are going to occur after 9 pm. And any friend who really needs help, will be helped best by advice that's been slept on and given fresh in the morning. We've had to suspend telecom privileges for a week here and there to enforce this. But our girls (and their friends) have come to repect the curfew.

The girls often have their friends over here. We often end up picking up friends from school, etc. and giving them a ride home because we want to be the setting of a good chunk of their activities.

Tebbs Family said...

We have what John calls "full disclosure" where we can ask to look at their texts whenever we want (but rarely do unless we feel there's a reason at a particular time that we need to). When H. got an inappropriate text a year ago and said the guy wouldn't stop bothering her, John texted him back on H's phone and said "this is H's dad and I don't ever want you to text my daughter again" and he stopped. Like everyone else is saying... stay close communication-wise and you should be fine. Good luck!!!

andrea said...

IF your teens will talk, then yeah....but some of them don't. We have one of those. So yes, we snoop. Glad we do too.
Especially since some wacko manipulative kid started texting her last year and sending her pictures of his "cutting" marks, and trying to talk her into doing it. It was way beyond her scope of experience to be able to handle it, and she didn't want to hurt his feelings and garbage. My hubby had absolutely no problem with blocking that kids number from her phone ASAP. Another thing we have done is set restrictions on her phone, so she can't call or text between certain hours. In hindsight, we never would've gotten her a cell phone at 14 like we kids will have access to a cell phone, but not carry it exclusively. It's too much, and there are too many things that can happen now behind parents backs but literally right in front of their eyes, if that makes sense. As for computer, it's in a public place and time is limited....oh, and when she asked for a facebook account, we said okay, but we were 1st in line on her friend list. (Although even that isn't foolproof, the savvier kids know how to make things private even on their facebook page.)

This world is becoming a horrible place.....did you catch the news about the Lone Peak HS Seminary Principal? I literally feel like vomiting when I think about it.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I wouldn't snoop unless there is cause to justify it. And if I come across it accidentally, I would read it, too. Because maybe it was meant for me to read it, you know? I've found out some really cute stuff that way... but I would NOT read anything that's in my hubby's personal journal (if he had one). Hope my kids don't read this!

Mrs. Organic said...

These are all great ideas. Thank you.

Shawn said...

Yeah----I snooped---but you can chalk it up under "tough love"----because you love them and in this world today, you need to know whats going on!

And trust me, in the work that I do---I KNOW what the world is like out there!!

Anonymous said...

I'm taking notes here, too, so thanks to those of you who gave good advice.

Kim N said...

I am nervous about the teen years that are ahead of me! We have decided that our kids won't have computers in their rooms and we will keep our computers together in a public area. If my kids were teenagers I would probably let them have Facebook accounts, but I would be on their friends list and I would have their passwords, but I wouldn't snoop unless I had a reason to. I am not sure about kids having phones...I am thinking I would let them borrow them when needed, but they don't need to have their own. I think texting can get out of control with teenagers. (and adults!)