Spying On Your Kids Social Networking?

Parenting Help Parenting Help Tips Parenting Teens

Author, Billy the Kid

So is spying on your kids social networking cool or uncool?”

Like every argument there are two sides to this one… the kids side and your side as the parent.

Obviously, the kids want to be their own autonomous person as soon as possible. And that means having their own accounts which are completely private and secure outside of your watchful eye.

This is the ideal from the kids point of view.

Obviously, as a parent you want to protect your kids and allow them the opportunity to grow up as fast as possible while maintaining complete and 100% safety. And that means having access to all their accounts and being able to go in there and take a look at their activities and profiles whenever you see fit without their knowledge.

This is the ideal from your parenting point of view.

So the biggest issue is how to find the balance and the compromise between these two seemingly mutually exclusive ideals. In fact, finding the middle point between these two philosophies which are 180° opposites from one another.

Having the experience of only operating from the kids point of view I’ll attempt to take out this natural bias and be a completely neutral third party.

In lots of the materials I’ve studied about psychology the earlier a child is in development the far more guidance and force of will you should exert upon them to ensure they get a good model for what life is like and how to perceive reality.

If you don’t give them a good model of how to judge the world and make decisions this will have a profoundly negative effect on them for the rest of their lives.

So you should definitely have a tighter rein on them when they’re younger. And it’s possible to balance the trust and snooping factors to find the happy medium.

I don’t know of any child as young as 10 who has a social networking profile. In fact, most of the networks require a minimum age of at least 13 years.

So I’m going to come up with a completely arbitrary scale that with each year your child grows older, starting at 13, there should be a sliding scale of how much “spying” you do on their online activities.

I’d say just my gut feeling starting at a level of whatever you consider 100% monitoring to be you should:

  • drop down to only 60% of that level during their 14th year,
  • only 40% of the original 100% during their 15th year,
  • only 30% of the original 100% during their 16th year,
  • only 20% of the original 100% during his 17th year,
  • and finally only 10% of the original 100% during their 18th year.

Of course, how you define what 100% monitoring is should depend on the overall maturity level of your child and how developed you believe they are. You know them best and should make decisions accordingly based on the information and knowledge you have.

I know this may be controversial. Some of your kids out there will say this is hideously unfair.

And I know some parents I’ve talked to say I have a way too cavalier attitude about the whole parenting process and the level of involvement/oversight you should have in your kids’ lives.

And admittedly, this is because my parents took a very cavalier and loose rein concerning my discipline with much success because they knew me well and that this style was best suited for me.

Taking that in to consideration and attempting to eliminate it from what I’m talking about here I feel this is a pretty good balance on the level of monitoring you should do in today’s world and environment.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Be as brutal and honest as you can be because that’s how lively discussions and better models for parenting are developed. I look forward to our discussion.

Author: Billy the kid

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