Are you Facebook friends with your kids? Do you scroll through their text messages every night or have access to their e-mail? Have you ever snooped around on the Internet for info on your kids?
Those are the kinds of questions parents are asking themselves in an increasingly digital age where kids are spending more time online and typing texts. The new technology has left parents trying to figure out how to monitor their children’s activities without completely invading their privacy.
I was a less-than-honest teenager myself, so I find myself torn on the issue of how far a parent can or should go to monitor the kids. I think parents have a right to some information, but I also think teenagers are going to do what they want no matter what, so spying on them only pushes them to be more deceitful.
For example, I’ve heard from some teenagers that they have two Facebook accounts because their parents insist on being their Facebook friend. Being friends with your kids on Facebook.com essentially means you can see everything they write to their friends or the photos they post of themselves. But these teenagers tell me they have a “parent-friendly” account to appease the parents, and then have their real Facebook page where they post their more scandalous information and photographs of last weekend’s party.
Parents live in blissful ignorance and kids learn that lying to mom and dad really isn’t so hard.
It’s just one more example to me that in this digital age, no amount of snooping or spying is going to replace honest, open communication between parent and child.
What do you think – do you spy or snoop in your child’s e-mail, Web pages or text messages? Would you if you thought they were in danger? Where is the line between a parent’s right to know and a child’s right to privacy?