Teens and online privacy
One of the big
dilemmas for parents is how much privacy they afford their children as
they get older, particularly as they reach the teen years when they
become more conscious of their bodies and how they look.
parents this is a struggle: if mom and dad have always just walked into
their daughter's bedroom, it's going to take some mental and physical
effort to stop and knock as she gets older. But for a trusting, caring
relationship that will endure, we have to make that adjustment. Just as
grown-ups need their space, so do teens.
This increase in privacy
should also extend to teens’ online lives. However, increased online
privacy doesn't mean that the rule book is suddenly thrown out of the
window. In the same way that a teen should have a clear idea of how late
they can stay out, there should be a clear set of rules when it comes
to technology and use of the Internet.
Make a deal
With most tech gadgets like cell phones, video game consoles, or iPods,
it's fairly easy to monitor use and know that rules are being followed.
But what about time online? In the password-protected and mobile world
of the Internet, how do we know that rules are being followed and that
our teens are not putting themselves at risk?
days there are numerous ways for parents to monitor their kids’ online
behavior and see what they are up to. But isn’t that spying and doesn’t
it immediately undermine the trust we are trying to build?
the ways around this is to sit down with your teen and make a deal. Let
them know that you are installing monitoring software on their computer
but you aren't going to use it....unless they give you a reason to!
Explain that the monitoring software is there to protect him should
anything bad happen.
Most kids will happily sign on for this
arrangement. If your child does something that he shouldn't be doing, he
knows that the evidence will be there for you to see – web sites
visited, Facebook posts, IMs. However, if he sticks to approved web
sites and appropriate behavior, he has nothing to fear.
doesn’t mean that your teen always gets the benefit of the doubt. If you
think there’s a problem, jump in and find out. Safety always trumps
privacy. But if you have a happy, well-adjusted teen and there’s no
reason to spy, then you had better be prepared to hold up your end of