No cell phones for any of my kids yet. When they do eventually get phones they will be told up front that Mom and Dad checking their phones will absolutely be a possibility. And yet another thing to worry about ~ I do think my parents had it easier (go outside and play, come home when it gets dark. No phones or computers to worry about).
Only my eldest has a cell - she´s been having it since she was five and started taking the bus to school all by herself, in case she got lost. It´s an old, cheap thing from stoneage, and I think she never used it for texting. She does have a facebook account, though, and I never check on that. Neither would I ever check into her emails. I know she´s a clever and responsible girl, and I highly respect her privacy. But I don´t have my husband´s passwords, either, and he doesn´t have mine. Nor did I ever, in 15 years, open a letter that was adressed to him, even if it was just junk mail. We believe privacy is a high value, and try to communicate that to our kids by respecting theirs, from the beginning.
Wow I could never allow my kids that much privacy! As a parent I feel like its my responsibility to know exactly what they are communicating online & over the phone...until I no longer have to pay for it! :)
You better believe it Jen! Even trustworthy kids can find themselves influenced by others in a negative way. Janet xox
Both have cell phones and when they got them (6th grade) it was with the understanding that we (mom and dad) would have access to them, just like email and eventually facebook pages. Never had a problem with either kid. My daughter is in college now and my son is a freshman in highschool. Both earned the right to not have us checking over their shoulders by not doing/texting/posting anything questionable.
Great post and topic! I just commented on your Facebook and will here as well. I am also "sharing" this. I am getting ready to take one for the "moms who check text" team. : )Heck yes. I know I am getting ready to be "hated" for this. It is sad to me when I hear adults say...you should trust your kids. They are children? They have tools at their disposal that most adults have problems with. Porn, internet addictions, sexting. Why give my kids something that could potentially hurt them and say that they do not need to worry about accountability? It's giving it to them and saying, "This benefit comes with risk. I am going to "reduce your risk". Just know I have all rights to read any of your texts and if history is deleted etc, we will have an issue." Kids aren't stupid and will get around what they can. I'm not stupid enough to think they won't. I can make it tougher though. My oldest now tells me she is thankful. My youngest actually (grudgingly) respects the accountability. My oldest 22 and youngest 17. Do I do this often. Nope....but if I feel something may be a "tad off" in their behavior, it's a good time to check spontaneously.
"I'm going to reduce your risk" well said :)
My sons never had cell phones until high school, no Facebook until 6th grade. We live in a community where they walk to friends' homes and, when there was a need for them to have a phone for safety or communication in an emergency, I gave them mine to use. No text until they had a driver's license. At the time they were given these "privileges", they were told that having a phone and Facebook account were not a "right" and that so long as they were minors, I would periodically check on them. I also explained that while I trusted THEM, it was a matter of their safety in the "cyber world". I periodically checked text messages until the end of Junior year of high school and after that, they were trusted to be have good judgement. In our home, increasing privacy is earned by making good choices as one matures and my role as a parent is to ensure that the tools to do so are firmly in place prior to that. I'm happy to say that, as a result of not giving them phones or text ability until they were old enough to understand the responsibility that came with those things, there were never any issues.
Earned responsibility is a great gift to give them - I'm not real regular in checking but when I do I just pick the phone up when we're sitting there talking and glance through it, no big deal or sneakiness. If he happens to not be around I'll do the same thing.
"Trusted to have good judgement". I like that. : ) I trust them with that as well. Well said! : ) Rebecca
My son is a senior in high school. He is 17 years old. He has had a cell phone since 8 th grade. YES I do check his texts every once in a while. I have seen his emails also. I also check his room anytime I want. Remember Kids live in our homes and we are to raise them and teach them good morales. So YES we can look at emails and text. I have a great son. Honor student...etcthis is my thoughts! OH he know and doesn't mind.
I agree Steph!
My oldest son just got his first phone a few months ago. My husband and I wrote up and shared our cell phone contract that we made up between us. The most comments have been about us reading his text messages. While we don't read them all, we do a skim to make sure there isn't anything inappropriate going in or out. You can see our contract and the comments here:http://www.holy-craft.com/2012/08/teenage-cell-phone-contract.htmlIt fits in nicely with your discussion today.
Ok, I have to say: There is no "democracy" in this house; it is a monarchy. I own everything. If it is in my house, I will look at it. If I think I need to, I will investigate it. I own the air that the kids breathe. There is no "right' to privacy here and having said that - I rarely check. Not because I am a blowhard who doesn't mean it when she says it. But because, if they are not giving me a reason to mistrust them, I give them the benefit of a doubt. Now, when grades slip, attitudes drop, people make a change in behavior - oh, yes. I will snoop. It's my right and responsibility. I have found things before that make my jaw drop a bit, but I quickly recover, and brooch the subject with the kid. And usually, that helps set the record straight for both of us. As parents, we've been lucky so far. I'm not kidding myself, though. It takes a lot of diligence and courage to raise kids nowadays...
My 26 y.o. son has autism, is very vulnerable and once he latches on to something, he doesn't let go. He'z going to win the lottery and not have us restricting his spending. He can eat whatever whenever he wants and not gain weight. Thankfully, he's so tactilly sensitive he won't drink soda, forget beer! You get the idea. Fortunately, he can't get texting (doesn't try, yet at least). Had to put parental controls on the computer though down to age 6. He was getting into some unhealthy stuff and we'd be delinquent as parents of a not 26y.o. developmentally son of whom we're also conservators, if we didn't.Janet
My sons ages 16, 14 and 12 have privacy in the shower and in bed but that is about it. No matter how much we counsel them about not putting things in writing (!!!!) we have still seen things they shouldnt put in writing! It is like a tattoo--it is forever and not private!! Schools pick up phones when the kids text in class and confiscate them. Some very "respectable" seniors were caught texting about buying pot. They put it in writing! Also the phones stay downstairs getting charges after 10 pm. No need to have them in bed. It is bad enuf that some parents dont know about the web surfing that goes on with the itouch and wireless, or the texting on itouch even if there is no phone. I tell my kids if you want to be private, talk in person or on the phone--do not put it in writing!And dont even get me started how kids feel a sense of intimacy with someone possibly by texting when if they spent time together the old fashioned way chances are they may not actually care for each other....
Tell me what you think!