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To Want To Know The Passcode for my DD's (13) phone?

(56 Posts)
pilates Thu 06-Nov-14 09:28:30

I have always known her passcode and periodically have checked it. She recently changed it and didn't want to give me the new passcode but eventually succumbed after I threatened to take away all gadgets. She gave me the old chestnut how her friends parents don't know the passcodes for their phones. So it got me thinking am I?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 06-Nov-14 09:30:02

YANBU at all. At 13 I would want to know passcode, passwords to Facebook and Email.

Id also ban the phone at bedtime.

NewEraNewMindset Thu 06-Nov-14 09:32:04

I think at 13 she could be getting herself into a whole heap of trouble using her phone without any threat of parental involvement.

I'm intrigued though at what age people think it's acceptable to stop looking. 15? 16? 18?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 06-Nov-14 09:32:18

Anything ds is on I have the pass code for and I was very grateful I insisted on this rule as it meant I could see what revolting porn sites his mates told him to look at

bigTillyMint Thu 06-Nov-14 09:32:37

Why do you want to check her phone?

pilates Thu 06-Nov-14 09:33:30

"Id also ban the phone at bedtime". I do wink

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 06-Nov-14 09:35:58

I would stop looking once they are 16. Or should I add, I would stop.wanting the ability to look at 16. Whether I would actually look or not is irrelevant. I want the ability to.

tywysogesgymraeg Thu 06-Nov-14 09:36:19

I think it's acceptable to have the password for anything you are paying for, and presumably you are paying for the mobile phone contract.

I'm a hard mummy, at 13, I would have taken away the phone privilege if until I was given the password.

It's not a case of wanting to read texts and browsing history on a day to day basis. It's a case of needing access in an emergency situation.

Sprink Thu 06-Nov-14 09:37:51


NewEra--I think the age to stop looking is at whatever age they can buy their own phone and set up their own legal contract to pay for themselves.

gingermopped Thu 06-Nov-14 09:44:01

totally agree, at 13 u should know passcodes for everything, my dd is 15, almost 16 so I dont know her pin now but at drop of a hat I randomly ask to check her phone.
I do trust her so its very rare I do this.

LisaMed Thu 06-Nov-14 09:45:43

My nearly 8 yr old has his own PC (long story, sort of forced on us) but it is in the study and I am usually there with him.

I agree totally that you should have passwords. We have been really clear that his access to the PC depends on us knowing what he is doing. When he got the PC I was very explicit - later on he will get stuff with passwords and me and DH have to have those passwords. I set up the expectation that when I reluctantly allow him facebook etc that I will want to know and that I will enforce. I set an end date of 18 for that.

I am under no illusions, I am sure that I will have the same conversation as you later on, but I am setting out my stall. The internet is a wonderful, marvellous, intricate, dangerous place. Teenagers don't always talk to adults. We have a duty to keep our children safe.

Good luck.

pilates Thu 06-Nov-14 09:49:52

Thanks for your swift replies agreeing with me.

"Why do you want to check her phone?"

To try and keep her safe and make sure she's not putting herself in a vulnerable position, bullying, etc.

Dawndonnaagain Thu 06-Nov-14 09:54:23

All three of mine had to let me know their codes. My youngest are now 18, they give them over voluntarily now in case they forget. Not that I'd even consider looking these days, but when they were 13 I certainly checked every so often. Safety measures are part of being a loving parent.

Bambambini Thu 06-Nov-14 09:57:01

I have a 12 yr old and we check often. The deal is we need the passwords and will check.

AuntieStella Thu 06-Nov-14 10:04:13

I set an absolute condition of sharing all passwords until 16, with sanction of removing devices if breach discovered.

I haven't felt the need to check, even though the older ones do now take laptops to their own rooms sometimes. They know why I'm concerned, and I have no reason to think they are acting inappropriately online as there is no sign of secretive behaviour (bedroom door is, by their choice, open until they actually go to bed and I can see they are gaming and hear who they are talking to).

Actually, I know that if they wanted to out-tech me and keep things hidden, they would be able to. So I have gone for communication/education route about online behaviour and we still talk about it regularly.

Hamuketsu Thu 06-Nov-14 10:05:54

Mine is 13 and (like her older sister) I retain the right to know all passwords and check at any time. It was a condition of her being allowed the phone/accounts at all. At the start I did the occasional very public check-up, but now keep it low-key. Much of it is done by reminding her that I could at any time. I think it's best to let them know up-front to avoid accusations of snooping. Her sister is nearly 16 and I haven't looked at hers for ages, as she has been responsible and earned my trust.

Sadly elsewhere in my family there was a bad experience (grooming-related) with a 14-year-old whose mother deplored all notions of checking up, an outrage to deny her privacy, etc. It got very nasty indeed. I think the important thing is to be honest about it, telling them you'll do it rather than going behind their backs.

unlucky83 Thu 06-Nov-14 10:07:18

I knew my 13 yos but she has changed it recently and I need to take the time to note it down again - although I know her facebook, email etc passwords. I haven't checked for a while but she knows I will anytime...and if she doesn't comply immediately she will lose the phone.
The worse thing that I found was a few years ago a friend sent her a sweary text - I went ballistic - never happened again.
(Mum is really hot on swearing! - little does she know I used to be a chef...every other word was fuck! wink I am very anti-swearing in youngsters though mainly cos sometimes you can't swear - eg teacher - and if it becomes a habit it is easy to do it without accident)
Just the fact they know you might check is a good deterrent - and as OP says although they need some privacy you also need to keep them safe is a fine line.

Hamuketsu Thu 06-Nov-14 10:08:33

We also massively play up the fact that their Dad is an IT professional who knows how to set things up, or get round them, so they could never guarantee that anything they hide stays hidden. Again, everything up front.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Thu 06-Nov-14 10:09:00

When my dd was a teenager, we had the house rule that if anything had a passcode, I had to have it as well. If I didn't have the code, she didn't have the item. That included email, phones, everything. I did random checks to make sure nothing untoward was going on, but I was very up front about it and didn't "dig" into stuff unnecessarily. She was fine with it, as I didn't snoop and pry.

LadyLuck10 Thu 06-Nov-14 10:18:27

Yanbu, it's part of being a good parent wanting to keep them safe. She could be getting up to all sorts of trouble. Your rules, she simply has to follow them. It's in her best interests.

MyballsareSandy Thu 06-Nov-14 10:24:06

I have two 13 year olds and know all the passwords to their gadgets. One occasionally moans but she knows I will confiscate it all if she doesn't te me. Def no gadgets in bedrooms at night. I'm stunned at the amount of stuff from their friends on facebook, instagram etc at 12pm and later on a school night!!!

MsVestibule Thu 06-Nov-14 10:27:36

I really do understand everybody's concerns, but at 13, I'd have been horrified if my parents had access to my texts/emails/FB private messages. Fortunately I grew up when the phone was the most advanced form of communication, so it wasn't an issue. I know that's not why you're all saying you would want access, but that would be a side effect of it.

I'm actually quite a strict parent to my DCs (6&7) but like to think that good, open communication between teenagers and their parents is better than having access to their every technological conversation.

OttiliaVonBCup Thu 06-Nov-14 10:27:49

FWIW I never knew or wanted to know any passcodes.

DCs or DH or anyone else.

My mother always checked everything I did when I was growing up, read letters, diaries, checked handbags and I felt it was intrusive.

However, I have always had the type of relationship where the DC would come and talk to me about everything and we would talk about it. I never needed to police it.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 06-Nov-14 10:28:29

I have all my 13 year olds dds passwords & pass codes. In fact I have her Facebook & instagram installed on my phone for me to check regularly.

She was text bullied quite nastily within a month of her starting a new secondary school by kids at her old school so she knows why I do it.

bigTillyMint Thu 06-Nov-14 10:48:59

I agree with both MsVestibule and Ottillia - I have never had the passwords for my DC's phones/FB/snapchat/whatever (they are friends with me on FB, but they only really use it for private messaging)

Whilst I completely agree about the worries over bullying and internet safety, I also feel that trust and good open communication is really important. And them having some privacy.

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