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to monitor my child's messages

(64 Posts)
Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 18:56:11

without him knowing?

He's 12 and has an iPhone. I've installed software which allows me to monitor incoming and outgoing messages.

He is aware that I peridocally check his phone so he deletes everything.

Things have been a bit up and down with him at the moment which is why I'm keeping an eye on it but I'm having a moral wobble....

So... AIBU?

Trifleorbust Tue 25-Apr-17 18:58:00

Honestly? I wouldn't let him have the phone.

Angelicinnocent Tue 25-Apr-17 18:58:21

At 12, you wbu if you did not monitor his internet access.

Rach6l Tue 25-Apr-17 18:58:52

No I don't think so, I got my 12yo a phone on the proviso I check it. That's the deal. What if you find something though?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Tue 25-Apr-17 19:00:10

Assuming you pay for the phone technically that's makes it yours regardless. .
As the parent you should be looking out for him anyway - whatever measures are needed to do so. .

SaorAlbaGuBrath Tue 25-Apr-17 19:00:30

YANBU, at all. I monitor all devices in our house (except DP obviously since he's an adult). To allow a child unfettered, unmonitored (is that a word?) access to the internet and social media is as dangerous as allowing them to play on a train line imo. More parents should monitor their kids activities online!

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:03:07

No access to internet at all - I've removed Safari.

He catches the bus to school so it's to check in / let me know if he's running late etc, so I would feel uncomfortable with him not having it.

HeyRoly Tue 25-Apr-17 19:04:07

Tricky one.

So he knows you can pick up his phone and check messages, but deletes them before you get the chance to see them, hence the spying software.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why you want to monitor everything, but he's going to be mortified if he ever finds out.

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:05:52

I'm monitoring messages between him and his friends that he clearly doesn't want me to see.

What if you find something though? Depends on what - I might just monitor the situation, or I might step in if it was something serious (bullying for example)

SaorAlbaGuBrath Tue 25-Apr-17 19:05:54

Bullying can happen even without internet access so I still think you're right OP

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:06:55

HeyRoly He absolutely would be mortified. I think that's why I'm having a wobble.

AndNowItIsSeven Tue 25-Apr-17 19:07:42

What is the software?

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:07:58

I'm feeling relieved not to be immediately flamed, it can't be as bad as I thought!

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:09:50

AndNowItIsSeven Google iPhone spyware , there's a few

Nquartz Tue 25-Apr-17 19:12:57

DD is only 5 so not something for me to worry about yet but I would definitely monitor her phone.

deckoff Tue 25-Apr-17 19:13:31

He's practically a teenager! Sorry, but this feels a bit like "reading a secret diary" to me, or like sticking a key logger on a computer or something.

It's not ok and could damage your relationship, especially if you learn something deeply private he doesn't want you to know.

(I am a bit baffled though - how has he not figured out what you're doing? It must be a pretty obvious app?)

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:13:43

What age is it an invasion of privacy though?

deckoff Tue 25-Apr-17 19:14:22

(I mean, by all means tell him you're going to do it and let him choose to police his activities more, but don't snoop!)

deckoff Tue 25-Apr-17 19:15:27

For me, it would be "any age".

If you don't trust them to have a phone, don't let them have one.

If you need them to have one but don't trust them, then at least tell them you're monitoring everything.

ohforfoxsake Tue 25-Apr-17 19:21:05

You need to trust them at some point.

At 12 I pick up and look at their messages and browsing history. With restrictions on DD can't delete her history without the passcode.

My 14 and 15 year olds, no. Occasionally I pry into their Instagram threads if there's a sleepover or I feel one of them is being cagey, but on the whole no.

I hope that by 13/14 I've drummed into them the rules of messaging and posting. Now I need to leave them to it.

At 12, I think you should still be checking - but openly and randomly.

Takamine Tue 25-Apr-17 19:21:59

deckoff I know... and it does worry me. However, his recent behavior has been worrying and he is very secretive, he's not open with me at all and any efforts I make to improve this don't seem to help (perhaps another thread). This was the only way I could see to find out what's going on with him. I have told him that I will check his phone, and often I ask for it out of the blue.

DontPullThatTubeOut Tue 25-Apr-17 19:24:40

Tbh I can understand checking their internet, although I don't think I would but I'm not at that stage yet. Checking the messages sits uneasy with me, I don't know why but it's almost like spying on a conversation with his mates which no one would do I don't think. If he needs a phone for contact but you don't trust him, try blocking any number except yours? Or leave him without credit and to use the reverse number to call you. If he's not allowed internet anyway just get him a cheap phone that only allows calls and texts and see if you can block all but your number.

blankmind Tue 25-Apr-17 19:24:44

He's a child, you are the parent, do your job and supervise him.

Why give him such a sophisticated phone if all he needs it for is "He catches the bus to school so it's to check in / let me know if he's running late etc, "
You may have removed Safari but can't he get online in several different ways when he's out of the house?

DontPullThatTubeOut Tue 25-Apr-17 19:25:16

Maybe he just doesn't trust you and that's why he is so secretive, I mean you're being secretive too.

deckoff Tue 25-Apr-17 19:28:44

Well, it's up to you of course, and depends on how you think he'll feel when he finds out - which I think is likely as you could easily slip up over time, or try to tackle an issue you find out about, or he could just one day stumble on the software.

I do think there's a clear line between monitoring (which someone's aware of) and spying (which they're not).

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