Would you go through your 14 year old DS's texts, social media accounts and internet history?

(13 Posts)
dollybird Fri 08-Apr-16 14:30:37

or do you think it is an invasion of their privacy? I think the latter, but a couple of DS's friend's parents have done this and found a lot of sex talk, idiotic pictures, looking at gross videos etc, which I would kind of expect at that age. We had a good long chat with our DS about it, but didn't feel it was necessary to trawl through all his accounts etc (I heard enough from the friend;s parents). I believe we've done the right thing and that DS will respect us for it, but I wonder if the other boys parents think we've been too soft. WWYD?

butmumineedit Fri 08-Apr-16 14:39:54

Well as a parent of a Dd 15 who has received explicit snap chats from boys showing their privates in various states of arousal , then I think maybe a word about how sexting is illegal and the police take a dim view of it . My dd has blocked loads of boys who she thought were nice boys but they still sent pics. I actually took a screenshot of one of the pics and showed the mother of the boy , she was mortified especially when I said if it carried on I would contact the police and his school .

dollybird Fri 08-Apr-16 14:46:09

I believe it's more talking about sex like boys do (talking to each other, not to girls), and looking at porn sites. I was not told that any pictures had been sent by the other boys. But yes, I will have a word about that too!

Maroonie Fri 08-Apr-16 14:51:14

Our approach has been to have an understanding that the phone could be looked at by us at any point-
Not that we regularly look but if we find anything at least we cant get side tracked by the debate about whether it's private or not.

We are responsible as the adults to monitor online/mobile stuff-
also part of the issue is that nothing on text/social media is private and its open to being screen shotted or forwarded!
If we shouldn't see it then it shouldn't be getting sent.

dollybird Fri 08-Apr-16 14:56:30

We have said to both DS and DD that before sending anything they need to think about whether they would say it in front of us or their friend's parents, and if they wouldn't then don't send it.

Arfarfanarf Fri 08-Apr-16 15:06:38

Yes. I did.
I still do and they are 15 and 16 and i will do so for as long as necessary.
It is probably slightly different as they have autism and youngest has adhd as well and they require guidance and supervision and struggle to know what is appropriate and they are vulnerable and need help to understand appropriate social interactions.

But even if they didnt, i think i would still maintain some level of monitoring until i assessed that they were likely to stay safe and behave appropriately.

Parents talk about internet safety a lot. The kids know. But still they put themselves at risk because they are children and children cannot always keep themselves safe.

When you read about online bullying that leads to suicide. When you read about grooming. And that awful story of that boy who was murdered by someone he interacted with online. It is clear that telling them what they ought to do and then trusting that they do it because the parent prioritises their privacy over their safety is an error.
Independence is a process not a switch you flip and the process takes as long as it takes.

tumpymummy Wed 13-Apr-16 12:17:00

I have to admit that I don't check for DS14. I did when he was younger (and I do for his sister, age 11) but now that DS14 has a girlfriend I don't feel comfortable snooping. But then I am fortunate in that DS is quite sensible and when he was younger and I did look I never found anything I was uncomfortable with. The only thing I do look at occasionally is his Instagram account, but most of it is so tedious and inane! Plus DS is way too clever for me, changing passcodes all the time, and he seems permanently glued to his phone anyway (but that's a whole different issue!)

Queen0fFuckingEverything Wed 13-Apr-16 12:32:16

DD is 13 and has just been allowed to sign up for a FB account (linked to an email account of mine), she's had a phone for about 18 months too. I have made clear to her that while I don't intend to go through her social media/messages etc routinely, I expect to know the passwords and will check if I think it necessary. I do check her browsing history every so often (and find endless cute animal pics and Minecraft cheats, its very tedious). I have an app installed on her phone that backs up all her texts as they are sent and received (deleting them doesn't seem to stop them being backed up) to the same email account as her FB is linked to.

I've only actually looked at her messages once and that was when some loon from our village publically accused DD (and some other girls) of sending their child "obscene messages". I was able to check and it turned out that DD hadn't been in the slightest bit obscene - there was low level bitchyness on both sides but nothing outrageous.

I don't know if this is reasonable of me or not so I'll be watching this thread with interest!

leonardthelemming Wed 13-Apr-16 13:27:40

I'm a bit out of touch because my kids grew up before social media really kicked in, but I've known a few teenagers more recently and I can see both sides of the argument.
I take the point that growing up is a gradual process and I can see that parents may want to monitor frequently at first and then gradually less and less.
I also know that teenagers want and need their privacy. And, to an extent, they are entitled to it.
I suspect that, if you have an agreement with them that you check, you won't find anything, because they will make sure that everything you can see is completely innocuous. All the secret stuff will be done using their other FB account - the one you don't even know about.
Teenagers will always find a way to circumvent parental controls. I would go so far as to suggest that they need to - it's hard-wired into them to rebel, as a step towards finding their own identity.
Better, I think, to educate them in such a way that they make sensible decisions - the ones you would make - but think they came up with the idea themselves.

NotJanine Wed 13-Apr-16 13:42:25

I agree that if they know you are going to check then they will just delete anything they don't want you to see

I wouldn't do it unless I had suspicions that there was something wrong.

mathanxiety Thu 14-Apr-16 19:53:24

I agree with all of that Leonardtheleeming. I also have older DCs; oldest is almost 26 now. My youngest is 14 -- however, I am not sure I would check as a matter of course but only like NotJanine, if I felt suspicious of something.

Maroonie Fri 15-Apr-16 06:56:33

I'm sure when he is older he will start to delete things but he doesn't seem to at the moment!
Although it's only been looked at twice
And Even if he does delete them it's making him think about what's appropriate and we are no worse off really than not checking!
He doesn't have FB yet but that will be a minefield I'm sure

scarlets Fri 15-Apr-16 18:34:29

I think that it's perfectly OK to check Internet records etc until age 16.

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