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Checking preteens/teens phone

(29 Posts)
Eruss Sun 28-Feb-21 09:07:17

Do you check your preteens/teens phone and if so at what age did you stop?

I have a preteen in year 7, when given the phone at the start of year 7 the rules were I get to check it every now and again but the last few weeks they have been a bit grumpy about this.

OP’s posts: |
TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Sun 28-Feb-21 09:09:49

We're in the same boat and same age. I always assumed I'd reserve the right to occasionally look (mainly to check contacts ..) but she's not happy/changong password.

My eldest child and obviously no phones around when I was a kid so no comparison. And feaked out by the internet safety videis...

TeenMinusTests Sun 28-Feb-21 09:14:17

I would say definitely check in y7, reducing to ~ age 16.

I think it is a point of what you are checking.
e.g. You don't generally (unless worried about bullying etc) need to check inane texts/whatsapp between them and friends you have heard of.

You do need to check names you don't know appearing, photos being sent, apps downloaded.

lavenderlou Sun 28-Feb-21 09:18:05

DD is Year 6 and just got her own phone and one of the conditions is that I check it regularly, which I plan to do up to about age 16. I am involved in E-safety, which I have regular training in and it is essential to monitor messages etc for inappropriate chat. One of the major methods of grooming is for young people to be invited from gaming sites etc to chat on other sites like WhatsApp. There is also the risk of bullying.

For a Year 7 I would say, no monitoring, no phone.

TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Sun 28-Feb-21 09:23:22

I would have said exactly the same as you when my daughter was in year 6! And been shocked that people might stop before age 16.

However a year into secondary and they change so much.

I think it needs to be as much about your relationship with them (if they don't trust you at 16 and you're still checking thier phone I'd think that wasn't great.)

A bit like road safety - crossing a road is dangerous but we don't still hold their hands at 15. It would be mad not to when they're small. There's instruction and transition to crossing with you without your hand and then independence.

I'd love to hear from those with older teens how they managed that.

We have family link so monitor app downloads. But as it was pointed put in one training I went to a long time ago they will get to an age where they know how to bypass controls/hide things on their phone anyway so there needs ti be the relationship and trust alongside them growing up.

alliejay81 Sun 28-Feb-21 09:53:46

It depends on your child and your relationship with them. I have a very open relationship with my DS 12. He tells me more stuff than I want to hear most of the time!!! He also only uses his phone for games and messages with friends. He tells me if anyone he doesn't know tries to contact him (in fact he is more paranoid than I am). As a result I don't feel I need to check the phone, but if he was more secretive or used more social media I might.

alliejay81 Sun 28-Feb-21 09:55:45

Also my DH used to be an ICT teacher and was adamant that teaching your child the correct behaviours was much more important than putting things on their phone or checking their devices.

TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Sun 28-Feb-21 09:58:10

Allie that's exactly what I heard with internet safety trainig for older children. Problem was I didn it ages ago so now ky child actually is older I feel I'm reevaluating it all again!

Wtfdidwedo Sun 28-Feb-21 10:03:44

I have a stepdaughter in Year 6 and her mum's account is set up on hers. I know she doesn't check what she's doing or who she interacts with (she doesn't even know her lockscreen password) but because it's all in her name we can't do much about it. We do check it when she stays with us because she has unmonitored access to TikTok etc which we think is insane. I will definitely be casting an eye over contacts, apps and photos until my children are at least 14/15. My work brings me into contact with sex offenders. There's no way I wouldn't check.

RoseMartha Sun 28-Feb-21 10:07:38

I still have to check my teens phones but that is because they have proved to be untrustworthy with major issues multiple times and the only way I will let them have phones is if I check them daily and restrict what they can do on them. They do have some SM /other apps but not as much as they want.

Eruss Sun 28-Feb-21 12:26:57

My dc doesn’t have social media, they have WhatsApp and have a few group chats from school friends, they have the TikTok app downloaded but no account they just watch videos.
I don’t read all messages but I do skim read as I want to encourage appropriate talk and also the way things can be perceived differently over text, for example a friend had text and he was just answering with one word answers, it appeared quite blunt so had a chat about this.
There was also an incident where the school had set up teams and some of the year group were messaging inappropriately but obviously not caring or realising that the teacher could view, so that’s another minefield

OP’s posts: |
Eruss Sun 28-Feb-21 12:28:20

Sorry I know some people class WhatsApp as social media. And obviously the TikTok is I just meant he doesn’t have an account registered it’s just to ‘view’

OP’s posts: |
WeAllHaveWings Sun 28-Feb-21 14:11:11

for example a friend had text and he was just answering with one word answers, it appeared quite blunt so had a chat about this.

Children don't text the same as adults, it must feel very invasive and confusing when his friends will be chatting in a very similar immature way. Monitoring their phones is about protecting them from unknown contacts, inappropriate content, and bullying (either being bullied or being a bully), not controlling their style/invading their independent chats with friends.

Focus on teaching and talking about correct behaviours away from their phone, using anecdotes from your own experience, encouraging them to talk to you if anything worries them, this will then be reflected in their phone use. You risk them becoming secretive if you are too overbearing with his phone use.

nimbuscloud Sun 28-Feb-21 14:18:03

Focus on teaching and talking about correct behaviours away from their phone, using anecdotes from your own experience, encouraging them to talk to you if anything worries them, this will then be reflected in their phone use

If that works - great. Don’t assume it will. Child in our extended family groomed via Instagram. Despite the chats, discussions, internet safety talks, being a sensible trustworthy young teen - it went disastrously wrong culminating in meeting a man in his early 30s for sex.

TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Sun 28-Feb-21 15:03:12

What do people think is an okay monitoring of a young persons phone?

My child is v worried about her privacy and me reading her chat with friends.

It's hard to know the balance.

Mary8076 Sun 28-Feb-21 15:57:48

Big problems related to phones and teens happen mostly in the last teen years, so I plan to keep the parental control until 18yo. It doesn't mean I will check everything everyday, it's more a preventive measure. The main reason to keep the parental control is also to limit screen time, many teens would spend ten hours a day on their phones, my DDs proved that.

Eruss Sun 28-Feb-21 20:12:38

Focus on teaching and talking about correct behaviours away from their phone, using anecdotes from your own experience, encouraging them to talk to you if anything worries them, this will then be reflected in their phone use. You risk them becoming secretive if you are too overbearing with his phone use

I do agree with you but my ds can hold a conversation well with peers and adults, contributing and listening, and he does talk to me quite a lot, if not me then a relative he’s close with. As sensible and open he is I don’t want to be complacent.
I commented on his one word replies as most of his friends are quite chatty, not quite to the extent us adults are but definitely more than a Yeah and K now and again.

OP’s posts: |
imvegetarian Sun 28-Feb-21 23:34:12

please DON’T check your child’s phone, by giving them the phone in the first place you must have a level of trust with your child. If your child doesn’t feel like you trust them they will begin to think they shouldn’t trust you and therefore might begin not telling you things (important things perhaps) because they feel you don’t trust them. Therefore don’t, just trust your child and if you don’t, don’t give them a phone then

PickAChew Sun 28-Feb-21 23:40:08

I'm year 7, they're not even officially old enough for a lot of websites and if they're going to give you the twisty face then you can reserve the right to remove their device.

Once Ds1 approached 16, I respected his wish to not have regular access to his account, but he puts his Google password in a wallet for me, in case something goes tits up or I have reason to be worried for him.

lavenderlou Mon 01-Mar-21 00:21:51

imvegetarian

please DON’T check your child’s phone, by giving them the phone in the first place you must have a level of trust with your child. If your child doesn’t feel like you trust them they will begin to think they shouldn’t trust you and therefore might begin not telling you things (important things perhaps) because they feel you don’t trust them. Therefore don’t, just trust your child and if you don’t, don’t give them a phone then

Rubbish, a phone is very useful for children walking to and from school etc by themselves who may need to be in contact with their parents. Also, you teach children how to manage their independence gradually, don't just throw them in at the deep end.

I don't believe in completely banning use of phones or certain social media apps etc, as then your child may try to use them secretly, but checking up on the phone content of an 11 or 12 year old child is helping to keep them safe.

MixedUpFiles Mon 01-Mar-21 00:31:32

Dd is year 6 and I definitely spot check her phone and have the passwords to all her accounts. I’m sure the reins will loosen as she ages, but I don’t have any specific plan. I would rather be too careful than too lenient.

imvegetarian Mon 01-Mar-21 08:01:54

“Rubbish, a phone is very useful for children walking to and from school etc by themselves who may need to be in contact with their parents. Also, you teach children how to manage their independence gradually, don't just throw them in at the deep end.

I don't believe in completely banning use of phones or certain social media apps etc, as then your child may try to use them secretly, but checking up on the phone content of an 11 or 12 year old child is helping to keep them safe.“

i’m actually a 17 year old girl and i never has my phone checked, nor did i have my room checked because it’s an invasion of privacy and m parents trusted me enough, which i feel now is so important. If you’re worried about your child seeing things you can always turn off the access to internet or etc. However checking phones is not good, just have trust in your child. if i ever had a problem i would go and tell my mum and she would sort it, i’m perfectly fine and my phone has never been checked as i would hate that so much and resent you for it.

NosyJosie Mon 01-Mar-21 08:01:54

Depends on the phone set up. My kids can’t download new apps without my approval. We use the iPhone family set up so I can also set time outs and limits for different apps etc.
You wouldn’t let them watch anything anytime on telly so why would you not have limits on the phone.
I check Instagram (have their accounts on my phone) and certain website are blocked on their phones as well as my wifi - like pornhub

TeenMinusTests Mon 01-Mar-21 08:25:48

vegetarian The problem is, you are only 17. You know what you are like, but you haven't parented 100s of teens like MN has collectively.
You may be sensible and trustworthy, but other teens get themselves into a lot of bother online.
Teachers on here regularly tell of the amount of time they spend/waste sorting out issues that have occurred online with pupils. Some teenagers get bullied and for what ever reason, don't ask for help. Some are the bullies themselves - which with oversight perhaps could be prevented/limited.

It isn't just about 'trust'. It is recognising that teens can get themselves into dangerous situations without realising it. (My eldest when a teen once asked me 'why would someone pretend to be who they are not?')

PhantomErik Mon 01-Mar-21 08:58:06

I check my yr7s & yr6s phones. They know if the change the password & don't tell me, they lose the phone. This is a friendly gentle conversation, not a lecture but serious.

When they got phones we said about checking regularly. They're fine with it & ask about things here & there anyway.

It's not about trust, it's about the fact I may notice something that they don't.

Mine are quite naive & there have been things I've raised with them.

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