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: |
Lizzyohara Thu 04-Mar-21 11:04:45

I'm sure many of us are of the first generation who actively had phones at college/teenage years so we know what teenages message about. Most of the time is random gossip and chit chat but obvs with social media we have to be more aware. Naivity is a big thing and its surprising how many kids think they can trust everyone only but don't even say hello to their neighbour!

imvegetarian Mon 01-Mar-21 22:27:42

@NosyJosie yes i agree with that however i still feel if you just talk to your child and educate about how wrong it is to do those things and keep making sure they’re okay then there is. i thing to worry about. i’ve had snapchat since i was in year 7 and i have never been forced into doing anything at all over social media, however at school and in social situations i have a lot. i’ve been sent things on snapchat that i haven’t liked as i’ve got older but you can easily block people like that and i understand if you may not want your child seeing those things. However the main thing is keeping in touch with friends, i speak to around 30 people daily, all my friends, and it keeps me in touch with everyone and allows me to still feel like i’m socialising even though we can’t leave our houses right now because of corona. but i would be lost without snapchat because i wouldn’t talk to my friends otherwise and i feel it’s so important for young people to speak to their friends because ,i know from experience, it’s easier to speak to friends than parents sometimes. Also i do wish that we were born in an age where technology didn’t exist and kids went to play outside because i get so consumed in social media and watching other people’s lives and wishing i looked like them, but also social media has taught me many things and for that i am grateful.

NosyJosie Mon 01-Mar-21 15:30:32

@imvegetarianagreed but there is a difference between being shown things on other phones and having access to it on your own. I am that difference. This is my job as a parent. I have the awkward conversations, I check, I regulate and we have a good and open communication but I still have to set limits because my 14 year old thinks he’s 25 and also has a younger sibling so I have a responsibility there too.
He briefly had Snapchat and aside from the map issue, I was shocked at the volumes of messages. He does not need this in his life.
You also seem very sensible but in the past year I have had direct examples in my community of Snapchat being used to target minors with drug dealing, stolen goods, and the worst was a young lady being conned into providing her bank account to rinse money. She’s now an adult and can’t get a bank account as she’s blacklisted.
So yes, all “part of life” but they don’t need all of this in their face or plan of their hand all the time.

imvegetarian Mon 01-Mar-21 10:28:51

tennminustest
i understand that, and i have, as many of my friends have been involved in petty drama over snapchat and social media when we were younger, but i’d tell my mum and it’s just a part of growing up, it opened my eyes to what’s in the world and when your child goes into school, trust me, you get shown all kinds of things from people on their phones, there is no stopping your child from seeing certain things and it’s just a part of life

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.

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?')

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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: |
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.

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.

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.

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.

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: |
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: |
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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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