There is no expectation of privacy in my house. I can barge in without knocking, I’m allowed to read text messages at any time, and I have all the passwords to all the things.
That is my most important rule. When my daughter started watching more YouTube than Netflix, I knew I was in for it, but that’s the norm for kids these days and it’s just all about making sure you know what they are watching. You have to know what multi-media content your kids are consuming.
The way I do that is by knowing every single password my daughter has. Any time I grab her phone I can look through her texts, Instagram pictures, and whatever else I want to? Why– not because I pay the bills and blah blah, but because when you’re a teen or a tween, there shouldn’t be anything on your phone so private that it would bother you if other people saw it. Especially your mom.
And this goes both ways. I don’t have things on my phone that my daughter can’t read. I am not doing things on the internet I don’t want my daughter to know about. If we are going to teach our kids to be safe on the Internet, we have to teach them that NOTHING they do on the internet is private. Did you read that? No? Go back and read it again, because it’s really important. Nothing anyone does on the internet is private, and our kids need to know that.
They need to understand that tonight’s snapchat is tomorrow’s group text message blasted to the whole school, and while I wish that they could make these mistakes in private, they can’t. They don’t get to. We HAVE to teach them this, and they have to understand it, but they have to understand it without us beating them upside the head with it. Why? Because if we are beating our kids upside the head with this information, then they are going to stop listening to us. I promise.
So, do me a favor, don’t give your kid any privacy– especially on the internet. Be very aware of what they are doing, and who they are talking about. This is important. They need you to watch them, because even though we are teaching them to make good choices for themselves, and we want them to be smart, they are dealing with things that we never EVER had to deal with at their age. Things that can follow them around for the REST. OF. THEIR. LIVES.
Want more? Check out Ten Things I Want my Daughter To Know Before She Turns Ten.