It is the responsibility of the parent to know what their kids are up to. However going through the child’s emails, cell phones, reading their journals or snooping through their rooms is not the acceptable way of keeping a check on your children. For parents whose children have stepped into the teenage hood, it can be difficult to know how much privacy should be given to their children and where they should draw the line.
With a majority of the lives of teenagers taking place over the internet, parents can feel clueless as to what they may be up to which is why they should make the internet a safer place for them. Monitoring your child’s activities over the internet is acceptable as long as you are doing so to make the internet a safe place for them. Ignoring the suspicion they may have regarding their children looking up inappropriate websites or receiving texts can be difficult for parents and it should not be done as well. You need to be responsible for the behavior of your children however a more acceptable method of doing so is to place parental control software rather than asking for their passwords to check what they have been up to.
Trust is a sensitive issue which is why keeping a check on your children can have repercussions as well. When kids know that their parents trust them, they are more likely to take the correct decision. Parents should let their children know what they approve of and what is considered wrong and that the end decision is the child. Showing that you trust them and involving yourself in their lives to a level that is acceptable will allow them to make the right decision as well.
Child experts too are of the opinion that children should be given the independence to make decisions themselves rather than having their choices dictated. However, with #cyber-bullying, #sexting, and #cyber-stalking on the rise, a number of parents believe that it is important for them to monitor the activities of their children. While on the other hand, some parents do believe that the privacy of their children must be respected. They believe that children have the minds to make their own decision and this too is the parent’s responsibility to instill in their child the ability to choose between right and wrong.
With such perils associated with the use of the internet, parenting skills are of utmost importance than ever. Parents need to let their children know that there are certain guidelines which must be followed and that these cannot be compromised upon. According to the executive director of Net Family News Inc., parents should advise their children constantly about the activities they pursue online, what kind of websites they visit and if they see content which makes them uncomfortable. The use of the internet should be turned into an activity in which both the parent and child participate.
Furthermore, parents should also use the internet along with their child to help develop in them thinking skills and how to analyze the information they come across. Everything on the internet cannot be trusted and you need to illustrate this point to your child.
It would also be a good idea if you take the help of your child and get yourself acquainted with how various social media networking sites work. Ask your child to help set an account for you, preferably on the same social media network he/she uses most frequently. In this manner, you can also become friends with your teen on social media which would allow you to get insight into their activities and what they interact with their friends about.