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Old Oct 4th 2017, 9:12 am   #1
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Default Monitoring your teen

We have one of those now (a teen) and it's a different set of challenges. The iPhone is no longer just a place for silly games and videos, but a good messaging device morning and night (who knew!). Fortunately true social media has not yet been taken up yet, but I suppose it's only a matter of time.

Now the dilemma is whether we should be checking some of the messaging going on, feel like a bit of a snoop doing it, but on the other hand there's an element of understanding what kind of emotional issues they're going through and of course being vigilant for any nastiness. It does seem a bit over-protective, but on the other hand, it also seems a bit negligent not to at least lightly keep a watchful eye over things. Looked this up on the web, and tehre seems to be full scale spy-type apps that can log everything down to keystrokes. Not at that stage of paranoia yet, but am curious as to what other parents do?
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 11:58 am   #2
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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We have one of those now (a teen)...
I'm not sure if that means the stork brought one ready made or there was a thirteenth birthday.

I suppose we were lucky in that none of us had such gadgets when the kids were young and my wife did such a good job bringing them up until I came on the scene when they were 11 and 13 we'd likely have trusted them completely.

There was some bullying but confined to school reduced effect.

We had computers, obviously, and they were both free to use ours whenever wanted and later they effectively 'inherited' the desktops when we got laptops.

Of course, it meant use of them for Facebook or whatever was always in the main/same room so that probably helps.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 1:21 pm   #3
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

I wouldn't dream of monitoring anything. IMVHO they have to learn such things themselves. When I was at school, clearly, there wasn't bullying via social media, but bullying went on. I had to learn to cope with it, and learn not to dish it out. The modern day version of it requires the same life skills.

We have never been helicopter parents. Not when in England, or here. As such, I believe our kids are able to cope with everyday life and know when to seek the advice of those with more experience.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 1:39 pm   #4
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

When offspring #1 started in on social media a couple of years ago, we had a conversation with him about online security and all that stuff. We set up some sort of monitoring thing - I can't even remember what it was now, as we never really used it, but instead had regular conversations about what was going on online. Most of his social media time was in Instagram - we insisted he allow us to "follow" him so we could see what he was posting and what sort of comments were flying back and forth; and we made sure his security and privacy settings were set at appropriate levels.

Now that he's just starting high school, we've finally relented and allowed him to get SnapChat (all the kids have iDevices on a "family group" plan and have to seek parental permission to download any app to their devices), after chatting to a few other parents and realizing that there was potentially a greater risk of social exclusion by not being on the group chats...

We don't actively monitor anything he does online. But he understands that if we ever discover that he has breached that trust relationship, the consequences will be significant. But there's no way to sensibly restrict "online privileges" as so much of schoolwork requires it: homework assignments are distributed and turned in through Google Classroom, group projects and collaborative work are all done through text, chat, FaceTime, etc... not to mention that his phone is his alarm clock, wristwatch, music player, video screen, and everything else - I don't think he ever uses it to actually have phone calls.

When the younger two get more into social media stuff (and it's starting for the 10-year-old) I imagine there'll be even less opportunity to monitor online activity as it will have become even more pervasive. It's not something I worry about - it's the way of the yoof, they will always be a half a step ahead of their parents when it comes to technology and will always find a way of going behind adults' backs if the rules are too restrictive. I'd rather foster openness and honesty than sneakiness and deception!
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 1:55 pm   #5
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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I wouldn't dream of monitoring anything. IMVHO they have to learn such things themselves. When I was at school, clearly, there wasn't bullying via social media, but bullying went on. I had to learn to cope with it, and learn not to dish it out. The modern day version of it requires the same life skills.

We have never been helicopter parents. Not when in England, or here. As such, I believe our kids are able to cope with everyday life and know when to seek the advice of those with more experience.
So, when the 13-year-old is contacted online by a pedophile pretending to be another child, you're OK with them meeting up and learning for themselves?

When my daughter was 12, she was in contact with her 13-year old cousin on MySpace who announced she was going to a concert (alone) to physically meet someone she had met online. Fortunately, my daughter saw the danger and told us and we alerted the father who put a stop to it.

As an aside, we WERE monitoring my daughter's computer at the time and I had seen the message before my daughter reported it. The fact she came out minutes later and told us made us very proud as parents.


To the OP: we used a product called Spectorsoft eBlaster which we found excellent. Unfortunately, it would appear to have been discontinued.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 2:25 pm   #6
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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So, when the 13-year-old is contacted online by a pedophile pretending to be another child, you're OK with them meeting up and learning for themselves?

When my daughter was 12, she was in contact with her 13-year old cousin on MySpace who announced she was going to a concert (alone) to physically meet someone she had met online. Fortunately, my daughter saw the danger and told us and we alerted the father who put a stop to it.

As an aside, we WERE monitoring my daughter's computer at the time and I had seen the message before my daughter reported it. The fact she came out minutes later and told us made us very proud as parents.


To the OP: we used a product called Spectorsoft eBlaster which we found excellent. Unfortunately, it would appear to have been discontinued.
I would like to believe that my children are sensible enough not to agree to meet anyone alone in person that they had not met before. The actions of your daughter demonstrates that, if children have been made aware of such dangers, they will act appropriately.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 2:51 pm   #7
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

My Daughter uses snapchat for 99% of her messaging between friends. I'm not sure, but I think that snapchat messages self delete after you have viewed it. This could be an issue for parents who want to see who or what their child has been messaging.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:04 pm   #8
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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My Daughter uses snapchat for 99% of her messaging between friends. I'm not sure, but I think that snapchat messages self delete after you have viewed it. This could be an issue for parents who want to see who or what their child has been messaging.
Yep 6 seconds and then it is gone by default. And who said conversations are fleeting.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:07 pm   #9
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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not to mention that his phone is his alarm clock, wristwatch, music player, video screen, and everything else - I don't think he ever uses it to actually have phone calls.
I'm the odd one in our family of 4. I use the cell phone as an actual phone..average talk time is usually about 1500 minutes/month (it is my work phone), with the others averaging maybe 50 minutes/month many of them very short calls.

I also am the one in the family who doesn't use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Linkedin is the only one I use and even then I often wonder 'why did I agree to add this person who sends out way too many messages to anybody and everybody'.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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My Daughter uses snapchat for 99% of her messaging between friends. I'm not sure, but I think that snapchat messages self delete after you have viewed it. This could be an issue for parents who want to see who or what their child has been messaging.
A couple of caveats that I have heard with Snapchat (and why we've waited til now to "allow" our eldest access):
- the illusion of transience is just that - an illusion. Kids may thnk it's OK to send something that would otherwise be inappropriate, because it won't be saved anywhere. But all it takes is for the recipient to screen-capture it, and off it goes to the big bad internet.
- some of the add-ons (snapmaps in particular) while they seem useful on the surface, are asking for trouble if misused: from making social exclusion more obvious ("hey, all my friends' location dots are at Johnny's house, why wasn't I invited over") to possibilities of stalking if privacy settings are not applied properly.

I'm with AC, though: teach your kids how to behave online and trust that they will do so. I wouldn't want to be the helicopter parent that joins the social media conversation with my kids' friends...
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:22 pm   #11
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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- some of the add-ons (snapmaps in particular) while they seem useful on the surface, are asking for trouble if misused: from making social exclusion more obvious ("hey, all my friends' location dots are at Johnny's house, why wasn't I invited over") to possibilities of stalking if privacy settings are not applied properly.
My kids disabled that (or never added it) as they found it caused too much drama with others.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:30 pm   #12
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

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So, when the 13-year-old is contacted online by a pedophile pretending to be another child, you're OK with them meeting up and learning for themselves?
I'm sure that was what was implied, that's what every parent wants for their child.

I'm not keen on keystroke monitors, I've recently been involved in a dispute where the employer produced a thick report of every keystroke and mouse move made by an employee over an extended period. Having taken the time to download and annotate the report made the employer look an utter dick. It'd be worse if the victim of the intrusion was one's child.

I do have experience of an early teen being invited on a weekend jaunt with a friend of the same age and the parents of the friend. She phoned to say she was at the hotel and was not comfortable in the presence of the friend's father. Tyres smouldered and the weekend trip was abbreviated. I would hope that the same instincts would have applied online; I'd have to trust the teen on that as I have no idea what a "normal" online conversation between teenagers would be. I can't know that, I'm from the lost world of analogue devices.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:35 pm   #13
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

As a certified moderator and a social media professional, I would strongly suggest that you have a conversation about safe practices online and reinforce it by explaining what the dangers are. I've even worked on 'childrens' sites (thankfully mostly pre-moderated, so the posts were not 'live') where there have been male and female adults/teens posting inappropriately (both in text and pictures). Bullying is engaged in even at a very young age (mostly by girls) and there's a fair few 'belfies' taken by boys.

It would be prudent and sensible to know their log-in details and passwords, so that you can check if necessary. You can also use those details to track the phone, if there was ever a problem.

It would be preferable to set up the social accounts yourself (with YOUR email), limit who can contact them, set it up so you 'follow them' and sort out the privacy settings to an appropriate level - then tell your child that you reserve the right to view their posts/interactions if you are concerned at any time. Disable the ability to download any app without your consent.

Learn the texts so you are aware if inappropriate comments are being made. A handy reference here: Dictionary - Educate Empower Kids
There's info on how to set up parental controls here: Bark - Monitor. Detect. Alert.

Whilst it may be a parents instinct (in the main) to allow their early teens a level of privacy, your first priority is to keep them safe. I can't emphasise enough that you do need to be able to access their accounts (or have a ghost account that also gets the messages / monitoring service that alerts you if there are specific words used) - while you may trust your teenager, you can't trust the predators and bullies that are out there. I'd recommend using a social media monitoring service if you don't want to actually read through their messages etc.,

The majority of people I work with don't allow their children to go online (socially) without some form of supervision or monitoring in place, because we see what goes on, every day.

If a teenager has nothing to hide, they shouldn't mind you seeing what they are doing online. It's not snooping, it's keeping your child safe in a very unsafe cyber world.

Without wishing to appear judgemental or accusatory, any parent who thinks that their child isn't at risk because they trust them, is being very naive.

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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:43 pm   #14
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakvillian View Post
A couple of caveats that I have heard with Snapchat (and why we've waited til now to "allow" our eldest access):
- the illusion of transience is just that - an illusion. Kids may thnk it's OK to send something that would otherwise be inappropriate, because it won't be saved anywhere. But all it takes is for the recipient to screen-capture it, and off it goes to the big bad internet.
- some of the add-ons (snapmaps in particular) while they seem useful on the surface, are asking for trouble if misused: from making social exclusion more obvious ("hey, all my friends' location dots are at Johnny's house, why wasn't I invited over") to possibilities of stalking if privacy settings are not applied properly.

I'm with AC, though: teach your kids how to behave online and trust that they will do so. I wouldn't want to be the helicopter parent that joins the social media conversation with my kids' friends...
My Daughter was on a popular youtube channel for 'tweens' between the age of 11 - 13. Because of this, she has developed extremely thick skin. Mainly because of all the nasty comments that people leave.

Anyway, because she was out there filming video sketches once per week, she was paranoid about people (weirdos) noticing certain landmarks, street names, objects in the house identifiable with our City etc and finding out where she lived. Which no one ever did.

Apparently now she is 'too old' for making kiddy youtube videos, (her words) and this safety streak she has developed has stayed with her. The first thing she did was disable that GPS tracking thing in snapchat. I can understand enabling it when you are on vacation, but I wouldn't want her to have it on all the time.

I just asked her about taking a screenshot in snapchat and she said that if you take a screenshot of a snap, the other person is notified. I guess that's better than nothing.

Bloody kids these days having to deal with all this online stress, most I had to deal with was the School bully taking my lunch money.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 3:59 pm   #15
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Default Re: Monitoring your teen

I've just finished reading a book by one of the mothers of one of the Columbine shooters. In it she says she wished she had checked up on him more as then she might have realised how depressed he was and that he was being bullied. She thought he was doing ok.

No I'm not saying that your kids will end up on a killing spree but this teen was impressionable and depressed and he became friends with a psychopath.

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