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So tell me, why would a parent spy on their kids?
Don't you trust them?
Are you worried?
Spying on people usually tends to make them angry or annoyed at the least.
Teens really don't need more of that.
Instead, they like to feel understood and trusted.
Educate them and let them know you're their and you won't be angry.
Kids need to make mistakes.
And if you're only spying you won't even prevent them from making mistakes, you'll only see the fact afterwards.
If you did this to literally anyone else they'd sue you and you'd get a restraining order (and a fine and possibly jail time), so why is it okay to do to your kids?
For the record, I don't know any parent who did this and all their kids turned out fine.
Until the teen reaches 18 years old, they are a child and you, the parent, are legally responsible for what they do. They have no right to privacy where parents are concerned. It is the job of the parent to know what their kid is doing and in doing so, teach them right from wrong and protect them. Once they are adults, then they are responsible for themselves. If the parent did not raise and train them how to be responsible adults, they won't magically become so at 18.
You need to know what they're doing in terms of "in their room (hopefully doing homework, but you know better than that)" or "out with friends" (and when they're not at home you'll never know what they're actually doing for certain).
Most importantly, "not burning stuff to the ground" or "not stealing a brand new tv", but you raised them well so they won't do that.
You don't need to know the level of detail of "browsing pr0n" or "drinking different beers and getting sick" (that's a good life's lesson!).
Sorry to say this, but you sound like all children are out to get their parents arrested for stupid stuff they did.
You did stupid stuff when you were young, I did stupid stuff when I was young and your children will do stupid stuff too, it's called growing up.
Luckily, it's mostly getting drunk and throwing up or skipping class and getting detention kind of dumb stuff.
I say, unless you raised an irresponsible little brat, give them a little credit and don't secretly spy on them.
And if you did, they probably won't let you spy on them without a big fight in the first place.
None of our parents spied on us (I presume) and we all turned out fine.
Anyway, I think super's wife handled it pretty well as can be read in his latest post[^]
It's keeping an eye out, but not flat out spying.
You are thinking a bit too narrowly and naively. Do you have kids? My wife and I raised three who grew up to be intelligent, educated, well-adjusted adults who now have children of their own.
I did stupid things as a kid, and was held accountable for them. That is why I did not get into even worse things that would ruin my adult life and the lives of those I love. Setting and enforcing boundaries and rules of behavior, while teaching the teens and pre-teens how to make the right decisions for themselves, seems to be sorely lost on a lot of parents in recent decades.
In a nutshell, it is just lazy parenting, and then making psychobabble excuses for it.
Setting and enforcing boundaries and rules of behavior, while teaching the teens and pre-teens how to make the right decisions for themselves, seems to be sorely lost on a lot of parents in recent decades.
We do agree on that
I just don't think spying/stalking is the way to do it
There's spy software so you know what your kids are browsing, which may be appropriate for young children, but really not for teens.
That's what I was thinking about since super asked for "watching her activity" and "checking her phone on the sly".
And to that I say, have some trust!
No, I had my own TV in my room.
They also never knew what games I played.
They've seen me play games like Duke Nukem and Hexen when I was like 6 or 7, so I don't think they really cared
Although Duke Nukem scarred me for life... I played LAN with an uncle and he used the god mode to kick my ass. I've had trust issues ever since
Of course I knew it was just a game, so I didn't go around shooting people in real life (even though my uncle deserved it for cheating against a kid!)
But they did (and do) care a lot about me.
It's just that my parents considered me a responsible human being who didn't need constant supervision.
Except when I failed math class and they took my computer away until I did my homework
And that time I failed my master's degree because I played too much World of Warcraft and they said "you're going to find a job NOW or we'll do it FOR YOU! "
But they never told me I couldn't visit websites or not watch certain movies.
I still consider them my #1 advisers in life and I talk to them at least once a week.
Having been in that position before (two teenage daughters), I would suggest:
Sit down with her, and explain the dangers of internet access. You may want to acknowledge the advantages as well, just to show that you're not against internet use, only irresponsible internet use.
Once you have explained the dangers, explain why you wish to install an anti-virus/"family content" filter package on her phone. Emphasize that this is not so you can spy on her, but so she is not victimized by the bad actors on the internet.
Most of these "family content" filters allow for custom restrictions and/or monitoring the children's surfing habits. Set the options according to what you want, and tell your daughter that you are doing so. For example, some "family content" filters allow banning certain categories of sites, etc.
Your daughter will still be able to remove the package from her phone, but you will know it (no surfing reported?), and can take appropriate steps. Let her know what these steps will be.
I hope this helps.
(I haven't given recommendations for packages, because (a) I don't know what is current, and (b) it's against site policy as I understand it.)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.