Snooping on our kids was easier a few years back. When we were in our teens, there was one landline phone, and that too was in the kitchen or living room. Any letters or notes from the friends were received through the mail. So if parents wanted to know anything about their kid in those days, they didn’t have to try hard for it.
Parents or Peepers?
My parents usually respected my privacy except for some particular occasions. They would keep their hands off my diaries but had their channels to get the flow of information. While this method worked for my family, parents have to decide what makes sense for them in the smartphone age.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 48 percent of parents of children aged 13 to 17 have read their children’s text messages. Another study sponsored by the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children states that 68% of parents of kids aged 10 to 13 had monitored their children’s phone activities.
Although it is the parents’ job to make sure their kids make the right choices; digging deep into their lives and peeping into their private conversations may backfire in some cases.
Keeping the right balance is a tricky thing. So how much space should we afford our kids to grow while protecting them at the same time? With smartphones and digital world around us, how much of parental surveillance is conscientious monitoring and when do we land into the realm of deceptive spying?
It is a fact that our kids are more digitally proficient than us. They have many tricks up their sleeves to evade their parents’ monitoring. Kids are more deceitful when parents spy on their children either through a mobile spy app or top cell phone monitoring apps. So the more you spy on your kid, the more efforts your kid puts up in hiding information. The result is that parents who spy on their children end up with less information than the ones who don’t.
So how do we protect our kids online besides giving them a fair measure of privacy? Here are a few suggestions.
Don’t give them a phone with no-holds-barred authority
An average American kid has his first smartphone at a developmentally tender age. They usually have a phone around the age of 10. This is an age when they don’t know how this gadget in their hands could impact them in the long run. Because of their age, they fail to get hold of the larger picture. Instead, they only see what’s right in front of them or what provides them instant gratification.
Some of the parents would set up a plan to see their kids’ communication while others use Xnspy mobile spying app to keep an eye on their communication. But there is a benefit of introducing your kids to the smartphone at an early age. Kids feel attached to their parents and welcome their guidance. So if you have given your kids a phone, then lay out the rules early. You can use parent-child phone contracts. This contract may include:
- Posting personal photos on social media only after a parental consent
- Not accepting a friend request from a stranger
- Speaking to everyone with respect on the internet, and so on
Meanwhile, you can rely on a top cell phone monitoring app to supervise the adherence to these rules. After all, they are children, and they can get distracted at some point. You can choose an app like Xnspy through which you can do selective monitoring. For example, its Watchlist feature allows you to flag specific words, contacts, locations, or emails. If a child makes any contacts with the flagged people or uses the flagged words on their phone or visits a flagged location, parents will be immediately notified. This will further strengthen the parental advice in the kids’ mind and keep them from doing what they know is wrong. This feature of Xnspy can be availed both on Android and iOS devices. Also, controlled monitoring indicates that parents show respect for their kids’ privacy. Consequently, you kids would repose more trust in you.
Admit and acknowledge that you are no longer their bosom friend
By the age of 14, our kids start keeping secrets from us. Kids keep some distance from their parents in their teenage to develop a personal identity. They would turn to their close friends to know which outfit looks cool or to discuss a social snub. That’s all part of their healthy development. It is a time when they are more open with their friends than their parents. They might fear to share a bad experience to avoid being judged or hearing a lecture.
Parents must realize this distance is all part of growing up. I know it still sucks for many parents, but we need to give them space to develop socially. Here again, parents can keep some controlled check on their kids’ conversations to guide them in their highs and lows. Using a mobile spying app or a monitoring solution like Xnspy could give the parents insight into what is going on in their social and personal life. When you know who they are talking to and what are they discussing, you would be at peace. In a negative scenario, Xnspy can give you the details of the contact which is the right time to mediate before anything wrong happens.
Let them know if you are spying on them
Once you have set the rules and spent a few weeks regularly discussing your kids’ smartphone use with them, like the apps they are using or the things they are sharing online, it is time for an assessment. If your kid complies with all the rules mentioned in the smartphone contract, you can start to have a lenient hand. This shows your children know how to protect themselves and to comply with the parents at the same time. There is no reason to doubt them anymore.
However, if you catch your kid amid a social media storm like friend fights along with a series of posts or texts, then let her know that you would be monitoring her for her own safety. Do not be sneaky; tell her that you would be monitoring them. Instead of shutting down their smartphone use, it is better to limit it.
When you deliver an open message to your kid about monitoring them and convey that technology is a privilege, not a right, this strategy works for many parents.
Top cell phone monitoring apps like Xnspy allows the kids to use the phone with freedom but at the same time keep their parents apprised about their smartphone use. They develop that understanding that if they break the rules, their parents can lock the device remotely using Xnspy and they will lose the privacy they are enjoying.
Watch out for the red flags IRL
Setting the rules in the contract is kind of a warning. If you find that they are in danger, hurting others, or engaging in an untoward behavior, then you have every right to do some inspection.
If you see changes in your child’s behavior and mood – like excessive sleeping, poor grades, and disappearing for hours with no explanation – then you have every right to check what they have been up to on their phones. Using Xnspy mobile spying app become legit here. Check their call records or WhatsApp conversations. You can also see Facebook, Viber, Line, and Kik messenger conversations using Xnspy. If your child finds it wrong, then tell her that you are concerned and you can go at any lengths to protect her. Talk to their school counselor or psychiatrist to find the solution.
When you would keep your doors of communication open to your children, they will always come to you about their problems. When you accept your role as a supportive listener, you are more likely to be kept in the loop instead of being locked out of your teen’s private life.