Parents buy monitoring software to keep track of all the online activities of their kids. What they don’t realize is the fact that kids don’t approve of this, especially with it being done secretly. It is okay to monitor kids for their own safety, but there are certain boundaries that need to be respected. Let’s take a look at a few considerations that need to be kept in mind while carrying out the digital protection of kids through the use of various tools.
Ethical Ways of Snooping on Kids
Parents these days are more into snooping than into monitoring. Of course, there is a clear difference between the two. The latter is never recommended unless the situation is serious. Following are some ethical ways of keeping tabs on kids’ activities.
Understand That Kids Want Privacy
Kids are sensitive about their privacy and possessions, and this is something you must also respect. Trust takes years to develop, but your single act can destroy it, so avoid sneaking into kids business unless and until there is no other option.
Set Rules for Snooping
It’s always better to set rules for snooping with the kids in order to make sure both of you are on the same page. Discuss with the kids about what is private and what is not. You may find it okay to read the journal of kid or his chats with friends, but he may not look it that way. So, make sure that you know about the areas he is sensitive about, like his cupboard, any drawer, clothing pockets etc. It’s better to make clear what snooping is for you. Also, tell him that you will respect his privacy and never snoop behind him as long as you are sure that he is safe and not doing anything that can cause him any harm.
Take Appropriate Action when Needed
Parents are highly advised to respect the privacy and possessions of kids as they too have some secrets. They do not want to share these hidden parts of their personality with us, but there comes a time when parents should keep privacy aside, and do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of their kids, even of it requires them to get their email or Facebook passwords. Here, the question arises when should parents snoop? Following are a few situations when it is okay to snoop.
Kid is using drugs or drinking alcohol
Missing his school
Getting poor grades
Talking to strangers online
Not following your instructions
Behaving differently for no apparent reason
Follow Your Intuition
Do not just rely on the parental control applications; also trust your gut feeling. If you observe a sudden change in the behavior of your kid, or you feel that something is disturbing him, then ask him directly. Chances are he will open up about it, but if he doesn’t, then try to get into the matter on your own. For instance, talk to his friends and teacher. Maybe they’d be able to tell you something important.
Let them Learn their Lessons
Snooping is allowed only in extreme situations, when the kid’s safety is at stake. Parents should not be over-protective. Helicopter parenting does nothing, but irritates the kid, leaving him angry. Sometimes, it’s better to let kids learn their own lessons.
Never cross the limits, when it comes to monitoring kids. Reading the emails, text messages, Facebook chat etc. just out of curiosity is not something appreciated. Snooping itself is not a good thing, unless it is done to save kids from any serious threat.