Parents’ concerns about their kids’ digital safety and well-being are genuine when kids (especially teenagers) start frequenting social media apps. All parents want to safeguard their kids from inappropriate social media interactions and their associated dangers.
However, it begs the question, “Should parents use text messages monitoring apps to monitor their kids’ messages without their knowledge?” Let’s dive in and see if it is justifiable or not.
Do You Want to be a Responsible Parent or a Digital Spy?
There is a clear difference between monitoring and spying on your kids’ activities. They vary in their method as well as intent. Becoming a helicopter parent and spying on your kids means you constantly seek ways to pry into their activities without their knowledge. Such parents do it to catch their kids red-handed and call them out on their wrongdoings. Let’s look at the characteristics of responsible parents and how you can become one.
Characteristics of Responsible Parents
Responsible parents value their kids’ safety and pay attention to their activities for the sake of supervision. They take their kids on board before they begin monitoring their activities. Parents should establish an open relationship with their kids based on trust. When that happens, kids share their secrets with their parents instead of keeping secrets from them. However, monitoring your kids’ activities and messages is part of being a responsible parent. It is better to monitor their activities in the longer run because you can step in and save the day if need arises.
Make Friends with Technology
Know that all text messages monitoring apps are not created equal. They differ in functionality and interface. Some apps allow parents to break all boundaries and pry into their kids’ all activities. If you don’t wish to become a helicopter parent, staying away from such apps would be in your best interest.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can look for apps that allow parents to set notifications for only inappropriate communication. For instance, FamilyTime parental controls that empowers parents to look for specific red flags. That helps you look for and rectify issues such as, cyberbullying, unwelcomed sexual advances, depression or suicidal tendencies, etc. Opting for an app like this can alert you of these dire situations in time and you can help your kids before it is too late.
Educate Your Kids About Digital Safety
All parents should take time to teach their kids about digital safety, even though their kids are well-versed in using technology or have just begun using social media apps. Lay down some ground rules and explain what is expected of them. Tell them the difference between appropriate and inappropriate interactions. Teach them some tips and tricks on how to get out of uncomfortable situations. Make sure your kids know that they can rely on you. It is the only way to ensure that kids can confide in their parents no matter the situation.
Be Open & Tell Them Why You’re Monitoring Their Messages
Kids (teenagers in particular) often value their independence and may detest the idea of supervision. Parents must make an educated effort to help their kids understand why it is in their best interest. Make them aware of the dangers lurking in their digital lives, such as cyberbullying, catfishing, sexual predators, online grooming, etc.
Kids will show resistance if they feel their freedom will be restricted. Therefore, parents must emphasize that they trust their kids and explain that text messages monitoring is only a means of protection. It will allow you to establish a strong foundation of trust with your kids. Parents must elaborate that they will not go through everything their kids say or do. Instead, they’ll keep a safe distance and just make sure their kids don’t fall victim to any of the horrendous possibilities mentioned above. Above all, know that everything important in life takes time.
Do you still think you should carry out secret text messages monitoring of your kids’ devices? Kids use all sorts of applications from games to social media to email and streaming platforms. These communities can expose your kids to various indecent content and people. FamilyTime can help you provide a safer digital environment for your kids.
Instead of secretly peeking into their devices, take an upfront and honest approach with your kids. It will help you prevent and address any critical issues before they escalate as and when needed.