MY KIDS DON'T GET PRIVACY
I was recently criticized for looking through my twelve year old's phone without her consent. There are so many opinions about this topic that I had to pause and think about my actions. Then I thought, “What was I doing wrong that I deserved such criticism. Some people believe that children deserve their privacy. That it’s not OK to look at our children’s text messages or social media accounts to ensure their safety and the safety of others. At the risk of sounding rude, why wouldn’t I check?
MY KIDS MAY BE BULLYING OTHERS
I’m not sorry to say, and totally not sorry if this offends you but I truly believe that anyone under the age of sixteen does not have a right to privacy. Sure my kids have the right to privacy if they are showering or going to the washroom, getting changed or anything that has to do with their body. Yes, then they get privacy, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give my kids full privacy when it comes to their cell phones and social media accounts! I want to, and need to, know if my kids are getting bullied or heaven forbid, my kids are the ones bullying others! Don’t get me wrong, I have great kids but that doesn’t mean that they won’t behave or participate in bullying acts online or in person simply because they are unaware of appropriate online actions. Maybe I should have more faith in my kids. Maybe I should think that I’ve been such a good parent that my kids would never act in such a way. I think I’ve done a good job raising respectable young beings and I believe that my kids are good kids but I’m not naïve enough to believe that my children are not capable of such things. I will ensure that I know they are not participating in such acts. The only way I can do this is by monitoring their conversations via texting and social media.
WHAT IF MY KIDS ARE GETTING BULLIED?
On the flip side, there are so many kids out there who are killing themselves because they are getting bullied on social media but are too afraid to tell anyone about it. It’s a known fact that teenagers don’t like to talk about their feelings. It’s saddens me when I see news stories of young children committing suicide because of online bullying. I don’t want my kids to be part of this statistic and I will do everything that I can think of to prevent this from happening. If this means that I have to look through their phones to read the text messages exchanged between my children’s texts and their private messages on social media then I will do just that! Sorry but not sorry.
And lastly, the access sexual predators have to young children is at an all-time high right now because of social media accounts. You can talk to your kids till you’re blue in the face about how to use social media safely. I can also talk to them till I’m blue in the face on the importance of doing school work but I still have to ride their asses every day to get it done and they still fight. So why am I going to have full and total faith that they will listen when it comes to not interacting with strangers online? A stranger that will tell them everything they want to hear. Someone who is going to make them feel good and comfort them when their parents aren’t being “fair.” Not to post what school they go to or what their birthday is or where they live on social media? This is far too important to turn a blind eye to and I choose not to! All the kids out there who fall into the trap of a sexual predator didn’t wake up in the morning thinking, “this is the day I’m going to get raped/kidnapped/murdered.” No! They wake up thinking they are going to meet the love of their life and live a fairy tale with this amazing person they met online. That they are going to prove their parents wrong and bring home the perfect boy.
I’M JUST TRYING TO PROTECT MY KIDS
Cell phones and social media accounts weren’t even a thing till I turned 18ish. Yet, I still saw and experienced more than one should experience in a lifetime by the time I was 16. Maybe I’m jaded because of this and am acting far to over protective because of my own past. What’s so wrong with that? I believe it gives me the advantage to know what evil does in fact exist in this world and I’m not willing to let that evil find my kids. You’d protect them everywhere else so why wouldn't you protect them from the web? Where it's even easier for bad thing's to find them. If I am wrong and I just had special circumstances then whatever. I promised my kids that I will do everything I can to keep them safe. This is the only way I know how to protect them so I’m going to do just that. If you don’t agree with me, then that’s okay too. Just don’t look down on me or any other parent out there who privately check up on their kid’s private lives. We are only trying to be the best parents that we know how to be. So bottom line, I WILL look through my kid’s phones and whether or not you agree doesn’t change my opinion because I believe that my opinion will protect my children.