Reasons Why Parents Shouldn't Monitor Social Media of Their Kids
For over three years, Christine, a finance manager has been monitoring her daughter through the parental control app. It was a handy tool and it let her look through her daughter’s call logs, messages, videos, apps, games, social media, and browser history. Christine never felt sorry for this and her confidence grew more when she was able to intervene in the conversation where her daughter was planning a sexual rendezvous with her boyfriend. She added, ‘I know my daughter isn’t as naïve as I was at her age, this latest technology scares me’.
While technology has brought new ways for kids to explore and have fun, parents are also able to track them, monitor them, and keep an eye on them using the same technology. But, nowadays, the debate is all about why parents shouldn’t monitor social media of their teens?
The latest apps that can be found in the market can let parents monitor everything of their kids from their local text messages to their social media posts. Even some apps let the parents know if their kid is driving too fast. While it is good to know this much about your kid activities, but it all goes to one question; Are you doing it for the kids or yourself?
Why Parents Shouldn’t Monitor Social Media of Their Kids?
There is no problem with monitoring as long as it doesn’t turn into your obsession. The new digital spy tools give the parents extra authority over their kids’ social lives which is good for their kids’ safety but can be dangerous in many other ways.
Adolescence is a difficult period for the kids, they need privacy and a sense of freedom in this time to develop the sense of their own identities. Parents find it unbearable to watch their kids walk away with freedom, making their own decisions. As tempting as it for the parents to keep an eye on the kids, it can do much harm than good.
The main goal of parenting is to create a healthy self-sufficient individual, and the process is at its peak when the kids start enjoying autonomy. This is when the parents must teach them the balance between independence and safety. Kids want privacy to grow into self-sufficient individuals.
When you snoop into their personal life more than you should, it can harm your relationship with them. If you keep intervening in their life, it might show your mistrust and can hurt their feelings. Nowadays, the problem is that most of the parents move towards monitoring their kids because of their insecurities and anxieties more than the concern for kids’ safety.
Moreover, if you are spying on them covertly, they will know eventually because of their tech-savvy attitude. Once they get to know they might not trust you anymore and become more secretive than ever which can be harmful to your relationship. Teens’ privacy matters for them now more than ever.
Parents must find out some healthy ways to keep their children safe and secure from the dangers of this tech world. First, they must realize how much snooping is okay and why exactly are you doing it?
Why Do Kids Need Protection?
Before monitoring your kids, you must first figure out why they might need that. Know the social media platforms they have been using and how those platforms work. Do some research and know in what sort of danger your kid can be.
To make it crystal clear to you, here are some of the dangers that are found on social media and can harm your kids:
- Cyberbullying is one of the most common practices by kids and adults on social media. Now, the fights of school playgrounds are taken to social media by humiliating the other person through posting inappropriate stuff. This might seem like something that can be handled, but kids have even attempted suicides due to cyberbullying.
- Online predators are everywhere on the internet in search of the innocent kids who will share their personal information with them. They play nice with your kids at first, pretending to understand them and connect with them emotionally and then they allure them into sharing the stuff that can be dangerous for them.
- Sexting is the common practice that happens when the kids develop intimate relationships over the internet thinking that these relationships will last longer. Sexting involves sending and receiving inappropriate pictures and videos, mostly of sexual nature to attract the partner. These videos and pictures can later be used for blackmailing or revenge.
- Social media addiction is another danger roaming over your kids’ heads. They easily get addicted to this new glittery world and the expert says that this addiction is similar to that of substance abuse. It shows similar effects and thus it is equally dangerous for them.
Know more about some of the grave dangers that you can encounter while using social media: https://www.secureteen.com/social-media/negative-effects-of-social-media
How to Protect Your Kids?
Protection doesn’t necessarily mean being authoritative on them. It might also mean teaching them smart ways of using social media. You can help them learn about social media and it will also build your relationship. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure they are safe and not going far away from you:
- First, help them make their social media accounts. Sit with them and guide them through the settings. Be friendly and you can teach them a lot of things during that time.
- Second, be open with them regarding the dangers that they might find on social media. Tell them some statistics and encourage them to talk to you whenever they feel they are in trouble. Also, motivate them that they are smart enough to stay out of trouble.
- Third, use parental control apps to make sure they are safe. You ought to monitor them a bit to make sure they are not in trouble. Don’t intervene all the time, just be there for them when you feel they need your support. You can use SecureTeen for this purpose, as it is the best parental control app out there.
Monitoring is necessary for the safety of your kids especially in this era, but make sure to use smart ways to do it as you don’t want to make your kids move away from you.