By: Mia L. Hazlett
I was watching this movie called Trust the other night. It’s by David Schwimmer and it was excellent. It was about a teen (maybe 14 or 15) who was texting back and forth with a “boy” she met on-line. They finally agreed to meet and it ended up being a grown man(thirty something.) See the movie for yourself, it has a powerful message, being that the young girl actually “fell in love” with this man. The next day I read this stupid article, http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/spying-teens-via-facebook-most-parents-235218608.html
Are you really spying on your kid or being a responsible parent? I just never understood how it is possible for your kid to have privacy when posting on a social network. They are sharing their thoughts, experiences, locations, and pictures with the world. Okay, some have their privacy settings and all, but you get my point. Now my 10 YO has an email account. It is linked to my phone so I get all her emails too. Yeah, one day she will probably drop me or open another one, but not right now. If she wants to do the FB thing and see pictures or message family, she uses my account with me right there. She has an iTouch where she has a free texting app. Now for the emails and iTouch, I have her passwords and go through them whenever the mood hits.
Why? you may ask. I do this because I am the parent and I can. She has the iTouch because when we lived in Houston, she and her sister could Face-time their father and other family members. I allowed her to get the free texting app because she and I keep in touch, when I am at work. She’s not allowed to have a cell yet because she’s not old enough to go anywhere where there are not responsible adults (all the adults I leave her with have cell phones and most have land lines.) She did end up losing her iTouch for a week, because I checked a text message that was sent to her cousin at 12 in the am. Hand it over chicky!
The thing is, I do trust my daughter. Plus I know I’ve posted somewhere on this blog she is a horrible liar. But I don’t trust the people out there that make it a felony of preying on innocent children. Parents these days need to be more adamant about who their children are texting, chatting with, FB friends with and lay the freakin’ privacy thing to the side. A responsible parent shouldn’t consider themselves spying on their kids if they log into their children’s FB page. They should pat themselves on the back for giving a crap enough to ensure their kids are presenting themselves to the world in a responsible manner. Trust me, I wonder sometimes on FB when I see these young girls with the horrendous kissy lips and boob and butt shots, they post as their profile pic. I’m more concerned when I see their parents are friends with them and apparently find it appropriate. Granted I sent my daughters into the camera booth at the mall a couple of weeks ago, smiles, smiles, smiles, smile and kissy lips. My oldest made the kissy lips on the fourth picture. I told her she looked like she was in pain.
I remember there was a woman I worked with and she found out through her friend, her daughter was airing how much she hated her (the woman I worked with/the mother) with F-bomb and B-Bomb. My co-worker was complaining and going on and on. She told me her son went in and closed the account, just to find out her daughter has opened another one and “it is all blocked. I can’t see anything.” She didn’t like my solution, “take away her laptop and cell phone and tell her until she knows how to use FB responsibly, she’s not getting them back.” “Oh she’ll just find another way. That will be too much of a headache.” I had to ask her, “So you’re okay with people coming up to you and telling you your daughter thinks you’re an effen-B?” “Well she needs her computer for school.” I told her, “Teachers know your daughter just as much as you do. They spend most of their days with her. Write them a note and tell them why she doesn’t have a computer anymore and why they must accept her handwritten reports.” It went back and forth; her daughter never lost her phone or computer, but she returned complaining her daughter was doing the same with the new account.
If there is anything I remember growing up it’s, “as long as you live under my roof, you live by my rules.” Where did that go? When did it become okay with these push-over parents to be publicly disrespected in the name of good grades? How can making sure our kids are practicing safety on-line, be considered spying and invading their privacy? Spying is what siblings do, not parents. Kids nowadays have access to the world, and the real tech savvy and not so tech savvy have access to our kids. It’s not about trusting your kid, it’s about not trusting those who have access to your kids. I much rather have my kid walking around hating me because I am checking her computer and phone when I feel like it, rather than have her love me, while making secret dates with 30 year-old pedophiles. Because as long as she is under my roof, it’s my rules!