In today’s episode of Digital Parenting Live we examine a question from a workshop attendee about whether parents should monitor their kid’s online activity.
Hey guys. Welcome to Digital Parenting Live for April 19th. This is the show where we take your questions and we actually work through your questions on technology and the family and how we keep technology from harming our families.
Today’s question that we’re going to be answering is one that actually comes from a recent workshop attendee. When we were actually doing one of these workshops, this was one of the questions that came up, and I wanted to take time in this episode and actually deal with it. Let’s take a look here at the question, and here it is.
Isn’t monitoring my child’s online activity an invasion of their privacy? Shouldn’t we teach them what to do and then just trust them?
This is a very common question that we get. One of the interesting things that happens here is, is this also … This question comes into lay when parents start putting digital parenting practices in play within their home. But here’s the catch. It doesn’t come from their kids. Now, sometimes it may. A lot of parents will say, “My kid asks, ‘Don’t you trust me?'” But a lot of times, this pushback will come from other parent as you begin to put these things in play. This is a question, again, I feel like you need to be able to answer, I need to be able to answer. It’s important for all of us that are parents.
Here’s what I would say to this. That if taking that view that this is just an invasion of privacy and we should just trust our kids, to me, that doesn’t make sense when you understand the dangers that truly exist. Again, if we look at the dangers associated with addiction, if we look at the dangers associated with depression tied to social media usage, if you look at the different ways that children can be victimized online or come across objectionable content, these are dangers that are different in a lot of ways from the dangers that many of us had as kids. I think a lot of times is we want to put the same lens on the challenges that this generation has to the challenges that we had. The truth is, the dangers are more severe.
Again, who’s going to take charge of our kids if we’re not in these areas to help them, to enable them, to make sure that, again, you’ve heard me say this before, that they can actually be satisfied with life, have healthy relationships, and they can make wise choices in their life? If we want to enable those things in our kids, this is not an area where we can simply say, “Hey, best of luck to you. I’m going to give you a phone and I’m going to walk away. You figure it out.” We wouldn’t do that in other areas. We wouldn’t give our kids a credit card when they turn 12 and say, “You know what? Figure this whole finance thing out.” We need to be actively involved.
In these cases, the way we look at it is we’re putting guardrails, we’re putting boundaries in place for our kids for their benefit. Again, let’s also be just real for just a minute. This concept of privacy, yeah, there are areas we want to give our kids some aspects of privacy, but if there is a real danger to our kids, privacy should be one of our last concerns. The real concern that we should have as parents is making sure that we’re preventing them from falling into a trap that’s going to give them long-term consequences. This, to me, is part of being a digital parent is looking at the dangers, understanding them, and saying, “I’m going to take an active role in actually making sure that my kid doesn’t fall into the dangers that exist in technology,” and that’s a part of what we do here at DigitalParenting.com.
Now, just a reminder. If you have questions that you want us to actually cover on this show, feel free to send in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just go to the website and hit Contact Us and send your question in. We want to be able to answer as many of these as we can. We thank you guys for joining us for today’s episode of Digital Parenting Live.