Should I Spy On My Kids While They’re Online?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to spy on your kids while they’re online.  But creating the proper Internet usage environment requires active participation on your part as a parent, and a lot of parents either don’t take the time or simply don’t know what to do.

Advanced Parental Controls Software ReviewThere are a lot of options out there for parents from basic settings on web browsers to advanced parental monitoring software.

While a parent certainly has the ultimate say, kids should actually be involved in making the rules covering online use for a couple of reasons.  One reason is that, if you treat your kids as being trustworthy and responsible, they will generally try to act that way.  Another is that, by involving them in the process, they can learn why certain things can be dangerous and how to recognize those dangerous things.

Simply forbidding your kids from going online will often tempt them into doing just that.  Maybe not at your home, but surely at school, the library, or a friend’s house.  Even telling them they can’t go to certain types of sites might backfire.

But parents who take the time to sit down with their kids and discuss Internet safety and establish Internet rules with input from their children generally find that they don’t need to spy on their kids.  In fact, by sitting down with their children, parents often learn more themselves about Internet safety do’s and don’ts.There are numerous Internet safety sites online. 

IamBigBrother SoftwareParents should check out several then sit down with their children and discuss the various issues covered.  Make sure you get age-specific information because the average 7 year old has far different interests, experience, and judgment skills than, say, a 14 year old. 

As a result, the rules will need to be appropriate and they will need to change over time.  While you should start teaching your children about privacy from the very beginning, there’s a vast difference between young children (who should not even have access to chat rooms, for example) and teens who will be busy IM–ing and chatting with their friends…and who need to know how to tell friends from strangers.

If, however, your kid doesn’t obey the rules you’ve set together, you may have to resort spying on them when they’re online.  But try trusting them first and sitting down with them.  It’s much healthier for your relationship with your kids.

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