Last week Ronnie and I were asked to write a short opinion piece for a New York Times feature called Room For Debate. Our discussion was based on whether or not you should monitor your children’s technology use and whether that crosses the line of their privacy.
If you’re a longtime reader of BMWK you should already know our stance on this. I’ve made it known before that I’ll go all Lester Freamon from The Wire up in here, at the drop of a dime if I have probable cause. Check out this excerpt from an article I wrote back in 2008:
All of that kids have rights too stuff is overrated, especially in the age of 1 out of 4 STD’s and myspace. Our teenage son has been caught slippin on more than one occasion so as long as I keep finding stuff I don’t feel the least bit of guilt. I’ve been known to print out a chat transcript then provide the evidence like the late Johnny Cochran. I can tap into a phone conversation better than Lester on “The Wire“ and will then question you to see how many lies you tell like Bill Duke in “Menace II Society” ““ “You know you then @#$#@ up right? (Don’t worry I leave the cuss word out).
Yeah I said it! While you need to have these important discussions with your children about online safety and how they use technology they should only have the trust that they’ve earned. If they have not been trustworthy then you need to keep
Even for your children who are trustworthy they need to know that you are capable of checking in on them and their devices, Facebook pages etc… In the NY Times article I mentioned that using the excuse of not being technical is no longer acceptable. You have to know what your children are up to online. Their lives may actually depend on it.
From our NY Times article:
When your kids are online, you are ultimately responsible for their safety. Even if you don’t exercise the right to monitor them, your children should know that you’re willing to and capable of checking their online activities. We exercise this right regularly. Our children know we check in on them, but they don’t know the time or the place that it will happen!
When it comes to us Safety Trumps Privacy every time!
BMWK, does monitoring your children online invade their privacy? How important is your child’s privacy to you? Have you ever caught your child doing something inappropriate online?