Parenting is hard, it has been for decades, and it will probably be the same for many more years to come. There will always be discussions and debates on the difference in parenting techniques. Everyone has an opinion, method, and style on how they should raise their kids. Nowadays, one of the biggest debates is if parents should check their children’s social media accounts and their activities online. Read on as we attempt to answer this question below.
Benefits, Risks, and Dangers
The internet is a vast and unknown universe, doing everything in our lives easily accessible. Because of this, teenagers can get addicted to using social media. While the digital world can also be extremely beneficial to many people, providing knowledgeable content day in and day out.
A new app is created out of nowhere allowing your children and teenagers’ access to a variety of digital content. But with unlimited access also comes the risks of being subjected to the dangers of the world. Children/teenagers can face cyber bullying, peer pressure, sexual harassment, online predators, or even stumble upon inappropriate content.
The digital world is now an open book, asking everyone to share, click, and view anything and everything. But where is the limit? And how is it affecting parents and the discipline they would like to impose on their children? Below are the two polarized viewpoints of this debate:
Why You Should Monitor
Any of these examples mentioned can cause inexplicable harm to your children, be it social anxiety, mental health issues, invasion of privacy, or in some severe cases, suicide and self-harm. Many of the newer apps allow teenagers and children to share content, videos, and messages for only a period that lasts 24 hours – which is something that made bullying and sharing sexual content much easier.
On the other end of the spectrum, other apps have made their way to parents, which encourage them to monitor their phones. Nowadays, you can check their text messages, even learn how to hack Snapchat and other social media apps, and you can also monitor where your child is, at all times. These apps facilitate checking their children’s social media activity to make sure they’re safe, sound, and no harm has occurred.
Why You Shouldn’t Monitor
Meanwhile, many parents find that it’s an extreme invasion of privacy if you regularly check their social media activity. They believe that you’re not allowing the child/teenager to build a strong foundation of trust; many kids find their phones sacred, and they will view a parent as untrustworthy if they check it. Other parents believe that it won’t allow the child to be independent, and they should handle their battles on their own.
What you can do is stand on middle ground. Discuss with your child/teenager the dangers of the digital world, make sure that they’re staying safe, and if you will monitor, make sure they’re on the same page. That way, trust is established, along with awareness and safety.
Whichever side you agree with, there’s no denying that each one works on the safety and happiness of your children. Should you check or not? It’s really up to you and your parenting style; just make sure all your children are aware and safe from the dangers of the digital world.
Interesting related article: “What is Social Media?”