5.2.15

Spying - is it ever OK?

Spying. Is it ever OK.

I’m not talking about countries sending agents undercover, or industrial espionage. I’m not talking hiring private detectives, or wearing false moustaches, or cunning disguises and following people. In fact I don’t really think I mean spying…maybe I’ll start again.

Watching what your kids get up to. Is it ever OK.

Ah that sounds better. More like what I’m going to talk about with the added benefit it makes me sound like less of a weird stalker of my own child.
I adore the DD, infuriating as she can be, and since the age of 8 she has had a mobile phone. At 13 she got a Facebook account and now at 15 she has a laptop of her own, snap chat, twitter, a blog (long neglected!) , email…well you get the picture. She has a busy online life.

When she was younger we added an app to her phone that would either ring the phone when the phone was lost (even if the phone was set to silent) or would send back a location text to the texter (you needed a secret code of course) and she knew about the app, she liked that it helped to find her phone, and she understood that it would also let us find her location if she had the phone with her when she went out.

Once she got Facebook my biggest worry was not her being groomed and kidnapped (though that was up in the top ten worries), my biggest fear was cyberbullying and the worry that she wouldn’t tell me. So I set her email to forward to mine.

Her email still forwards to mine now – I never read the email, I usually just delete it, but there is security in knowing that it’s there. That if there was a problem I can check what’s going on. (Not that that was of any help to Breck Bednar’s mum who knew exactly what was happening and even called the police) DD knows that I get the emails and that I don’t read them. She seems ok with it, my own computer log on at home is not secret; she can check my emails as easily as I can check hers. We are friends on Facebook too, she asked me! And we follow each other on twitter, and Pinterest.
Mainly I’ve found the fact we are open and talk about online issues helps the most, she knows not to reveal too much about herself, she knows that people lie and she will talk to me about things that upset her.

 I read recently that some parents think microchipping their children with GPS tracking chips is the way forward! I was stunned, even I think that's a step too far!

Do you keep an eye on your child’s online life? Is it OK to? And when do you stop! I don’t want to be the spying mum but it’s hard to let go. (Hello Mum, I know you are reading this, I'm fine)

Oh and I do tease DD sometimes…when I get her YouTube notifications…she does watch an awful lot of Tom Daley videos…

Tom Daley in swimwear