I am torn on this. I guess I have principles that say no, but reality may make me do something that is against my principles.
I have told my kids that there are no secret passwords on the computers, except mine and dh's. And they understand that we have secret ones because of security of financial info etc, not because we are hiding things from them.
I was just reading a book on marketing to tweens, and read how marketers routinely create tween personalities on the internet to get crazes going on their products. That is not illegal,but imo immoral, and it is happening all the time. These people can persuade tweens and teens to buy their products through this deception. There are many others who will try to win our children for far more sinister reasons.
I assume that as my kids grow they will want myspace accounts etc. At the moment we do not do facebook, myspace or any of those social sites, and we've told the kids that we don't do them. I am not sure that we can maintain that as they get older. So, my feeling right now is that when we give into that sort of computer use, we will tell the kids that we will be monitoring it. I can't imagine not monitoring, but I also cannot imagine snooping. So at the moment my plan is to watch over them, but to have them know that we are doing so, and why. At least until I am convinced that they understand the safety issues.
As for alcohol - I'm European, so don't get the panic that hits many Americans if their kids have a drink. If the kid was back home, it would be perfectly legal, and I'd prefer my kids learned to drink responsibly at a young age than have it forbidden so that they have to do it in secret, or save it until 21 then go nuts. Sex - I'd hope that I'd instilled some sense into them so that when they have sex, they do so responsibly and safely. Drugs - that worries me more.
Ack, I'm getting myself all concerned over this now, and my oldest is only just 8. I haven't even figured out the 8 year old stuff yet.