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I just did something I swore I would NEVER do.

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

I logged onto her facebook account and read her letters.

She is 12 years old and the only reason I let her start one was because wanted to stay in touch with her cousins and I told her about a friend from high schools daughter her age that I thought she would get along with. She has become very private lately and I wanted to see if she and the girl were hitting it off or not. They are... But that is beside the point I really really feel bad about this. I swore I would never do anything like that, why would I? I know in my heart that I feel so guilty I will never do it again, but the question is should I tell her what I did? Or would that make it worse?
post #2 of 47
My dd is 11, she has a fb account & I told her from the beginning I would log on her account & read what's being said just to make sure nothing inappropriate was being put on, sent to her, internet bullying, etc. I came at it from the direction of I trust you I just want to make sure you're being safe online. The worst I've read was her & a friend of hers figuring out how to pass notes in school.lol they've come up with some creative ideas. My dd doesn't know I read it, but she knows there's a possibility. Of course that doesn't mean something wasn't deleted, but I have no reason to think that.

I am also fb friends with quite a few of her friends.

If I found anything that needed to be addressed then I'd definitly bring it up, if you found nothing I wouldn't necessarily tell her but I would bring it up as something you may do just so she knows for the future.
post #3 of 47
The only reason dd is allowed have facebook is if (a) she friends me and (b) she understands that we can read from her account at any time. It's never been an issue.
post #4 of 47
I see nothing wrong with what you are doing- the internet can be a dangerous place and filled with temptation.
post #5 of 47
FB is a site designed for adults. I don't think a 12 YO has an intrinsic right to privacy there like she would if she were keeping a journal.

My niece has had a FB account for at least a year (she's 14 tomorrow). The email address connected to the account is my SIL's email address, so all the notifications go through SIL's email, just in case there's something fishy going on.
post #6 of 47
My kids understand the internet is a privilage and there is no such thing as privacy.
If they try to hid things on the internet then they no longer have it.

If this was her diary then I would go same on you, it isn't. It is the internet and you need to be openly discussing and let her understand why you look into things.

My kids have facebook accounts. My girls like the games. This discussion and open access help them to learn critical thinking skills about what they write and post. My 9 year old asked me why this "freak" kept on asking to be her friends. She understood to check her friends to see if there was a connection. I intervine and it has stopped. But she is learning with suppervission on how to be in the internet world.

They have came to me about other peoples pictures. And they have told other people they were dump for posting a picture.
post #7 of 47
I read my 18yr old and 15 yr old internet stuff ALL THE TIME. I have the passwords to their email accounts and check their phones. They now I do it Im their mother and we have an open honest realtionship.
post #8 of 47
I'm going to move this to Teens since it's an age-specific question.
post #9 of 47
I wonder if the guilt you're feeling is because the two of you had no agreements in place beforehand about whether or not you would read her stuff.

On the one hand, my kid knows that I am the one who sets his passwords and I have and will use my access to any online stuff he has.

On the other hand, this is something that was laid out up front before he got a gmail addy.

I don't know that I would necessarily 'fess up, especially since you didn't find anything, but I do think maybe you could have a talk with her about the fact that you reserve the right to check her online activities. I don't think that's unreasonable.
post #10 of 47
I would admit it to her, and I would tell her how it made you feel. Hiding the fact that you logged into her account will only make it worse when it comes out, and it will eventually. Then I would talk to her about setting up an agreement between the two of you so there are clear limits that both are comfortable wil.
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I would admit it to her, and I would tell her how it made you feel. Hiding the fact that you logged into her account will only make it worse when it comes out, and it will eventually. Then I would talk to her about setting up an agreement between the two of you so there are clear limits that both are comfortable wil.
I agree with this. The only reason I have a FB account is to be friends with my 16 yo. We also check phones. We went into both with no expectations of privacy though. We do not go through their rooms unless we smell so
ething rotten. Then they are warned we are getting a shovel
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I would admit it to her, and I would tell her how it made you feel. Hiding the fact that you logged into her account will only make it worse when it comes out, and it will eventually. Then I would talk to her about setting up an agreement between the two of you so there are clear limits that both are comfortable wil.
Yes, this.

My kids know that I can see all their traffic, and everything and anything they put online. No privacy there, but they've always known so.
I don't often go through it, only if I think I should. (But the knowledge that I (/we) can, is enough to limit them.)
But then again, they are not allowed FB accounts until it's allowed by FB rules (13) at the earliest, and I will have the login. And besides that, they only have mail accounts that I also have the logins for, but they really only mail with family and family friends.
post #13 of 47
Well... I have to say, if I'd read my kid's facebook messages when she was 12 she would have felt really betrayed... and honestly, I see it as a betrayal as well.

If I had a concern for her safety and I'd tried all of the other available avenues, I *might* do it... but I would tell her what I'd done, and why, and I'd consider that an extraordinary circumstance. It doesn't sound like that was the case here... you were curious, which is totally understandable, but a 12 year old deserves privacy around the issue of how her friendships with her cousins are going.

I think it'd really, really important for kids to feel that they can trust their parents, and you earn that trust by being trustworthy. I wouldn't tell her - or I might tell her in five or ten years - but I would be sure to not do it again, and to be sure to respect her privacy from here on out. I think you feel guilty because you know you screwed up - and we all screw up at times, so I wouldn't beat myself up over it too much. I do think telling her mught help you feel less guilty, but it wouldn't help her any, and it might make her less likely to trust you again.
post #14 of 47
I think the big problem, like others have said, is that you didn't have an agreement about this beforehand.

I personally am pretty conservative about computer stuff. When I had preteens and teens, facebook wasn't around, but myspace was. We kept the computer in the common area of the house and we were *very* cautious about myspace. I know facebook is supposed to be "safer" than myspace, but I am on facebook and I just don't think it is appropriate for pre-teens and young teens unless the parent and kid have set it up jointly to be a shared thing (no secret passwords, etc.). My brother-in-law who is so protective of his girls in soooo many ways let them have facebook accounts, and they have "friended" one of my other neices (their cousin), who is older and posts stuff all the time that is so super inappropriate. If they were talking in person, I know this older cousin would be more careful about what she says around the younger girls. But she doesn't think about them when she posts crap on her facebook. She just posts. I think for that reason Facebook is a problematic "setting" for younger teens.

That said, even though my current kidos are younger, I'd probably allow an account some years down the line (right, like facebook will exist then!) and do it as a shared thing because I wouldn't want my kid to sneak and do it behind my back out of curiosity/desire to fit in/etc.

When they mature into more "solid" teen years, I'd back off and give them some privacy. And personally, I see a lot of parents who are having trouble letting go in the teen years these days...and the kids have zero privacy which is problematic too. So I do see the flip side.

Anyway, OP, I'd feel badly if I did what you did too because it really violates trust. But I wouldn't feel badly about setting up boundaries around facebook that include a shared experience with it...12 years old is still so young!
post #15 of 47
I don't think a 12-year-old should have an FB account, but that's beside the point...I don't think it's right to read your child's private correspondence unless she knows that it's a possibility. If you're concerned about your child's safety on FB...well...they shouldn't have an FB. If you wanted to know how she was hitting it off with her new friend...you should have just asked.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Well... I have to say, if I'd read my kid's facebook messages when she was 12 she would have felt really betrayed... and honestly, I see it as a betrayal as well. ...

I think it'd really, really important for kids to feel that they can trust their parents, and you earn that trust by being trustworthy.
:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
If you're concerned about your child's safety on FB...well...they shouldn't have an FB.
I disagree. There are a lot of situations that I'm concerned about my child's safety. At this age, they are doing lots of new things and doing old things with less supervision. Some of these are just old fashioned things that we did -- like the first time my DD stayed at the skating rink with a friend without me or her friend's mom there. Some of them are really new -- like how to keep a child safe on the internet. It is age appropriate for them to have more independance, and it normal for us to be concerned about their safety.

Both my 11 year old and 13 year old have facebook accounts. I don't want the passwords. Their accounts are set to private and they LIKE showing me what is going on with them and their friends and their little farms and such.

To me, using the password to check up is like reading their journals. It's just not my style.
post #17 of 47
You have a responsibility to be snoopy! Sorry but protecting your daughter is NOT betrayal but the opposite. Young people can be manipulated in ways you'd never think. I know of a girl 16 who played on an MMO (a game like WoW) and this guy manipulated her into running away from home and meeting him to lose her virginity. He lived in another state and had a tremendous background of lying. To this day I have no idea what is the truth but he always said he was 23 then a year later when he was trying to convince her to come over his age got lower and lower (yeah right). Her dad played the game and I notified him. I don't care if that makes me a bad person. Better the bad guy than a raped girl who is murdered and her family has no idea where the body is!

And in this age with that high school musical chick posing nude on her phone left and right and people seeming completely ok with texting nude pics of their body (which is never deleted from the internet in reality) I would absolutely watch her. Even the shyest nicest girls want to feel special and feel pushed to do it in stupid ways.

They even show how old creeps pretending to be teens teach the girls how to delete and hide messages. Just because she has a facebook YOU know about doesn't mean she doesn't have another or multiple email accounts.

It doesn't mean she's a bad person or you don't trust her. You've dedicated your life to her and it's your job.

I know when I was 17 creepy guys would send me nude pics all the time on the internet and try to convince me to visit them and this was 15 *cough* years ago or so and I'm sure things are a LOT more lenient now.

imo a journal is a whole lot different. it's between her and her and no one else. It's not about cyber sexing herself or meeting strange guys (or maybe you should read her journal). The internet is between her and 1 BILLION strange males and females who do NOT have her best interest at heart. Not to mention the bullying and ridicule. How many teens died this year due to internet bullying?
post #18 of 47
That's why it's really, really important to have a good, mutually trusting relationship with your teens. My teen tells me when creepers message her and try to friend her, and she doesn't need to have hidden email accounts because I respect the privacy of the email accounts I know about.
post #19 of 47
babygirlie- how are the people who get on the internet that much different than people you meet IRL? They are the same people, excluding perhaps some who might not be literate. I might be reading this wrong but I'm getting this jive from your post that the "internet" is this creepy place filled with billions of freaky individuals out to manipulate other people.

If I'm interpreting that right (and I very well might not be) I take great offense to that. I've met some of my best friends here in cyberworld- mostly other mothers, other knitters and spinners and a variety of other kind, real humans.

I think if you are mothering with love, trust and empathy as well as instilling within them the ability to make good judgment and reason then you will see how keenly they are able to weed out the "freaky" and "creepy".
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post
I read my 18yr old and 15 yr old internet stuff ALL THE TIME. I have the passwords to their email accounts and check their phones. They now I do it Im their mother and we have an open honest realtionship.
That's not an open and honest relationship. That's stalking.

I'm shocked at the majority of responses here! This is definitely a violation of trust! OP, why didn't you just ask your daughter if she and the girl were hitting it off? You don't think she would've told you that? I agree with Dar; I wouldn't tell her because I think it would really damage your relationship, but I'm glad you said you aren't ever going to do that again.

IMO, Facebook should be abolished from the face of the Earth. Just had to add that. ;]
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