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I just did something I swore I would NEVER do. - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by echospiritwarrior View Post
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".

Why would that offend you? One certainly does not exclude the other. I use the internet to keep in touch with old friends I would never even speak to anymore if it was not for the web (I am an expat, people lose touch easily). I also met some great new IRL on the web. On MDC, actually. However, I am not naive enough to think that there are no dangers on the internet. You and I are able to decide for ourselves which kinds of interactions are safe, and which are not. Teen children might not be. While the web is full of great, wonderful people, it's also a tool for criminals and pedophiles to operate more easily and find potential and actual victims.

Great if your teens have excellent judgement. That should be everyone's goal, I think. Nonetheless, the internet remains a dangerous place, as well as a wonderful one.
post #22 of 47
This is such a tough topic.

DSD is about to turn 17. She is not safe in her approach to FB and she is not a secure confident girl. I really really worry about her. She's the kind that's looking for trouble. That said - it is impossible to keep track of everything she does, and every person she talks to. Both her dad and I are friends with her on FB, but she keeps a lot of her conversations private.

The approach her dad is taking is not in prohibiting everything or snooping around, but it is in almost daily "father-daughter" outings, and talks, and discussions. Sometimes she rolls her eyes, sometimes she argues, and sometimes she listens, sometimes she opens up. It's a process, and not an easy one.

Here is what I DO know: at 17, I couldn't take it if all my life was out for my parents to see. I would really hate every minute of it, and nothing good would come of it, that I'm sure of.

I think she is of age that signifies a certain level of independence and owning your own choices and mistakes. I think many parents struggle with finding that balance of overprotective vs. permissive, and we are no exception.

At 12? Well, you can't legally sign up for FB until you are 13, as far as I know, so that's the start of that problem.

If I ever had a concern for DSD - the first step would be a discussion. But it is difficult for me to judge a parent who is worried about their child, so I don't want you to think that I'm looking down on you.

Not sure how helpful any of this is, I just wanted to say that we struggle with these decisions as well, and you are not alone.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pajamajes View Post
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. ;]
It is neither stalking nor a violation of trust when the child knows that it's a possibility. Dd1 sometimes writes in a diary, I don't read it. She knows this. The internet is not private. She knows this. I also know that she is not the issue on the internet, but we have seen stuff that "friends" have written (she is fb friends with pretty much half her school!). That's what we are watching for.
post #24 of 47
I'm also surprised at some of the responses here.

I don't snoop or search unless I see signs of harming self or others.
I'm friends with my kids on FB. I joined when they opened accounts. I had serious discussions about what they post in terms of safety and how college admissions offices, prospective employers,etc now check FB pages.

I occasionally look at their walls and it's no biggie. I don't log into their accounts and snoop on their friends or PMs. If I became concerned about something, I'd be up front and ask.

FWIW, I LOVE FB.
I have reconnected in very real ways with old friends. Recently, I got together with folks I hadn't seen in 15-20 years. I'm currently planning a beach weekend with a HS friend who I haven't seen since graduation. I know of 2 couples who rediscovered eachother via FB and are engaged.

I guess I'm comfortable with my kids' FB activity because I'm familiar with it and see the inherent value.
I don't friend my kids' friends. I want my own privacy and I'm not that interested in farmville anyway.
post #25 of 47
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post #26 of 47
My guideline for my kids (which I follow myself) is that the internet is not a safe place to meet new people. I do not say enough about myself for anyone to find me. I don't understand people who easily share pictures of themselves, their kids, the cities where they live, etc.

My kids can use Facebook to connect with their real life friends, however, they are not allowed at this point to make new friends on the internet. They have never given me a reason to not trust them in this way. I've explained that there are people who enjoy hurting children and young women and that they sometimes looks for victims on the internet. My kids totally get it.

I don't go through phones, but I've been very clear to them that some parents do and they should never assume that messages or texts are private. I've taught them that they should never put anything in writing that they don't want the whole world to know about. I used Tiger Woods as an example!

However, I think respecting their privacy is treating them with respect. It is important to me that I communicate with my kids that I believe in their ability to make good choices. I think they need that from me.

If I were worried about them, I would do other things first, like have them see a counselor, before I treated violated their privacy.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Why would that offend you? One certainly does not exclude the other. I use the internet to keep in touch with old friends I would never even speak to anymore if it was not for the web (I am an expat, people lose touch easily). I also met some great new IRL on the web. On MDC, actually. However, I am not naive enough to think that there are no dangers on the internet. You and I are able to decide for ourselves which kinds of interactions are safe, and which are not. Teen children might not be. While the web is full of great, wonderful people, it's also a tool for criminals and pedophiles to operate more easily and find potential and actual victims.

Great if your teens have excellent judgement. That should be everyone's goal, I think. Nonetheless, the internet remains a dangerous place, as well as a wonderful one.
Like I said I may have been interpreting her post wrong, but it seemed to me that the poster was blowing out of proportion the negative aspects of the web. I really am not so naive as to think that everything online is hunky dory and full of wonderful beautiful people alone but rather as I said it's just like real life- the good, the bad and the ugly.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pajamajes View Post
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. ;]
See the relationship is why I would tell her. A trusting relationship is based on being honest and part of being honest is admitting when you've done something you know you shouldn't have.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
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.
This is what I would do too.
post #30 of 47
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I was not reading out of concern for her safety, I was just being nosey. I am truly embarrassed by that confession. She is 2 weeks away from turning 13. What makes me so embarrassed is that we DO have a close relationship. I had asked her if she and the girl was getting along and this is how the conversation went:
(me) so are you and my friends daughter hitting it off?
(dd) yea
(me) did she write you back?
(dd) yea
(me)..... so what did she write?
(dd) nothing much.
(me) oh,....
(dd)....
(me) so can I read the letter?
(dd) ummm, mom, that would be kind of wierd

end of conversation. So she leaves for the weekend and asks me to feed her fish for her on fb while she is gone. In the mean time there is the letter just sitting there and against my better judgment I read it. I immediately felt horrible! I never ever thought I would be the sort of parent to do that to my dc. I respect their privacy I have never and would never read her diary or notes from friends but for some reason it was just so easy to "click" on the letter. No moment of holding it in your hand and thinking about it. Just click and there it was. At this point I don't know if I will tell her or not, maybe in 5-10 years like another poster said.
I am her friend on fb and I look at her wall on a regular basis because we talk back and forth and we are both friends with our extended family on there. Also she knows that for at least the next several years she is only allowed to be friends with people she knows in real life and can not post a profile pic.
At any rate I still fee crummy and stand firm on my decision not to do it again. Just don't know whether or not to fess up... I think it may cause more harm than good. Or maybe it would be good for me to apologize and let her see that mommy is human and makes big whopping mistakes as well.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBreeze View Post
So she leaves for the weekend and asks me to feed her fish for her on fb while she is gone. In the mean time there is the letter just sitting there and against my better judgment I read it.
Next time, say no to feeding fish (or watering plants or whatever). They aren't real fish!

Quote:
Just don't know whether or not to fess up... I think it may cause more harm than good. Or maybe it would be good for me to apologize and let her see that mommy is human and makes big whopping mistakes as well.
I really don't know what is better. If you tell her, you could ask her to change her password so that you don't have the temptation to do it again. may be you could just talk to her about having a difficult password that none of her friend could guess (combination of letters and numbers and including at least 1 special character, getting in the habit of not saving passwords to a machine, etc.)

I think this is part of why having another person's password is a bad idea -- it's just too easy to cross the line between "keeping them safe" and "just being nosy".

I'm curious for those who believe uses their child's login is a good idea, what age do you plan to stop this and how have you decided on that age.
post #32 of 47
firstly, i have to guess that the reason a lot of adults don't think the internet is safe is because they haven't grown up with it the way those under 20 have. i don't know if i'm younger than the majority here (probably, since i don't have teens!) but the internet really isn't the creepy backalley that some seem to think it is. the person who mentioned the 16yr old being "manipluated" into running away from home... ummm... if you're the "manipulated" type, you are going to find people to take advantage of you everywhere, not just online. the internet just presented a whole new way of being able to interact with people, and obviously those who haven't grown up learning how to do that are going to be more uncomfortable with the idea. there are positives and negatives (and probably a lot more positives now than there were during my early teen years... it's pretty much unheard of to just meet random strangers online anymore... the links between real life and on line life have become MUCH stronger IMO).

ANYWAY... all that aside. to the OP, i think you should probably confess that you read the letter. if your daughter had similarily violated someone else's privacy (either your own, or a friend's) would you want her to tell them? because you hadn't already agreed to a situation where she knew you could look at her stuff, and because you already asked if you could read the letter and were turned down, you can't just pretend you were "trying to keep her safe" (which you've already admitted to us).

depending on what outcome you want, you have two choices. if you do trust her to stay safe online and let you know if anything comes up, just tell her, apologize, and let her know she should change her password. if you think it might actually be a good idea if you can continue to moniter her fb page, you'll still have to apologize, but explain that you want to have access, and agree on the boundaries.

i don't really have a problem with having passwords for children under the age of 15-16. after that it becomes a bit unnecessary and smothering... teens that age really do need to be learning to self regulate and make their own mistakes. anything over 16 is really WAY too old to be continuing to check up on them like that!
post #33 of 47
I spoke with dd (15 1/2) about this. She does not feel disrespected or distrusted, though she did say she prefers we tell her when we are looking rather than just looking (we do anyway).

We have found pictures of her classmates online, using bongs. Not posing, using. This kind of thing, imo, opens up the conversation to stuff like that, so we can discuss things that are currently going on a lot easier.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post
firstly, i have to guess that the reason a lot of adults don't think the internet is safe is because they haven't grown up with it the way those under 20 have. i don't know if i'm younger than the majority here (probably, since i don't have teens!) but the internet really isn't the creepy backalley that some seem to think it is. the person who mentioned the 16yr old being "manipluated" into running away from home... ummm... if you're the "manipulated" type, you are going to find people to take advantage of you everywhere, not just online. the internet just presented a whole new way of being able to interact with people, and obviously those who haven't grown up learning how to do that are going to be more uncomfortable with the idea. there are positives and negatives (and probably a lot more positives now than there were during my early teen years... it's pretty much unheard of to just meet random strangers online anymore... the links between real life and on line life have become MUCH stronger IMO).
Thank you for putting this so much more eloquently than I!

I too would feel awful but I think I'd have to come clean, even if I needed to give it a few days to settle. I'd certainly tell her I can't feed any of her electronic fish anymore because you want her to have her privacy. Don't beat yourself up, we all make mistakes.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
I spoke with dd (15 1/2) about this. She does not feel disrespected or distrusted, though she did say she prefers we tell her when we are looking rather than just looking (we do anyway).

We have found pictures of her classmates online, using bongs. Not posing, using. This kind of thing, imo, opens up the conversation to stuff like that, so we can discuss things that are currently going on a lot easier.
I do think it's a totally different deal if your kid knows ahead of time that you'll be looking and reading - then there's no expectation of privacy. Like, my daughter and I are facebook friends (and I'm pretty sure she'd be your friend too, Irishmommy, if you asked ) so if she posts something on her Wall there then she shouldn't have any expectation that I won't see it. The same is true of anything her friends post on her wall... or any pictures of her they tag...
post #36 of 47
PM me her name, I'm not sure what it is this week.
post #37 of 47
I recently had a similar experience with my 13 yr old daughter. FWIW we live in a very very rural area and my dd is homeschooled and incredibly isolated (imagine 2-3 weeks w/o seeing another child her age) She is super active on FB and our computer is in the main area etc etc
However, I occasionally ask her to remove posts or pics that I think are a little iffy, usually not a big deal, just not perfect judgement on her part. I recently logged into her account, w/o her permission, and just sort of scanned for anything "off" I skimmed a few messages, checked her friends (deleted one strange person I was unfamiliar with) Well all was well and I didn't feel bad AT ALL. FB is a public forum, this is the litany in my house. I would never touch her journals or the 6 thousand things marked do not read, but on internet social networks I have the responsibility to check in. I'm not going to tell her I checked and I may do it again someday.
Now my intention here is not to "snoop" AT ALL. I think she would be annoyed but not feel violated, I know her passwords and she knows most of mine. I think maybe at 15/16 this would be out of line.
FWIW I sometimes look at her email subject lines only, but don't read anything, even if it looks "juicy". Kids swear like mad and talk about sex a lot when they are "alone" and thats what it is, I just want to keep an eye on "outsiders" who might work their way in, no matter how savvy and educated my daughter thinks she is.
Just for the record, my daughter came to me about 6 months ago because a "kid" on a teen chat room she had been checking out started threatening her to tell everyone she sent him naked pictures unless she sent him a boob shot. She was terrified and embarrassed and come to find out I am pretty much sure this was some old guy. So, ewwwww. The internet IS so so much creepier than real life because you can lie yer ass off. You can be a 14 year old girl or a 40 yr old man. Hmmm? Pretty freakin scary to the mom of a beautiful, curious and relatively lonely 13 yr old girl.
I could go on and on but basically I think a certain level of respectful and mature monitering of the internet is important, but tolerance and understanding have to be right there too. I also feel willing and ready to admit my actions if I wanted or needed to.
post #38 of 47
I guess my big problem with the "it's public access" is that loging into their accound gives more then what is available to the public. You also access private corrospondance, which has the reasonable expectation of privacy. It's not the same as just visiting the facebook profile.
post #39 of 47
You should be honest and tell her -- but also explain how bad you feel about it.

If you are going to continue checking it, TELL her. Otherwise, don't let your curiosity get the best of you again . . . checking it without her knowing you might do that is really unfair and a huge violation of trust.
post #40 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.
I saw this from the main page; I don't really "belong" in this forum, but can I just suggest to you that you may *think* you have an open and honest relationship that has actually become a double life for your kids?

I'm NOT saying that all teens do this, but as someone who had a very overbearing, controlling mom (and again, I'm not sayin you are because I don't know all your family dynamics) it did not take em long to figure out that as long as I kept my email account active enough not to arouse suspicion, I could have as many secret email addresses, myspace pages, etc as I wanted. Have you considered that possibility?

Really I would not be so sure that your 18 and 15 year olds are truly OK with you reading all their emails. especially your 18 year old....I mean I was in college, working three jobs, had my own car and paying rent on an apt at 18, married and expecting my first child at 19. At what point do you anticipate "letting go" a little? Yikes. Honestly at 18 I would be inclined to say that you are only checking up on your child to satisfy your curiosity and not because of any real safety concerns. I would hope that by 18 a person would have enough basic common sense to be able to handle a private email account.
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