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Old 02-07-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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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!

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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.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 02-07-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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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!
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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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.
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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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.

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Old 02-07-2010, 10:16 PM
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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...

 
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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PM me her name, I'm not sure what it is this week.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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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.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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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.

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Old 02-08-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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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.

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Old 02-08-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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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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Old 02-08-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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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.
AGREED!

There is a huge difference between being "friends" with your child on-line and using their password.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 02-09-2010, 03:10 AM
 
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My kids are still youngish--14 and 11--and they both have facebook accounts, and the accounts, like their email accounts, were established with the knowledge that both parents would have access to the accounts.

The youngest only really uses facebook to keep in touch with the grandparents. She decided she doesn't like having email, so she just uses my email account when she needs to.

I tell that that I check their accounts from time to time, but mainly it's just their walls. I also tell them how much I appreciate that they appear to conduct themselves with intelligence and dignity on facebook.

FWIW, they also have access to our facebook accounts. They know both my husband's and my email passwords, our facebook passwords, and the oldest knows our bank account password. Some of this has to do with some individual international travel that occurred, and we wanted the oldest to have access to money and information should she need it. They are trustworthy kids, and honestly, I wouldn't feel violated if they checked my email or facebook. I don't have anything to hide, and I've told them this.

With the oldest, we recently discussed if she was still okay with us knowing her passwords. She said she was fine with it. I don't think we abuse her trust, and since she knows our passwords and doesn't abuse this, I think we're kosher here.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I confessed and apologized to M last night. Her response? She laughed at me and then told me not to worry about it. Thank God for giving me such a chilled out relaxed child. And thank you all for giving me the courage to do the right thing.

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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Thank you for doing the right thing. It may not seem like it but you did reinforce your DD's trust in you by being honest.

malesling.GIFMutant Papa to DD (12)hippie.gif and DS (2)babyf.gif, married to DHribbonrainbow.gif
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:02 AM
 
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That's awesome, good on ya!

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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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.
Seriously? You monitor your adult daughter's email and phone? What exactly is it that you are looking for?
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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This thread has given me a lot to think about. My dh and ds (13) are both on FB--and because of a FB reunion, DH may soon be an ex. I HATE the idea of yet another internet site entering my life, especially after it's already extremely negative impact on me. And I was very unhappy that DH let DS join without a family discussion about it. Now I need to set some boundaries and I need to step up and become the "monitoring" parent. It won't be easy taken away what I"m sure ds sees as his rights. But I've gottten some good ideas from this thread on how to set limits.
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