“How did you find out?” was the question. My answer, “You don’t need to know!”
The last thing a parent wants to do is be a spy. But honestly, these days you have to be. Every kind of scary, horrific, brainwashing, addictive and immoral idea sits out there in the cyber space world waiting to kidnap your teen’s mind and alter their life. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to sit there and watch it happen.
My girls have gotten use to me being one up on them. It wasn’t always that way believe me. I had to teach myself what “Checking your History” meant and sad to say, actually becoming a member on sites to just find out information that I knew was going to be harmful to my kid.
I have to laugh because I once got on a site and accidentally hacked someone else’s account. I didn’t realize I had done this until it was too late and I didn’t know how to fix it. But in the end, I got what I wanted which was information of what type of stuff my kid was getting into and I wasn’t very happy.
Another time, a friend of one of my girls snitched on her because they were surprised at the picture my daughter had apparently put on Instagram and didn’t realize it would get back to us. Once my husband shared with me the story, I jumped on the computer like lightning. As fast as information goes over the internet it can quickly disappear once the teen realizes that they may have been compromised and possibly exposed to the forces against this behavior that they were displaying. However, I was able to gather my evidence to make my case that no one could deny. And of course, I won!
None of us parents are really happy to shove proof of their kid’s wrongdoings in their face. But when we did approach this at our infamous Round Table, we needed to first let them know we loved them, secondly, let them know our concern and safety for them, and lastly the dangers and consequences of their actions.
In one situation we ended up in the police station for 4 hours after a major discovery of something very serious with one of our girls. I believe that was the first wake-up call of my denial as well as being naive of how much trust we can put into our teens. Being very honest, no matter how good you think your teen is, the door to trust can be quickly closed in a second. And if you think that because it happened with one child that it won’t happen with the others, think again. I learned the hard way.
The pull and addictive life with the internet and cell phones are daunting to say the least. They may seem so innocent and can be. But for many, that opportunity to be able to find ANYTHING or do anything through this type of technology is very, very dangerous.
So…what do you do? If there is an issue already, get tough! Let them yell at you saying you are so unfair or that you don’t understand them. They may even say they hate you, but remember you are out to protect at all costs, not make friends.
Being tough is not easy, especially if it goes against your nature but we don’t have time to be all fluffy in helping them understand the dangers of what they are putting themselves into. We have to act fast. Then you can sit down and have that heart to heart talk.
Where to start –
1. Absolutely NO computer in their bedrooms or closed off area.
2. No phones at night when they go to bed.
3. Check their History on the computer to see what sites they have visited.
4. If you pay for the phone, you own it! Do random checks and find out who their contacts are.
5. Check social sites like Instagram, Facebook and other popular teen sites.
6. Have all account passwords kept in a log for your eyes only.
7. Have a Parent Protect Lock on your computer.
8. Never tell your teen how you find things out.
9. Enlist other spies for you if necessary.
10. Take a computer course to help you if you need to learn the ropes of the internet world.
Proverbs 13:14 the teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.