Inevitably, the day will come when your child notices that you’ve been peering into his online life. All kids demand privacy at some point whether it’s in the form of a lock on his door or simply walking away when he gets a phone call. What should you do when your child’s request for privacy involves the computer? Should you back off or take it as a sign that you should be even more vigilant?
Have a conversation
The first step you should take when your child asks for more online freedom is to have a discussion. Ideally, this won’t be the first talk you’ve had about sharing personal information, treating others respectfully online, and reporting any unusual behavior. This particular discussion, however, should also include a conversation about the reasons your child is requesting more privacy. Ask him specifically why he’s feeling uncomfortable sharing his online activities. Many teenagers simply want to be trusted by their parents, and if you find that this is the case, then granting him a little more leeway to make his own decisions may not be a bad idea.
Allow more privacy
If you trust your child to make good decisions offline, then it may be time to extend this trust to her online behaviors as well. As long as you’ve discussed online dangers in depth and instructed your child as to how to behave in certain situations (including when to come to you with a problem), then it might be okay to step back and allow your child more liberty when it comes to her use of the Internet. This could mean refraining from looking over her shoulder or allowing her to use her laptop in her room from time to time.
Test his credibility
As you extend more freedom in the way of computer and Internet usage for your child, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve made the right decision. Using a parental monitoring app like Qustodio, you can discreetly monitor your child’s online activity and receive comprehensive reports about which sites he’s visiting and exactly who he’s talking to. If your child has a clean slate at the end of the month, then you can rest assured that you’ve done your job in teaching your child to use the Web responsibly.
Need to ensure that your child is indeed practicing safe online behaviors? Install Qustodio today!