In the age of social media, one of toughest decisions for parents is whether to snoop maybe a no-brainer for younger kids with limited access to various devices.
But what about older kids with phones?:
(Dr. Garcia) “There are definitely opportunities for your kids to have multiple accounts, for you not to know about all of those things.”
And pediatric psychologist Doctor Brittany Barber Garcia says the way to know is to have access to the phone:
(Dr. Garcia) “And it doesn’t necessarily mean snooping.”
She suggests an open policy instead:
(Dr. Garcia) “If a teenager’s going to be given the privilege of having a phone, then they need to know that their parent has the right to look through that phone and to know what they’re doing on it in their private times or maybe kind of behind the scenes when mom and dad aren’t looking.”
Emphasizing that it’s for their protection:
(Dr. Garcia) “Because there are a lot of ways to engage in very risky behaviors online and on social media.”
So Dr. Barber Garcia says you can friend them and follow them online, but check their devices, too, and if find any anti-social behavior, like sexting or cyber bullying, address it immediately.