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Being upfront is exactly how I handled it when my 12 year old daughter wanted to use instant messaging. SHe was already very aware of not adding strangers as they could easily not be what they seem. But I told her I would have the conversation log switched on so that I could a) observe whether she is actually 'ready' for this type of communication and b) if anything *did* happen (from 'cyber-bullying' to completely inappropriate behaviour I'd be able to intervene and help her.
I think over the last two years since I granted her IM access (she's 14 now) I've checked maybe four times (twice in the beginning, and twice since). She's a good kid and I'm proud of the way she conducts herself (both in life and online )
I have mixed feelings on this, because my mom used to snoop through my backpack and my notes that were passed back and forth in class. I was never on the computer much as a kid, if I was, I was looking up pictures of the band that I liked, and my parents knew that. There was only one computer in the house. I never had my own computer with internet connection until I graduated high school. And I was fine with that. I don't know if spying is the right word.....I think if you have an openly honest relationship with your kids, spying may not be completely necessary.....but I'm speaking from experience. The only thing I lied to my parents about was doing well in school. I had a hard time in school because I felt stupid so I never did homework for fear of it being wrong. I didn't tell my parents that until I was out of school.
Wife to Chris (9.17.04)-Mama to Edward (7.15.05)-Preston (5.28.08)-Mason (11.4.10)-
Baby #4 and Baby#5: Born into Heaven - Baby #6 (due 4.15.17)