January 21, 2022

Not Really Spying On Your Kids

The Sun-Sentinal (don’t ask why I’m reading Florida newspapers) has a Recent Article about a “parents primer” in which parents are encouraged to spy on their kids.

“Spy. Spy. Spy,” Sgt. Anthony DeMarco told the crowd of about 40 parents, school administrators and district officials. “Your parents did it to you. Now, it’s your turn.”

While many parents are quick to advocate spying in order to keep their kids safe, it’s not really the best alternative. Using the word “spy” is an indication to kids that they’re not trusted – and that’s just not good parenting. I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about what your kids are doing online; there’s just a better way of doing it.

Instead of spying on them, simply befriend them. Create your own MySpace and Facebook profiles and add your kids as friends. Make an AOL instant messenger account and put your kid on your buddy list. Read their profiles and away messages (after all, they are public information.) If they don’t let you add them, then you can start worrying.

Explain to your kids that anything they post on the internet is public, and they have no expectation of privacy with this material. It’s also a good time to teach them that things they post are permanent, and that potential employers might just end up seeing pictures of them in their underwear holding that beer bottle.

Don’t risk your parent-child relationship by spying. Instead, strengthen it by taking an active role in their online social life.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com