No Phone or No Privacy
Apr 14, 2016
Today, with children having access to technology unlike any generation before, parents are having a hard time figuring out how to balance their child's relationship with such technology. Where is the line between having them live beyond the screen and making them give up today's main social tool? Then there also comes the threat of online creeps, sexting, cyberbullying, etc. that goes along with the various social media the Internet and smart phones give us access to.
But there comes a point where enough is enough. I've heard about parents asking for passwords to all of their children's accounts (which can be understandable at a certain age), but the issue I find is when they install all of their children's social media accounts on their own phone, go through their messages and ban phones in certain rooms. Your house, your rules, I get that, but there comes a point where parents are breaking the bond of trust between their children more so than protecting them.
If a child is going to be given a phone, they should be trusted with everything that goes along with that, mainly being privacy. A parent should trust in the way they have raised their child up until that point to not feel the need to check their every move to make sure they're doing the right thing. Rather than making the child feel like they're walking on eggshells, parents should show their children the benefits of doing the right thing instead of the consequences of potentially doing the wrong. Although, no one is perfect, and everyone is going to mess up eventually. But that should be taken as a chance for the child to learn firsthand from their mistakes.
I also understand that a parent simply wants the best for the children and never wants them to get hurt emotionally or physically in any way, but there's no better way to learn than from firsthand experience. I've never really seen anything beneficial from being a helicopter parent. If anything, I've often seen it backfire on the parents, as they take excessive measures to protect and be involved in their children's lives, the child rebels.
Thankfully, I grew up in a household where I was allowed to have my privacy on my phone, and guess what...I turned out just fine. I've had a smart phone for seven years, since I was 13 years old. Sure, I made some mistakes along the way, but I learned from each of those and like to think I have a pretty good handle on how to deal with the digital world now.
From personal experience, I can say that apps like Kik and Tinder may not be the best idea, especially for those on the younger end of the spectrum, but also, not everyone uses them with bad intentions. I can understand parents asking their children for the passcode to their phone or asking what apps they have, but banning phones in certain rooms (except the dinner table because there is this thing called manners) and reading messages is taking things way too far. If you want to see what your child is posting on social media, you can follow them from your own account. Believe in how the child was raised by allowing them to have their privacy and build that bond of trust.