Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Do you monitor your child's texting and computer use? If so, and if you have ever found anything objectionable, what was your reaction?
One of the conditions for my children (now all teenagers) of having a smart phone and a Facebook account was that everything would be subject to my scrutiny. I can at any time review Facebook posts and friend lists, and can check out any text message or pictures taken/received on the phone.
When I listed the rules for Ronnie, he didn't seem overly concerned with any of them. But perhaps with the passage of time, he has forgotten that unannounced searches could happen because this morning I found something very objectionable on his phone.
He had sent a text to a girl in his class, and the text included language that is unacceptable and a request for a picture, a picture that would also be unacceptable. Sadly, the girl would more than likely comply with his request.
Ronnie and I discussed why the message was inappropriate (although I think he already knew why), and I told him that he would not be able to use his phone for three days. And, if I ever find anything similar on his phone or computer again, I told him he would lose the device permanently.
Ronnie is a champion pouter, so I am sure that is the face that will greet me each day until he gets the phone back. He's not a bad kid, and he is probably just testing the waters of life. But, he's got to learn what is acceptable and what isn't. And better to learn that at home than to have the school discover the messages, or worse.
Have any of you had to address the issue of sexting or inappropriate emailing and sharing of pictures? If so, what has your response been?