Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

How to spy on your teens

My sister has become a dog.

Yes, you’ve read that correct. My sister has created a Facebook page for her dog, which is actually her page. This is a 21st Century spy tactic that a crafty mom has resorted to in order to keep tabs on a tech-savvy son.

You see, my now college-age nephew has blocked his mom from seeing most of what he posts on Facebook. But he seems to have forgotten to block the family dog, which is exactly what my sister was banking on.

I completely understand why my sister has become a dog and I must admit I have had to resort to similar spy techniques myself. It’s not that I don’t trust my teens, it’s just that they aren’t forthcoming and I’m interested in their lives.

Without a doubt, our parents had it MUCH easier in their efforts to keep tabs on us.  I can imagine my mom’s face when she found one of the juicy handwritten notes my friends had passed me in the hallway. Those carefully folded sheets of notebook papers were filled with adolescent inside jokes and details of new crushes. My mom must have had a ball reading the them and learning what I was up to when she wasn’t around. Unfortunately, we parents today don’t have the luxury of a paper trail in our teen’s jean pocket.

But that just means parents in the digital age have to up our game.

I recently asked my son how teens spy on each other. A smart way to gain some insight, right?

He told me all about Close Friend, a feature on Facebook that lets you keep track of what your designated close friends are doing on the site. “You get notifications about everything they post and others post on their page without them knowing” he explained to me. Of course, now I’m going to need to try this out — on him.

Parents, do you have any creative ways to keep tabs on your teen? Do you feel that spying or secretly keeping an eye on your teen’s online activity is okay to do?

 

1 Comment

  1. My mom unbeknownst to me added an app hidden on her phone that received my snapchats, Instagram, Facebook, texts, and calls. She did this for almost a year before I found out. This caused a huge trust issue that sill hasn’t been resolved 2 years later because I had private conversations with friends that were between me and then and no one else. There was one where my friend (a girl) was talking about her health in her sexual life and my mom sent it all to her mom, who then questioned her about it. It is unfair to think you can run your kid’s relationships or spy on them. I HIGHLY recommend you don’t do this if you want a healthy relationship with your kid. If you want your kid to trust you, don’t do it.

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