July 12, 2019


Do you think it is OK to read the kids’ messages on their phones?

Parents: there’s no absolute right answer as to whether it’s OK to read your kid’s text messages. It depends on your kid’s age, personality, and behavior. The most important thing is that you discuss responsible texting behavior. Remind them that any text can be forwarded to an unintended audience — and texts that involve drugs, sexting, or other illegal things can get kids into real trouble.

The ideal time to establish rules around how the phone will be monitored is at the very beginning, when you give it to your kid. It’s easier to relax your rules as you go along, rather than suddenly introduce new ones.

You can always simply ask to see their messages. If your kids recoil in horror, ask why they don’t want you to see them — it’s very likely that there’s nothing bad.

If you have reason to suspect that your kid is going through something dodgy that he or she won’t discuss — and you notice changes in his or her behavior, appearance, and actions — then you might have probable cause. You also can consider purchasing a text-monitoring service through your wireless carrier.

Bottom line? Discuss appropriate cell phone behavior, set consequences for infractions, and monitor your kid’s behavior. Every parent faces this dilemma at one time or another, whether it’s regarding text messages or Instagram posts. If you do decide to sneak a peek, be prepared to see things you won’t like — and to have to choose whether or not to confront your child about what you’ve discovered.

Do you check your child’s phone on a regular basis? Share your comments below

This post originally appeared on Common Sense media.


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  • I think it is Ok, though in the ideal world you wouldn’t, but it’s a new world with few protection rules.


  • 100% yes. The technological world is fully crazy out there, pedophiles grooming children online, bullying, sexting.


  • I check my 13 year olds messages just to ensure safety and things. She is aware I do it and is ok with it. I told her from the day she got a phone I will randomly be checking things on the phone which was our agreement. It’s up to the parent and like the article says it depends on attitude and behaviour.


  • It is possible to program a phone that only certain numbers can be called or texted and calls or texts received in return. The phone is for emergencies only for an immature primary school student


  • In this world of fast changing technology and the dangers it can expose our children too I believe if the child is say 12-13 years-yes. If they are teenagers and are responsible-no I wouldn’t invade their privacy.


  • Only my 2 teenagers have a phone. And no, I don’t check my kids phones and think I shouldn’t unless there’s a good reason or concern.


  • My kids are way too young for a phone although miss 7 keeps asking for one. When they have one i will be checking what they do on their phones.


  • Will have to decide when i get there..


  • The idea of my kids having access to a device terrifies me but I’ll cross this bridge when I get to it .


  • No I don’t and haven’t checked my daughters phones. I leave them this privacy in trust. But I certainly keep myself “somewhat” aware of their social interactions enough to be satisfied. If I’m not satisfied, I hound them to death about the issue at hand :).


  • I don’t check my daughter’s phone. She’s 16, she just uses it for text messages and occasionally a phone call. She’s not on social media, and I trust her.


  • Mine are not allowed an ipad or phone unless I have access to it.


  • Mine are way too young for a phone.


  • When my son is old enough for a phone it will be a condition that we are allowed full access to it.


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