Cell phones, texting, Facebook, the Internet ...How much privacy do you allow your kids, and how do you monitor what they’re up to?
Margarita Vivas: "My son has a cell phone with no text (you should hear how he complains about it, though). The Internet is restricted, and, yes, he has a Facebook account, with Mom's access to it whenever I choose."
Jackie Mattox: "My son, who is 11, has a phone and just got an iPad for his birthday. He only gets his phone for baseball practices and times we know we will be away from him for an extended period of time. We periodically check his activity and make sure all is kosher!
"Recently a girl from his class was texting him very inappropriate things. This was the first time I saw him liking a girl. Instead of going to the mom or making a big deal with the school, I used it as an opportunity to discuss the types of people he wants in his life and what he sees as a good candidate for a girlfriend someday. It was a beautiful discussion, and I feel like he grew up a bit during the process and ended up making his own decision recently that he's 'over' that girl.
"As far as the Internet, it is always supervised in our home. The Internet can be used downstairs in the common area. There's way too much the kids can accidentally expose themselves to, and they are too immature to know that. Anyway, this is the age of technology. As parents, it's our responsibility to teach our kids to behave ethically when texting or going into cyberspace. Checking up on them is key, and trying to stay up on technology so that we can stay aware and one step ahead of them. "