Should you ask your Kids their Password?
Should you ask your Kids their Password?
As a parent, the one thing that concerns you the most is your child’s safety. All parents want is to look after their children’s best interests. You always want to protect your kid from any harm online or offline. Parenting has been very difficult, especially in this modern digital age full of advanced technology. Therefore, you also must be concerned about your kids’ social media usage. You may worry about their privacy and think should you ask your kids their password or not.
You must be thinking about the ways to regulate their social media. If you are thinking about asking for your kids’ passwords so that you can monitor their online activities, then I must tell you that’s a bad idea.
Yes, you heard me right. It would help if you did not ask your kids their passwords. Parents have basic misconceptions about their children and try to invade child’s privacy. In this blog, I will explain to you all the reasons you should not do that.
Harmful Effects of Social Media
Social media is gaining popularity among kids and teenagers. Kids are using social media like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., from an early age. These apps, on the surface, look fun and safe. But when to take a deep dive into these apps, it’s a whole different story. Several dangerous social media apps can hamper your child’s safety.
According to the recent survey done by CNN, on average, kids spend more than seven hours per day on social media, which doesn’t include time spent using screens for school and homework.
Social media has made kids victims of cyberbullying. They look at the pictures of other celebrities and feel insecure about their own body. Kids start to suffer from body dysmorphic disorder and many other mental health issues. Due to these problems kids face on social media, parents are concerned about their kid’s safety.
The major problem is that the people who use social media, especially teenagers, have decided that their self-worth depends upon how popular they are on social media. Suppose they have a huge following and can get a large number of likes. Then they have huge self-worth, and if their number of likes and followers is less, they consider themselves worthless.
And the measurement of your worth as per your popularity on social media has created unhealthy competition among teenagers, i.e., who can get the largest amount of likes and followers?
This problem has created pressure among teenagers to do whatever they can to increase their popularity on social media. And as the platform in itself is enlarging, the pressure has heightened, and when the teens cannot handle the pressure, they start to suffer from various mental health issues.
Also, people post happy and smiley pictures on their social media. But life is not all amazing, as shown in social media, and let’s face it, no one puts a picture of them crying or being miserable on social media. So, by looking at these pictures, it creates a false impression among teenagers that only their own life is sad and miserable, which results in degrading and doubting their self-esteem.
According to the research done by JAMA Psychiatry, whose objective was to assess whether time spent using social media per day is prospectively associated with internalizing and externalizing problems among adolescents found out that the people who use social media more than three hours per day “may be at heightened risk of mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems.” On average, teens spend seven hours on social media, they have become the victim of anxiety and depression, and their mental health deteriorates rigorously. Parents need to monitor the kids from being stressed.
Another effect of social media is emerging: “Snapchat Dysmorphia.” Young people, especially teenagers, are seeking plastic surgery to look like the idealized images they create using filters. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram consist of filters that allow users to smooth out their skin tone and change the shape and features of their face and other body parts; this phenomenon has become known as Snapchat dysmorphia.
Kids have been more susceptible to cyberbullying and harassment due to open and uncontrolled social media systems. Ipsos international survey of adults in 28 countries reveals an increasing number of parents who have children who have experienced some form of cyberbullying.
When kids share their photos and videos on the internet, anyone can easily access them. People with ill intentions use it against the teenagers themselves to bully and harass them. This bullying and harassment again lead to internalizing problems and even bring suicidal thoughts among the kids.
Why shouldn’t you ask your Kids their Password?
Parents should never ask kids their passwords because it shows that they don’t trust their children. First of all, examine your kid if your kid does not look stressed when using their phone. Then there is no need for you to take action. Trust your kids and respect their privacy because you know that you raised them right.
Think about how it feels when someone violates your privacy. The same feeling goes through your children as well. So if you start violating your kids’ privacy, they will feel neglected and build trust issues. They will start to get recluse toward you.
So my advice is not to ask your kids about their passwords. They will stop sharing about their personal lives and feelings, and your relationship with them deteriorates. However, you can use alternatives to protect your child from the internet’s harmful effects.
Alternative to asking Kids Password
Have a Direct Talk with them
The most important thing you can do to keep your kid safe is to have a proper conversation with them. Tell them the harmful effects of the internet. Tell them the things that they can and can not do on their phone. Warm them about the dangers of social media. Teach them how to stand up against cyberbullying.
The more you start to have conversations with them, the more they will be open with you. They will know about the harmful effects of social media. And, when they are aware of it, they will start making the right choices. The most important thing is to teach your kids the right thing and have faith in them to do the right stuff.
Listen to your Kids
Always try to listen to your kids. Never disregard their feelings or try to undermine them. If you undermine them, they start to feel like their feelings do not matter. Then, they start to get more and more solitary.
When you listen to your kids, they will start to share their problems with you. They feel validated. Then, they will start to share problems that they are facing on social media. So, you don’t even need to ask for their password. They will share their problems with you.
Try sharing your problem
When you start sharing your problems with your kids, they will feel like it’s ok to share their problems with you as well. Try to treat them like your friends and make them feel like it’s ok to have problems. When they share their problems with you, don’t ever scold or disregard them.
Listen to their problem and try to have a proper discussion with them to find the solution. This discussion will help your kids to make an assertive decision if they face similar problems in the future. The more you try to share your problems, the more they will share their problems.
Use Parental Monitoring Apps
Instead of asking your kids their password, you can use various parental monitoring apps out there to check up on your kid’s phone activity without them knowing. Parental control applications are helpful for better parenting. You can track their GPS location and check their social media activities like Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook. You can also monitor their call logs and website access.
Best Parental Monitoring Apps
Some of the best parental control and monitoring apps are:
Features of Parental Monitoring Apps
Some of the features of these monitoring apps include:
- You can dynamically access all details of your kid’s phone.
- Monitoring apps also keep records of deleted text messages.
- Uploads your kid’s GPS positions on a Google Map so you can know where they are.
- Some of them have a stealth camera feature. This feature can stealthily capture photos of your kid’s surround and send them back to you.
- View all the Instagram messages, Snapchat shots, Emails, and WhatsApp messages.
- The images sent and received by your kids are recorded and can be viewed.
- The incoming and outgoing calls are logged and recorded along with duration, date, and time.
- You can find out what websites are being accessed by their kids, along with the browser history.
When should you ask for your Kid’s password?
Asking your kids their passwords should be the last resort if you feel like your kid is in serious trouble. If you can see, your kid is constantly stressed out while they are using their phone. That’s exactly when you have to step up and ask for their password and take necessary action.
Don’t shame your child or try to make them feel guilty. Just ask for permission to access your kid’s phone and try to help them get out of trouble.
So, it would be best if you did not ask your kids about their passwords. You should always respect their privacy. Rather, you can try to talk to them and listen to their problems. They will eventually share if they have any queries or are in trouble. For your kid’s safety, you can also use parental monitoring apps like MobileSpy, Spyera, mSpy, FlexiSpy, etc.