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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Do you monitor your child's email?

    Daughter is wanting to start participating in extracurricular activities at school. First on her list to try for looks to be the Color Guard and looking through their application packet, it seems the child has to provide an email address as one of the conduits of information about schedules of practices/events and whatnot.

    I could just put mine down, but there is no way I'm going to allow her unrestricted access to my account (I have a Gmail account, which is tied to my G+ and youtube and other Google products). I'm thinking about setting up a "family" type of account that I can monitor/administer, but then I question when/where does the privacy laws start coming into play and wonder if I could somehow be prosecuted for violating her (actually would be for both kids) privacy by doing so.
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  2. #2
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Creep.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Lemme clarify- she just turned 13 and in 7th grade. Currently, she has no phone of her own, no social media account (that I know of, anyway), no email.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I didn't, but my wife always secretly monitored the kids emails and social networking. Nothing wrong with it while they are minors.
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    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    Creep.
    Only if "creep" = responsible parent.
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  6. #6
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Kids are almost always more tech savvy than their parents. Getting past monitoring is super easy.

  7. #7
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    Considering she is your daughter it's perfectly legal. How about a Gmail account that forwards copies of the mail to you. Directions to do it are in the account setup. What I would recommend is you tell her you're getting the copies of the emails. That way there are no surprises and you get parent points for caring and responsibility.
    People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

  8. #8
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    Kids are almost always more tech savvy than their parents. Getting past monitoring is super easy.
    My 12 yr old is totally not. I was let to expect unlimited free tech support by this age, and I ain't gettin' it. Meantime, since I have a youtube account, and leave it logged in at home, I can see the list of all the insipid Star Wars and Halo music videos he's been watching. Kind of sad, but hey, need to let him fit in, I guess...

  9. #9
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    At what age will he pull off the monitoring glasses and allow the kid to have a normal life?

  10. #10
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Well at a tender age of 14 when Hotmail was introducing free webmail I signed up with my friends in high school library. It was not monitored by my parents, nor would I allow them to. Then again since first grade I went to school by myself and came back home by myself. It was perfectly normal where I lived. You know your daughter best, but IMHO opinion kids in this country are babied and protected from the world too much.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Just have a chat about the people that roam the internet and what to look out for, no need to be all gestapo.
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  12. #12
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    If you use something like "windows live" or "outlook" to organize your emails, you add multiple email addresses, which upload at the same time, sorted into each address. So, you can give her an address which will deliver email that you can see, filter, etc. You'd have to read around the instructions to see if you can have different password or user levels and access.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Our kids do not have email yet.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Daughter is wanting to start participating in extracurricular activities at school. First on her list to try for looks to be the Color Guard and looking through their application packet, it seems the child has to provide an email address as one of the conduits of information about schedules of practices/events and whatnot.

    I could just put mine down, but there is no way I'm going to allow her unrestricted access to my account (I have a Gmail account, which is tied to my G+ and youtube and other Google products). I'm thinking about setting up a "family" type of account that I can monitor/administer, but then I question when/where does the privacy laws start coming into play and wonder if I could somehow be prosecuted for violating her (actually would be for both kids) privacy by doing so.
    Privacy laws? She's your minor child. Privacy laws do not apply.

    Both of my ( under 13 ) kids have email accounts. One of them uses it heavily, the other not at all. My take on it is that I can take the occasional quick scan to make sure that nothing is amiss, but that I treat it with the respect and consideration commensurate with their ages and feelings, which means that I don't ever bring up anything I've seen that doesn't involve an immediate threat to their safety.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  15. #15
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    We don't have kids yet, but when we do, yes we will monitor their email until they are old enough to be trusted and smart enough.

    Yes you should monitor it. But don't be sneaky about it, tell her you will be monitoring the use because she is still young, and it's a safety and privacy issue. and say don't worry the same thing is happening to your friends too.
    a good way to do it is to set up the email together so she can pick her own name/address etc, and then create the password together. the rule is she can never change the password and you (as the parent) are allowed to go into the email at any time to look things over. If she ever changes the password then there is a consequence like being grounded or, something my coworker did that i loved - take her bedroom door away. or take her computer, etc.

    since that doesn't keep her from sending/receiving emails and then deleting them from the trash so you can't see them, i also suggest doing what someone above said and have copies of all incoming/outgoing emails sent to your address as well. and let her know this is happening as well because that way she'll tell her friends her dad monitors ALL messages so they can't send/say anything bad.
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  16. #16
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    IMHO opinion kids in this country are babied and protected from the world too much.
    I agree. To many wimp parents who are afraid of their kids learning, growing, exploring, and realizing that there are consequences to everything.

    The kids who are babied snap like rubber bands when they are older once they have freedom.

  17. #17
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Adults will monitor and children will figure out ways around it. Circle of life.

  18. #18
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    I agree. To many wimp parents who are afraid of their kids learning, growing, exploring, and realizing that there are consequences to everything.

    The kids who are babied snap like rubber bands when they are older once they have freedom.
    Unfortunately, the consequences to some things are dreadful and permenant. There are monsters in the world, real monsters, who walk around and act like every one else, but, who are in reality, hunting for prey. I know not every person on the net has ulterior motives, but the ones who do are common enough and manipulative enough to justify taking precautions. Not allowing your kids to have any access to the outside world is over protection. Monitoring that access and guiding them with the, hopefully, superior experience of an adult is responsible parenting.
    People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    I agree. To many wimp parents who are afraid of their kids learning, growing, exploring, and realizing that there are consequences to everything.

    The kids who are babied snap like rubber bands when they are older once they have freedom.
    Can you get a little broader in your inaccurate generalizations?
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    How are you ever going to live in the real world if you can't get along with people who don't believe what your do?

  20. #20
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Will the monitoring stop once you realize your 16 year old daughter/son is communicating with their romantic interest, someone of their own age?

  21. #21
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Can you get a little broader in your inaccurate generalizations?
    I'm not sure that someone who asserts that unknown adults should be allowed unfettered and unmonitored access to your 11-year-old so that the child can "learn, grow, and explore" is ever going to see the false equivalencies in their generalizations.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  22. #22
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    If you raise children with mutual respect and trust, you don't have problems and need to monitor. They learn to be open and honest with you. I'm not saying it is easy and you make mistakes along the way, but it works - bring them up to think and act the way you want them to be.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    If you raise children with mutual respect and trust, you don't have problems and need to monitor. They learn to be open and honest with you. I'm not saying it is easy and you make mistakes along the way, but it works - bring them up to think and act the way you want them to be.
    Mutual respect and trust are important aspects of a good relationship.

    However - do you think pre-teens have the maturity and sense to recognize the warning signs of inappropriate behavior by others without guidance?

    Other than the internet tough-guy trolls, I suspect that most parents would agree that there are situations in which trust-but-verify is the appropriate approach.
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  24. #24
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    i agree that the united states is prude about a lot of things that are normal in other countries and that we baby the hell out of kids. i am firmly against the "everyone's a winner!" mentality. however, when your child is between the ages of 9-14 and they want to go online, it's smart to not necessarily police their actions, but to definitely keep an eye on it. not just because of things like sexual predators, but also bullying, threats, and just generally inappropriate things.

    my friend and teacher i shared an office with had to monitor her daughters emails/facebook and texts because she, being a freshman in high school, was sneaking out of the house at night to meet up with a guy who was a sophomore in college, and generally a pretty worthless dude. who knows what crap like this can start.

    i agree about the mutual respect. saying something like you won't do a whole lot of policing unless you have a reason to suspect you need to would work i think.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    I wouldn't monitor it. My step-son was permitted to have email from a bit younger age and we didn't go sifting through it. He grew up with full internet access basically.

    Email to me is a lot less of an issue than general web surfing or chat networks. We were more attentive to his general web surfing habits, but never restrictive. I really didn't care what he was looking at, as long as he had enough information to interpret what he was seeing.

    The thing we stressed was to never reveal his real address, birthday, phone number or other information along those lines. Unfortunately that's harder to maintain today but back then it was very easy to maintain an alias. He understood it fully and was actually quite clever on his own about doing this.

    I didn't even care if he was looking at porn quite frankly, we just discussed it with him and ensured he realized it was not a realistic view of relationships.

    By not demonizing things and ensuring proper context and background is delivered, I think the best understanding of the world is attained.

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