This morning I took Molly’s iPhone from her room where it had been all night and checked her text messages. I was checking for two things, had she been on the phone when she should have been sleeping and the content of her texts.She was angry and told me I shouldn’t snoop.
I made no apologies for my so called snooping. I let her know it was my right as a parent to do what I thought was necessary to protect her.
Earlier this year we replaced Molly’s iPod with the iPhone. We knew there would be difficulties ahead but we also knew that at some point we would need to address those difficulties and it may as well be now instead of later. It has been a hard road but just recently I have seen signs of it changing for the better. The other day I spied this in her room.
Good work Molly!
When children Molly’s age have one of these phones in their possession they are lost to them, there is no connection to the world outside cyberspace. I would say 90% of the disagreements we have with Molly are about her phone.
Most of the iPhone disagreements we have with her are about the amount of time she spends on the phone the rest would be about her taking it into her bedroom.
We have parental controls on the phone to help us but we have also put in place other rules. For example: she is not allowed the phone in her bedroom; I need to approve any apps she downloads; we must always have the password. We have also talked to Molly a lot about the sort of things that can happen online and what she should do if she is uncomfortable with something. We have also made her aware of the sort of things she shouldn’t be posting online.
We have never been in this situation before and neither has Molly so we are all learning. We have made mistakes and will make more. We have had many discussions and set many rules and there will be more of both as we fumble our way through this new environment.
I read a lot about what we should do and probably the most important recommendation I hear is to trust our instinct. Any step towards keeping Molly and Lulu safe online is not going to be wrong.
In my research online I came across this contract a mother made with her thirteen year old son. I like this woman’s style and will print it out for Molly.