By Jessica Connors, KidGuard.com
As a parent, we cannot always protect our children from everything. We cannot shelter them from the hardships that this world has to offer, but there are ways in which we can help keep them a little bit safer, even if we feel like we are invading their privacy.
Why Would I Look Through Their Phone?
A lot of parents feel hesitant when the subject of looking through their child’s phone is brought up, and that’s perfectly natural. You may feel like it’s an invasion of your child’s privacy or maybe that you are being too invasive, and if they find out they’ll never trust you again.
If you, as a parent, honestly feel like something is going on in your child’s life that could very well be endangering them, checking their phone to see if there are any clues is not a wrong choice to make.
If your child is old enough to have a phone, then you are probably dealing with a teenager here, and need to ask yourself why you feel the need to go through their phone. Are they hanging out with new friends that seem sketchy to you, or are they being very secretive about their life and you are not sure why? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then you’re not being paranoid and something may actually be afoot here.
But Isn’t This Spying?
Not necessarily, no. Spying on your child would be monitoring every single thing that they do. That’s sneaking onto their computer to look at all of their emails, rifling through their drawers and pockets, and even following them when they go out with their friends.
If your child is honest with you, and you fully trust them, going through their things and stalking them shouldn’t be occurring. However, if there is a very negative switch in their behavior, attitude towards you and everything else – such as school for example – then looking through their phone could give you the answers you need as to why this is occurring.
How Can I Do It Without Them Knowing?
Looking through their phones does not mean literally forcing your child to hand their phone over. There are a lot of less invasive ways to do so, such as installing an app on their phone, but that means they may know about it and avoid talking about things on their phone as a result.
Therefore, another option is needed, which is going straight to the phone company. As the account holder and the one who pays the bill, you can inquire with the phone company to have all records printed off and sent to you, which includes sent and received text messages, phone calls, picture messages, etc. However, this will only work if you are paying the account and are on as the holder … not if your child pays the bill for it directly.
There are even third-party options that are available to you that do much of the same thing. For this option, you have plenty of resources available and you can consider multiple companies that are at your disposal.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
As long as you are not spying into their lives for the heck of it and just want to understand what is happening with your child, you should be able to do something without them even knowing. Getting to the root of the problem is the best way to help your child. Learn more about how to start a healthy conversation with your teen.