First, let us thank Mountain Brook-area counselor Michelle Pruett, who made us aware of a resource, linked to below. This is on the website of a commercial product, which we aren’t endorsing (or recommending against either!)
Parents now have a number of tools they can use, if they wish, to monitor the online/cell phone/social media activity of their kids. But, the issues surrounding how to do this, how much privacy is appropriate at what age, and so on, can be complicated.
We don’t endorse the spying approach and the infographics in the link below do a good job of distinguishing between spying and monitoring. Spying, in brief, is when a parent secretly observes what their kids are doing on, for example, cell phones, without letting the young person know. The argument many parents use for this approach is that it increases the chances they’ll “catch” their child up to no good.
We’re less interested in catching and more interested in prevention. As a rule, then, bringing your kids in on the fact that a parent will be monitoring, makes more sense to us.
Again, we’re not endorsing the product, but you may find the infographic interesting.