Night texting safety
Unfortunately it is hard to know everything your child is texting and this is even harder if they are in their room at night doing it.
I think it is important to think back before technology and what was allowed and try to find a balance. Twenty years ago talking on the phone too late was unacceptable on school nights.
I hear the argument taking away the phone from kids is stripping them from their social networks. However, we are the parents and if we think the privilege is being abused and our child’s texts are too sexually explicit or threatening to others, for example, then this is our role.
It is quite similar to the argument that if your child is doing poorly at school, because of lack of trying and the wrong attitude, then if they play a sport you strip this from them because it is obviously interrupting their studies. A lot of people will argue: they need sport; it is letting the team down; they are great at it.
We need to teach our kids that there are rules and yes life is full of privileges, but no matter what age, we all suffer consequences if we choose the incorrect behaviour.
It is also similar to the teenagers getting their licence – there are strict rules. However, parents are let off a bit here because the police eventually catch those who abuse their driving privilege. Texting problems, however, can be undetected for a long time if the parent is not actively checking. There are cyber bullying issues also and internet issues are very similar to texting.
Yes parents have a huge job and it has to be added to the thousands of other jobs they have – but if you don’t do any of the jobs and properly – the consequence will come for your child and you later too.
Do you know what is going on in their room? Asking to see their texts is a bit like reading someone’s diary, however, one can’t get into as much trouble with just writing in a personal diary. Find a way to be more involved with you child and they might not feel they need to communicate via texting too much. Starting at building the relationship is probably the best way to start rather than the actual phone/computer. Try family time; one-on-one time with each child; outside activities; adventures.
Go bowling, go fishing, go walking, go for ice-cream, go camping, go clay target shooting, lawn bowls, picnicking, riding, movies, dinner, basically anything where technology is the least important part.
Have fun with your child/teen