parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Monday, March 19, 2007
    Striking yet another balance
    E and her friends are all working to get on each other's Google Talk lists. Last year (and even the year before), E was emailing with her old friends from CA, and ocassionally with her friends who she worked on a school newspaper with. I didn't find it problematic, and thought, "at least she's not IMing yet!"

    Now they are setting up the IMing.

    I am not completely concerned, b/c her computer access is quite limited, and never 100% independent - our home isn't big enough for that. I know all her passwords, and she often asks me to just check her email for her.

    As a parent, I certainly hear a LOT - not even including television commercials - about how important it is that we monitor our kids' computer time.

    Does this mean it's okay for me to sign into her email when I know she's at school and see what she and her friends are talking about?

    She's 10. But, of course, not for long.

    I know that people tend to feel VERY strongly in one direction or another, and I'd love to hear people's thoughts - not limited to those with kids. Since we've all BEEN kids.

    My mom was a snooper. I knew this, and I learned to use it to my advantage. I still didn't like it.

    I am at my core a snooper. It is one of my evil impulses that I spend time choking down.

    Therefore, if I'm going to decide that I will NOT be a snooper-mom (which I don't see an issue yet, but more as the girls head up toward 13, 14, 15, 16, and then I tend to think that at 17, those birds are done - for the most part - I'm sure I'll change my mind) I need to start prepping myself NOW.

    Opinions, rants and debates are hereby officially requested.

    Labels:

    posted by Zuska @ 5:09 PM  
    7 Comments:
    • At Monday, March 19, 2007 5:24:00 PM, Blogger Housewife said…

      At age 10 I think it's an easy blanket statement.

      "Good moms snoop."

      When they get older we'll have to re-evaluate.

      I use laptops and have Adam and Eve drag them to the kitchen counter so they can email while I cook.

       
    • At Monday, March 19, 2007 8:00:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      Well, I am not really asking the question about 10 years old. Like i said, she hides nothing - it's all out there. She has me check her mail for her, and when she has gotten questionable items via e-mail, she instantly shows me and asks what to do (example one: a chain letter forwarded by a high school student to her younger 5th grade brother who forwarded it to his 5th grade friends -- it included a "curse" stating that if you don't forward it on, your mother will get by a car; example two: again, a forwarded chain letter, this time iwth the words "this is fucking unbelievable" in the re: line. I'd actually heard about this one from friends at book group the day before - everyone was upset to see it in 5th graders' in boxes -- but we knew it came from high school students, and did not originate with the 10/11 year olds, so I was pretty unconcerned). So my question is in prep for later moreso than the present.

       
    • At Monday, March 19, 2007 9:21:00 PM, Blogger Housewife said…

      Later on I'll probably snoop but deny it in public (even to my closest friends).

      I'd snoop because it's who I am and I'm not proud of that.

      I watch my siblings' my space pages without telling them. They are significantly younger than I am.

       
    • At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:29:00 AM, Blogger LL said…

      It wasn't that long ago that I was in high school and living at home- while I wouldn't have liked it I think it was my parent's right (and even duty) to snoop. My sister went down a long, bad road that took years to get her off of and I truly believe a lot of that could have been avoided if my parents had snooped more. Smart teenagers make good liars and sometimes the only way to know what is really going on is to investigate yourself. I think once they're in college, you're done, but while they live in your house, you have a right and obligation to know what they are up to.

      That said, there's things you could certainly choose not read- personal emails with a boyfriend or something. And not every kid is going to get in trouble without snooping- there were 3 of us, raised the same way with attentive, loving parents and 1 happened to find a bumpy road. I fully acknowledge that my experiences with my sister color my feelings, but I know that I will engage in limited snooping on my kids when they're old enough for concern.

       
    • At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 10:07:00 AM, Blogger legally certifiable said…

      I think it depends on the kid and what is going on with the kid. If you have a good reason to snoop, then maybe you should. I think your obligation to protect your children supercedes their right to privacy. But if your kiddo is generally a good kid(and it sounds like that is the case) and you don't have any reason to believe that she is headed for trouble, I would resist the urge to snoop.

       
    • At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Lyco said…

      Here's the deal - I think that as long as you can trust her, you should. What are you really going to do if you see her chatting about something questionable? Tell her you've been reading her chats? The second that happens, she'll figure out how to make them off the record. Kids always know how to fool their parents if they think they don't have the space to just do things.

      Now having said that, I don't believe it's good to give a pre-teen or a teen a lot of space to get themselves into trouble. But it sounds like that's not so much an issue with you - it sounds like she tells you when things are sketchy.

      Can you just tell her your concerns and ask her to talk with you if inappropriate things pop up on IM? That way, you can teach her how to deal with it on her own terms.

      I'm not saying you shouldn't monitor, because I think you should. I don't think kids should go entirely without adult supervision. But if you can guide her without breaking into her accounts, then that's probably best. For now.

       
    • At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:38:00 PM, Blogger She says said…

      I generally agree that snooping is an accepting mom practice, although I would have been off-the-wall pissed if I caught my mom snooping on me. (*Caught* I kinda think she must have snooped once in a while. After all, I had to get my snoopy gene from someone, right?)

      But then again, my mom and I don't have as close a relationship as you seem to have with your girls.

      I think, in your shoes, I would basically let the kids know that you trust them, but once that trust is breached, then you're gonna start checking up on them, which means calling friends' parents and other embarrassing things like that. No kid wants their parents calling their friends' parents. Meanwhile, you might snoop just when something is suspicious or un-E-like or un-J-like.

      Good luck!

       
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