Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Parent to Parent: Monitoring Devices
Our kids know more about cell phones, texting and the internet than we do. So, parents how do we make sure they are safe and responsible? 7's Lynn Martinez gets some advice in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Fourteen-year-old Samantha spends hours talking on her cell phone. For her little sister Rebecca it's all about texting. Mom felt they were ready for the responsibility.
Stephanie Norman: "They were doing more activities outside of the house, so it was important that they have a cell phone."
The girls are also on Facebook and mom allows that too, but only because she is their Facebook "friend" and can see what they put on their page.
Stephanie Norman: "I trust my kids. I'm very open with my kids, we have a great relationship."
While it works for Stephanie's family some parents are choosing another option, mobile surveillance systems. Companies like My Mobile Watchdog and Mobile Spy allow parents to monitor texts, emails and calls to their child's cell phone and sends an alert if a stranger tries to contact them.
Stephanie Norman: "As a parent you're going to monitor your child's phone, their Facebook, everything, that's what goes along with the territory."
7's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says monitoring systems are a good tool for parents, but don't let it lull you into a false sense of security.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Whether you're monitoring them with a surveillance system, which is fine, you still need to be training them how to use the computer, what to look for."
Dr. Val says communication with your kids is key. If they're on Facebook make sure you have access to their account and explain that you're doing this to protect them not because you don't trust them.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You need to trust your child, but not trust anyone who comes in contact with them."
Stephanie Norman: "As a parent you want to know that your kids are safe and secure and are making the right choices above anything else."
Parents generally pay a small monthly fee for the monitoring service.
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