Opinion: 70% of Teens Hide Online Behavior from Parents, And How I Feel About It

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d_kuhn

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Lol... there is almost nothing a child can do on the internet that is as risky as some of the risky behaviors I took part in as a teen - all without that horrible internetz. Saying that teens engage in risky behavior is like saying they breath... it's redundant. I fully expect my kids to get into trouble, and I expect them to try to hide things from me. I'd MUCH rather have them try to hide some nasty comments on facebook or frequent trips to porn sites than a drug habit or dwi ticket. I'd be nervous if they DIDN'T do these things... it's all a part of exploring their increasing freedom. Our job isn't to try to crush any individualtiy out of them by controlling their every thought or action... our job is to keep them safe while they stretch for adulthood. That means keeping an eye on things, smacking them back here and there but expecting that their attempts to hide behavior from us is a normally expected part of being a teen.
 
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" I'm aware that many parents and non-parents may not agree with my "restrictive" opinion. That's fine -- I expect a little flaming"

You seem to be implying that not agreeing with you is the same as flaming.
 

lamorpa

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As a parent, you always have the ability to set the level of lying your teens will do. Have lots of restrictive, mistrustful rules and you can get a lot of lying (and don't fool yourself you won't be able to know in most cases), or openness and empowerment and you'll get less lying. Is it better to shield them from the world (and not let them get any experience in how to deal with it) or experience their learning with them?
 
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my thoughts are you are stupid. Taking it without much reflection that 32% are looking at nude / porn. When so much of adult TV content is focused on sex and the getting of said sex, combine it with the hormones that make man/women give you a happiness drug when you see them, it would take one disinterested or messed up character to not look at them. I would think it odd that my children wouldn't given the opportunity. Hence why you need to talk to them about things like this and why things are portrayed the way they are in the media that is the provider of this, so they don't get bad context and having to spend years working out many assumptions they form based on this viewing.
 
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How is any of this alarming? Teens do things that they don't want their parents to know about, online and offline. I'd wager this has been true since the beginning of time; it's human nature.

Also, these statistics seem grossly off-base. Only 32% of teens have ever accessed porn but 15% have the skills to hack social networking accounts?? As long as metrics such as these are compiled voluntarily (through surveys), they can never be trusted. If teens are hiding their behavior from their own parents, what makes you think they aren't going to hide it from your studies as well? I can change every single percentage in this article and it would sound just as believable.

And what's so bad about researching sexual topics online? Would you rather your child actively educate themselves about STDs and pregnancy online or go out into the real world and experience it for themselves firsthand?

Any self-respecting parent should expect their teen is going to hide things from them, pretending otherwise is just mind-numbingly ignorant. That's the way teens (and humans in general) are, and acting like it's the end of the world and punishing your teen for it is the very reason they hide it from you in the first place.
 

djscribbles

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[citation][nom]evan1715[/nom]only 32% for porn? i think that should be like 90% lol.[/citation]

Teen starts at 13, and includes girls which are a (I presume) less likely to access.



+1 to D_Kuhn. You can't prevent your kid from making bad choices, because at some point you have to make bad choices, it's how you learn to make good ones. Keep them safe, out of legal trouble, and free of addictions; try to control too much and you are as likely to get the opposite effect of what you are hoping for.
 

DRosencraft

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It is always a tricky two-way street between protecting a child, and allowing them the freedom to do as they like. I think in general parents nowadays are too lenient on their kids. Parents need to be parents. Kids will do stupid crap not "because they're kids" but because they don't know any better or don't have the requisite common sense. You don't need to suffer through a drug addiction, or a DWI crash, or go to jail, to know you don't want to go through any of that stuff. But kids tend to fall to temptation or bad judgment or peer pressure easier. It's a parent's job to be strict enough to protect their kids from falling into these traps. Parents today seem increasingly inattentive or more concerned with being friends with their kids.

Part of the problem is socioeconomic condition. A lot of times, kids are at home alone or are free to do whatever after school. They either don't have two adults at home, or their parents are both working, and are tired or disinterested when they get home from work. Whether it was my mom or dad, there as almost always someone home when I was home from school. Our only computer was at a central location in the house or near their bedroom, so that anything we did on it was visible to them. Were there times that it was annoying or whatnot, sure there were. But in the long run me and my siblings were protected against the dangers that existed, and are today no less knowledgeable or functional in society.

And no, I'm not a parent.
 

Camikazi

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[citation][nom]DjScribbles[/nom]Teen starts at 13, and includes girls which are a (I presume) less likely to access.[/citation]
They have you tricked! Those teen girls are every bit as likely as teen boys to go to porn sites.
 
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I don't know how i compare myself to others, but i do know that a lot of my peers in my high school years watched the strangest things i could never image. They go to dark sites where people get murdered for fun, bestiality, and some other stuff that are so gross. I really couldn't believe that the IT people in my school allowed such viewing on campus. So yes, i wouldn't be surprise that your teenage son watches virus infected immoral websites.
 

bgaimur

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[citation][nom]jupiter optimus maximus[/nom]I don't know how i compare myself to others, but i do know that a lot of my peers in my high school years watched the strangest things i could never image. They go to dark sites where people get murdered for fun, bestiality, and some other stuff that are so gross. I really couldn't believe that the IT people in my school allowed such viewing on campus. So yes, i wouldn't be surprise that your teenage son watches virus infected immoral websites.[/citation]

How did you put morality in the same scope as malicious software? lol
 

willard

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While my mother had no hope of ever monitoring what I did online (still thinks the difference between a modem and router is that the router is wireless), I'll be very impressed if my future teenagers can hide anything from me on the computer. It's my hardware on my network, and just clearing your browsing history ain't gonna cut it.
 
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sigh.. I had free internet access though my entire life from 11 years old to 25(actual age) and it never happened anything bad, just followed these simple rules:

never reveal your exact location.
never tell your full name.
post in a way that only close friends can understand it
post photos and content without being paranoid. people masturbate on your bikini photo? you will never know it, so don't care.
and yes, I think that a system where if teenagers go online and read about sex topics thinks it's wrong it's really a very messed up system, KNOWLEDGE about sex must be given as early as possible, pornography? I was 13 when I watched my first VHS porn that the father of a friend of mine had hidden in its laboratory, then used internet. if you have knowledge you want to have more, if you don't, you start looking for it in any way you may know, and if you get the feeling that what you're doing is wrong you will try to hide it from others. That's how HUMAN MIND WORKS, and it's not limited by teenagers. Why this much fuss about sex, I will never understand it.(ps.. you speak about sex topics in this post, so will you hide it from your children? so there are things you hide from them; in my experience, it has always led to suffering and hurt and stupidity while the world around you knew everything you didn't know.)

 

Vorador2

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Wow, i think the autor of this article is way overprotective. You may say that the internet is a privilege from your point of view, but sure he isn't going to say the same, today's generation has been born with Internet and being connected 24/7, not having internet is a sure way to be ostracized between modern teens.

And you sound like you're trying to control his every move. And you will probably get the opposite effect of what you're doing.
 

ptmmac

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It is not easy being a good parent. Setting boundaries is realatively easy. Not killing communication while setting boundaries is hard. No teen wants to hear about sex from their parents. They do need information. Make sure there is some one you trust who can communicate with them. If they do want to talk, don't miss the opportunity to be real.

I would guess you have at least one daughter. Your wife is certainly the best person to deal with your daughter.
 

captainvera

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"But there's some hope. 49-percent of McAfee's surveyed parents have wised up and have installed parental controls. 44-percent have obtained social network and email passwords, 27-percent have taken away computer and mobile devices, and 10-percent use location-based devices to keep track of their teens. Yep, guilty of all of the above."

seriously? this is waaay too much, teens should be able to experience new things and learn about the world... i understand you don't want your kid to take drugs etc, but a talk and a correct attitude and/or some backpack searching once in a while should be enough... Getting their email and social network passwords is taking their freedom nowadays, how would you feel if they kept track of every contact, message, email and phone call you did? i bet you wouldn't be okay with that...

Also, most of these "risky" behaviors are not risky at all... you need to be pretty dumb to fall for scams on facebook and other social sites, and is looking at porn that bad? most teens do it and before there was the internet there was girl magazines that they stole, getting familiar with sex related issues and "benefits" is a part of growing up. And even piracy... it ain't that bad.. FBI is not going to knock on your door because your teen pirated a movie once, there are teens who do it 24/7 without some basic "hiding" knowledge and never get caught...

What i do is i don't set restrictions, i had some talks with my teen, i know hes responsible and aware of the risks of the internet. i don't monitor him at all! yes i know he will probably look at porn some day or he will pirate stuff, but so what? he's growing up! and i certainly wouldn't think of monitoring where he is... that is taking is privacy and personal life away from him! I set rules with him, he knows if he brakes them there are consequences... if he respects them long enough he gets more freedom! As simple as that! If you're trying to control everything he does. you will probably get the opposite effect of what you're trying to do.
 
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