A Valley family therapist says it’s good that more parents are watching their teen’s digital activity.
The recent study from the Pew Research Center indicates 61 percent are checking which websites their teen visits, 60 percent are inspecting social media profiles and 48 percent go through their teen’s texts or know their child’s passwords.
“There is such a push for parents to monitor their teens online because of all the danger that there is,” said Christina Jimenez licensed family therapist with Doorways-Phoenix.
Allowing a child to go online is like monitoring a child that is learning to drive, she said.
“Initially for your younger kids, monitor, monitor, monitor,” she said. “But also tell them what the dangers are out there, but also how to be responsible with posts, sending pictures and things like that.”
Then just like leaning to drive, once they’ve proven they’re more responsible, pull back a bit and watch from a distance.
“Just like for us if we are speeding, we’re going to get a ticket,” she said. “If you see something that’s alarming, check in with your child.”
Let them know that the alarming behavior is not acceptable, and why it is inappropriate, she said. If they change once you have had a discussion, allow them to continue.
“If you see a repetitive pattern, then I would intervene,” she said.
At some point, when they’re old enough, just like getting a driver license parents have to explain the consequences are now their own.