Youth need privacy for healthy growth, development, and to work through ideas. Yet in these monitoring-obsessed days of child-rearing, privacy is often thrown to the side in exchange for surveillance.
That's why innovative educators help parents see past simplified safety advice like: only use technology in a communal area. While imposing such restrictions is easy and may give a false sense of security, it is ineffective.
Does not foster trust
What's better than monitoring is working to foster trust and staying connected with your child. When you have developed connections and communication, your child is more likely to share what she’s up to.
Drives behavior underground
Monitoring doesn't stop bad behavior, it drives it underground. Find out for yourself. Ask a teen who's monitored if it makes them stop doing something or just become better at lying about what they're doing.
Your child needs privacy
Wanting privacy goes along with the development of independence. A young person doesn't want all their thoughts, feelings, and creations on display. Privacy allows young people to work out their thinking and feelings in a safe place.
Does not promote safe independent use
Your child is not always going to be using technology at home and you are not always going to be there to monitor them. More effective than surveillance is supporting your child in using technology effectively. This means fostering a trusting relationship where you can speak to one another.
What do you think? Is this in alignment with advice you give parents? How are you helping to instill responsible use in the youth with whom you work?
Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.