Monitoring a teenager’s online internet use is not criminal, but it does infringe on their privacy. However, in times when the child might seem in danger or starts portraying unusual behavior, I would say it is a matter of good parenting. To make sure their child is safe. I believe that it is not always a matter of infringement of privacy rights, but it has to do more with concern. Today with cyberbullying and extremist recruitment online, one can never be too careful. All people have a right to their own privacy, and as they get older the reins must also get loose. A teenager cannot be monitored the same way they were monitored at 5 or even 11. When they reach the high school age, the most important part of parenting should have already been at this age.


This means addressing issues of self-esteem and self-confidence. Having the talk on responsible sexual conduct and also on how they should be leading their lives. This is to say in a way that comes from the heart. To portray love and kindness to all, and become part of the solution, not the problem. It is important to emphasize responsible online usage and behavior. They should not be bullying others online, creating fake news or engaging in polluting online engagement like pornography.

Instead with a healthy upbringing comes a healthy mindset. Children instead focus on creating solutions for others by building themselves up through a career in their passion of choice. Whether its finance or dance. Children should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle from an early age and to be shown by example how to lead such a life. This means, demonstrating through your own relationships on how to treat others, and also with responsible behavior. Online and with others in person.

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By the time a parent is monitoring a teenager’s online movements, there is a problem. It is not just a nosy parent. It is a parent who is scared for their child’s wellbeing and had been forced to essentially spy on them to ensure their safety. As a young adult, many teenagers are vulnerable and impressionable. When mixed with the wrong crowd a child can go from promising to being in a ‘bad’ place, due to toxic relationships. This usually flows over into familial relationships, coming between the bond of a parent and child or siblings.

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At this point, there is cause for alarm and a scared parent usually waivers the ‘privacy rights’ extended to their child. With feelings that something could be wrong or about to go wrong, a parent has the right to check on the well being of their child. Even if it means snooping. Some may argue and say ‘let the child come to you’ but when faced with a unique situation, teenagers don’t often go to their parents; even when they have a good relationship. They seek out their more experienced friends and ask the equally naïve person for advice. This is why it is also important to ‘check on your children’, by taking an interest in their daily lives.

Get to know their friends, their performance in school and where they go to have fun and most definitely who with. When you are actively involved in your child's life having an open and honest relationship, then it is easier to see the signs that some parents say they have ‘missed’. Not to say that they were not active or attentive, but having an honest relationship means sharing your mistakes as well, and being open about how you dealt with them and how you hope they can avoid similar mistakes, or deal with what they are presently going through.

It is easier to brush off alarming signs, and uncomfortable discussions. It is easier to focus on work, but it is extremely hard to repair the damage when you know you could have done something to avoid it altogether. Prevention is better than cure.