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Would You Ask a 17 y/o for Facebook Password?


goldberry
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First, if you are opposed to monitoring your kid's phone or computer activities on principle, please don't respond.  I'm looking for opinions from like-minded parents who have monitored as a "matter-of-course".

 

DD has always had parental controls on her computer.  She got her phone a little over a year ago, and she knew we would monitor the phone, including looking at any time we wanted - calls, text messages, etc.  We also had a monitoring software on the phone. 

 

Recently, she had to reset the phone because it locked up, and the monitoring software got deleted.  She had never been on facebook, before, but she finally decided she wanted to have an account there because quite a few friends do now.  She is very aware of internet safety, etc. 

 

So, now she mostly "chats" on facebook messaging, not her usual texting or email.  The monitoring app we had on her phone previously only monitored texts.  So before reinstalling it, I checked to see if it would monitor facebook chats.  It doesn't, and apparently on Android phones no apps will monitor both sides of a facebook chat, or other "in-app" chats.

 

We have not had problems with this area, but I do think that the knowledge that we were monitoring helped prevent those problems, KWIM?  But I'm wondering if it is time to let that part of the monitoring go.  She still knows we can check her phone or computer whenever we want.  But without her facebook password, there is no way we could monitor facebook chats.  Also, she is interested in boys more now, and I'm wondering if the timing is good.

 

Please no slams for how horrible I am to invade on her space.  We have always monitored and even she has said she likes the accountability. 

 

 

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I wouldn't ask for it to monitor at 17. I would want all information written down in a sealed envelope in case there was ever a problem or I became concerned enough to want to check what's going on. If I'm given no reason to be concerned, I don't feel like I need to monitor at that age.

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Personally, I have no qualms with the principle of it. I watch my kids like a hawk where the internet is concerned.

If you have misgivings, maybe discuss the issue with the spouse and then using ya'll joint consensus I would discuss the issue with the 17 girl.

 

"Daugther, we've decided to (not) get your facebook password because we feel that you (no longer) need (this degree of) continued support/accountability."

 

I don't use facebook so I don't have any 1st hand experience.

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Tough call.  My first thought was that, at 17, I wouldn't (maybe) - except that she only wanted FB once the monitoring software was gone.  I think I'd be inclined to demand the password, but tell her that you'll only check once a month or whatever and only a peek, not a mining mission, unless she gives you reason to think something's not right.  Maybe that would be enough to hold her accountable while letting her strengthen her personal accountability.

 

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I wouldn't ask for it to monitor at 17. I would want all information written down in a sealed envelope in case there was ever a problem or I became concerned enough to want to check what's going on. If I'm given no reason to be concerned, I don't feel like I need to monitor at that age.

 

That's an interesting idea!  I'll think about that one...

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Tough call.  My first thought was that, at 17, I wouldn't (maybe) - except that she only wanted FB once the monitoring software was gone.  .

 

There wasn't a corellation.  She actually asked about getting facebook first.  Then about a week later the phone died.  She doesn't know the software is gone either, I only found out when the data stopped appearing.

Edited by goldberry
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I wouldn't at the age of 17 unless there are potentially serious problem, which doesn't seem to be the case.  I know my girls' passwords; they shared them with me without me having to ask.  I did know my middle dd's passwords when she was younger, but about a year ago she had to change it.  I didn't ask, and she didn't offer.  She was 17 at the time.  

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There wasn't a corellation.  She actually asked about getting facebook first.  Then about a week later the phone died.  She doesn't know the software is gone either, I only found out when the data stopped appearing.

 

Ah.  I misunderstood.  Still, I think it's reasonable to ask, just in case, but let her know you're willing to ease up as long as she is giving no cause for concern.

 

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I wouldn't ask for it to monitor at 17. I would want all information written down in a sealed envelope in case there was ever a problem or I became concerned enough to want to check what's going on. If I'm given no reason to be concerned, I don't feel like I need to monitor at that age.

 

the one problem with this - passwords can be changed. with no monitoring, you might not know they've been changed until after things become concerning.

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the one problem with this - passwords can be changed. with no monitoring, you might not know they've been changed until after things become concerning.

Yes, they can but I haven't encountered that problem. In reality, if your dc want they can hide many things online. They can give you information for one Facebook account but have a secret one also. Parents can only do so much and and at some point you have to have trust. I think 17 is a good time to try.

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the one problem with this - passwords can be changed. with no monitoring, you might not know they've been changed until after things become concerning.

 

Then asking her for the password wouldn't help anyway, she could just change it.  From my research, there are no apps that will track in-app chats on an Android phone. 

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If she wanted to use FB without your knowledge/permission, she could simply open a FB account under a (slighly) different name and also block you from seeing her account.  Plus, she could easily download an app to hide any app of her choosing (such as FB) under an innocent looking icon that looks, for example, like a calculator.

 

If she wants to give you the pw for accountability, fine. But there's no way I would spend any of my time monitoring the FB account of my 17yo.  One does not turn 18 (or graduate, or go to college) and become magically accountable on one's own. 

 

Seventeen is a great age to have freedom and potentially experience anything that you (parent) are already there to help navigate.  It's much better now, while she's still in your home.

 

Just my $.02.

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Yes, they can but I haven't encountered that problem. In reality, if your dc want they can hide many things online. They can give you information for one Facebook account but have a secret one also. Parents can only do so much and and at some point you have to have trust. I think 17 is a good time to try.

 

Yeah, this is kind of what I was thinking...

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If she wanted to use FB without your knowledge/permission, she could simply open a FB account under a (slighly) different name and also block you from seeing her account.  Plus, she could easily download an app to hide any app of her choosing (such as FB) under an innocent looking icon that looks, for example, like a calculator.

 

If she wants to give you the pw for accountability, fine. But there's no way I would spend any of my time monitoring the FB account of my 17yo.  One does not turn 18 (or graduate, or go to college) and become magically accountable on one's own. 

 

Seventeen is a great age to have freedom and potentially experience anything that you (parent) are already there to help navigate.  It's much better now, while she's still in your home.

 

Just my $.02.

This is where I am with it, having had a 17 yo dd.

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If she wanted to use FB without your knowledge/permission, she could simply open a FB account under a (slighly) different name and also block you from seeing her account.  Plus, she could easily download an app to hide any app of her choosing (such as FB) under an innocent looking icon that looks, for example, like a calculator.

 

If she wants to give you the pw for accountability, fine. But there's no way I would spend any of my time monitoring the FB account of my 17yo.  One does not turn 18 (or graduate, or go to college) and become magically accountable on one's own. 

 

Seventeen is a great age to have freedom and potentially experience anything that you (parent) are already there to help navigate.  It's much better now, while she's still in your home.

 

Just my $.02.

 

She recently told me about a guy at her community college (older) that wanted to text her.  She told him no, my parents don't allow that.  He said, "Well you know you could get one of those apps that your parents would never see.."  She said she laughed and told him she was too "goody-goody" for that.

 

So yes, I think obedience at this age has to be more willing than coerced.

 

Edited by goldberry
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If she had proven otherwise trustworthy I might let it slide at 17. 14 or 15 is different. I don't think you'll be damaging anything by asking but I probably would let it go ;)

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She also had an incident where she invited a boy who is a friend to have coffee with her at college.  Not technically against any rules we had made, but she knew we would want to know.  At first she wasn't going to tell us, but felt so awkward about it she finally did tell us.  She said, "I really suck at being any kind of rebellious!"   She has always been a big talker and communicator with us.

 

I'm thinking that asking for the password (unless just kept for emergencies) would be a moot point right now.  Either she is going to tell us what is going on, or she can keep it secret anyway if she really wanted to.

 

ETA.. or, as Joey from Friends would say, a moo point....  (DD is really into Friends right now! :) )

Edited by goldberry
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So, is this officially a JAWM?

 

Umm, no?  If you read my comments, I'm actually leaning toward letting it go.  I don't want a JAWM that yes I should monitor right now.  But I didn't want people saying all monitoring is bad, so why would I do it anyway.  I wanted a perspective of people who monitor but about when it is appropriate to stop. 

Edited by goldberry
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A better/alternative solution may be to have her facebook linked to your email, not hers. This way you can gain access if you're ever locked out or the password is changed.

They can still open accounts under other names, but this way does allow you access AND let kids know you have looked, because password would be reset.

 

Most psychologists, speakers I have heard suggest that parents be aware of online activities. In the same way that parents should be aware of who kids' real life friends are. So, not Duggar-like monitoring of every post, but a right to check and some oversight.

 

I have been deeply influenced by a talk I heard from a father whose son, Ryan, committed suicide because of Internet bullying that his family knew nothing about. My kids heard the father give a similar talk for students.

 

My ds has Instagram only, a public one. He finds it creepy that I look, but he is just like that. Btw, I always compliment him when he has a photo.

 

He also knows that I have the right to check devices (with him present, no secret checking) and he is ok with that.

 

Dd used some bad judgement once. She no longer has internet access except in my presence.

 

Both kids know I have a zero tolerance policy regarding Internet safety. My kids are currently in high school. Their school has a policy that Internet stuff should not be considered private -- some kind of contract kids sign each year.

 

ETA

http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org

Edited by Alessandra
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I've monitored and kept passwords on my kids online activities since they've been online.  However, as they reach the age of 16-17, my standards relax a lot.  They have the ability and knowledge to hide pretty much anything from me if they chose.  (I mean, at that point, they can drive, usually work, and aren't in my presence for much of the day).  I figure that by that age they are either going to behave mostly responsibly, or not, and there isn't a ton I can do about it.  We kind of have the attitude of "You have x amount of freedom and trust right now.  Don't breech my trust or you'll lose freedom".

 

 

(disclaimer here:  I was married and living with my 18 year old husband by the age of 16.  I tend to operate on the assumption that most 16-18 year olds are capable of acting responsibly, and it feels weird to me to be in control of that much of my nearly legal adult children's lives)

 

Edited by The Girls' Mom
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No opinion on the monitoring--my daughter is only 5, so no experience whatsoever.

 

But I did want to point out ... if she has an Android phone, and the Facebook app, or the Facebook Messenger app, and you have access to her phone--you have access to those apps, at least if you set up those apps to store the password so she doesn't have to enter it every time. (And I'd be amazed if there's anyone who doesn't set those up for automatic access.) You don't have to have her FB password as long as you have the ability to look at her phone.

 

My own Android phone has a security pattern on it. My husband knows it (as I know his). At any time, he could pick up my phone and have full access to my email, FB, and all of the messaging that I use on the phone, because it stores all the passwords. (He knows them all anyway.)

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I have been deeply influenced by a talk I heard from a father whose son, Ryan, committed suicide because of Internet bullying that his family knew nothing about. My kids heard the father give a similar talk for students.

 

 

ETA

http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org

 

Thank you for sharing that.  It is a powerful message in favor of monitoring in general.  I especially noted the saying at the bottom "remember the fragility of adolescence".  These kids are not adults who are (or should) be capable of handing the complexities of some of these situations.  They still need help.

 

In the story, it is clear that Ryan had what appeared to be a very good relationship with his parents, and his parents were supportive.  There was communication going on, and actions going on.  The parents had every reason to think they were handling it properly and that what they were doing was working.  So I don't think just relying "on the relationship" is enough at younger ages.

 

I do agree that the closer they get to adulthood, there needs to be a transition to self-responsibility.

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Thank you for all the input.  I want her to have the freedom she needs to learn to make decisions, develop confidence, all those things.  At the same time I struggle with still being the parent, still being responsible for so much. I've seen too many people go the other way.  My sister told me once when her DD was 16, her  "parenting was done now".  Ugh.  Gosh, 16-18 are shaping up to be some of the most important years so far!  Parenting isn't "done", it's just different.

 

These transitional years are so hard, trying to find the right balance of protection-support-freedom.

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Yes, they can but I haven't encountered that problem. In reality, if your dc want they can hide many things online. They can give you information for one Facebook account but have a secret one also. Parents can only do so much and and at some point you have to have trust. I think 17 is a good time to try.

This is I was going to say and what I would have done as a teen.
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At 17 for a typically developing young person, probably not.  

 

At 13?  Sure thing.  

 

In less than 12 months, she's a legal adult.  I would be phasing out monitoring at that point unless I felt we were in dangerous waters.  It doesn't seem that you are.  You've put in the work, laid the groundwork and now need to see if she can stand on her own.  Good job mom.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Yes, they can but I haven't encountered that problem. In reality, if your dc want they can hide many things online. They can give you information for one Facebook account but have a secret one also. Parents can only do so much and and at some point you have to have trust. I think 17 is a good time to try.

 

 

I agree - kids have to be trusted to be responsible at some point.  I trust my kids - (unless they did things that were questionable).  my grandmother micromanaged my mother, and then sought to micromanage her granchildren.  nothing like being micromanaged when you're approaching adulthood to either make you a doormat - or completely rebellious.  (or competely incompetent.)

 

Edited by gardenmom5
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It is a violation of the Terms of Service on Facebook to share your PW with other people, or to ask for other people's PWs.

 

So no, I wouldn't. Even if I felt this was important, it would be better (and probably more effective) to supervise time on the internet than to retroactively try to see what happened.

 

I'm not sure that applies to minors--but maybe it does.

 

 

As a parent who gave a ton of trust and had it violated in an extreme way, I think it's easier to start strict and then gradually let go, instead of the other way around (which is what I tried). I just assumed my child was telling the truth, until I found out otherwise. In an effort to "parent by relationship instead of by control" I gave too much control to the child. Now we have a better arrangement.

 

This is a child with no history (known) of rebellion who was radically rebelling behind our backs.

 

So you never know, really.

 

Still, 17 is a good time to practice.

 

Lotta help, I am! lol

 

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I let my oldest have a FB account at 13 so I could own the password and have open controls.  I wouldn't monitor a 17 year old much if at all honestly.  That's a young adult on the verge of potentially leaving the nest.  My oldest is 15 now and I'm monitoring less than I was a year or 2 ago.  He is making good decisions so far. 

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1ds is actually in charge of dudeling's minecraft server app/passwords/etc. - and a password for getting on his computer at all.  (he somehow managed to get the password (someone was being lazy), and 1ds noticed.  he promptly changed the password. he can access it all remotely.).  for starters, 1ds's far more computer savvy than I'll ever be (in this area, he's more savvy than 1dd - and she's employed in this area.) - AND, he has a far better idea of what is out there than even I do by reading stories.   when he was a teen - he was quite savvvy - and could go around any monitoring software he wanted.  he would also hack the computer to find out what our passwords were.  we literally had to put a lock on the door and unplug the router at night to be able to enforce any limits. (dh worked from home, and had to have internet.)  then he went to a neighbor's wi-fi. . . .

 

I have put limits on what dudeling can do - but he's still only 10. 

 

I also admit liking NOT knowing the password for his computer. (really, please dont' tell me!, why did you have to tell me?)    2ds is meaner than I am about allowing him online.

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It does. Read the ToS - it makes no exceptions due to age.

 

That would have no influence whatsoever on my choice.  Facebook is the most invasive entity ever, and *they* want to make it a violation for me as a parent to have my minor child's password?  I don't think so.  Safety of my kid has always come before any other thing, law, or entity, and will continue to do so.  (And I say that as a "rule-follower" under almost any other circumstances.)

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As a parent who gave a ton of trust and had it violated in an extreme way, I think it's easier to start strict and then gradually let go, instead of the other way around (which is what I tried). I just assumed my child was telling the truth, until I found out otherwise.

 

 

:grouphug:  It's a hard job...

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That would have no influence whatsoever on my choice.  Facebook is the most invasive entity ever, and *they* want to make it a violation for me as a parent to have my minor child's password?  I don't think so.  Safety of my kid has always come before any other thing, law, or entity, and will continue to do so.  (And I say that as a "rule-follower" under almost any other circumstances.)

 

Are you comfortable with strangers reading your locked posts about the personal things going on in your life? The things you only want your closest friends to know about? It's one thing to read your child's activity. It's quite another to violate her friends' privacy.

 

If safety comes first - don't let your kid go on Facebook.

Edited by Tanaqui
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LOL!  My 17 year old doesn't even know his password.  That was the deal when we set up his account.  I have the password, linked to an email account that only I have access to.  When he wants to FB, I log him in and out.  I monitor it irregularly and all friends have to be approved by me.  I also let him know that the FIRST time he does something on FB I don't like I will delete the account and he'll have to wait until he's out of the house to have access to FB again.

 

So no, I don't think there is a problem with it. 

 

FB, including messaging, is the opposite of private.

 

And yes, I do believe that the knowledge of monitoring prevents a great many problems.  I'm not interested in catching bad behavior, I'm interested in preventing it, particularly on FB, where the long term consequences can be so extreme.

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That would have no influence whatsoever on my choice. Facebook is the most invasive entity ever, and *they* want to make it a violation for me as a parent to have my minor child's password? I don't think so. Safety of my kid has always come before any other thing, law, or entity, and will continue to do so. (And I say that as a "rule-follower" under almost any other circumstances.)

Ditto. I couldn't have said it better. The same kid who tells you that it's a violation to give out passwords is probably the kid who had an account before whatever age was allowed by FB, lol.

 

Drawing a parallel with my kids school -- they give out passwords to students, and the passwords cannot be changed. They give out locks to which they have the combinations.

 

Minnie wannabe has a nice phrase, 'As long as they are living in my wallet...'

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At 17, no I wouldn't (and didn't). That is too close to being an adult for me to keep tabs on such things, unless I suspected a problem. Rather than giving freedom at 18 as though it's a magical age, I believe in slowly letting go as a child gets older. It makes the transition much easier on both the parents and the child.

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Ditto. I couldn't have said it better. The same kid who tells you that it's a violation to give out passwords is probably the kid who had an account before whatever age was allowed by FB, lol.

 

Well, I'm an adult, and I'm telling you - I don't want perfect strangers reading my kid's pms and locked posts. Do you want strangers reading what your kids write?

 

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Well, I'm an adult, and I'm telling you - I don't want perfect strangers reading my kid's pms and locked posts. Do you want strangers reading what your kids write?

I think op was saying that she did not think it was appropriate for FB to prohibit parents to have passwords of minor children.

 

But I also teach that nothing online is truly private.

Edited by Alessandra
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 I would want all information written down in a sealed envelope in case there was ever a problem or I became concerned enough to want to check what's going on. If I'm given no reason to be concerned, I don't feel like I need to monitor at that age.

 

The bolded could refer to a major problem or just something minor.

 

Ds needed to get cash at an ATM recently and texted me for his PIN #. Um, I don't know it. YOU never told it to me. He was able to borrow money from a friend, but since he couldn't remember it he ended up having to physically go to the bank (something kids his age rarely do) and change it. I told him it's a good idea to have at least one person know your passwords and PINs, or have them written down somewhere where I (or someone he chooses) could access them if necessary. He realized that's a good idea and I now know where is password list is.

 

Trust goes both ways. I have to trust him to make good choices. He has to trust me to not snoop and use those passwords just out of nosiness.

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Well, I'm an adult, and I'm telling you - I don't want perfect strangers reading my kid's pms and locked posts. Do you want strangers reading what your kids write?

 

If anyone is in contact with my minor child, then yes, I have a right to read what they wrote if I need to.  As far as strangers reading what my kid writes, whatever I prefer I recognize that the internet is not private and someone may read it. I tell her never to assume anything is private. I thought that goes without saying in this day and age. 

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