4 Reasons to Read Your Child’s Texts

4 Reasons to Read Your Child’s Texts

In today’s world, navigating your children’s social media activity can be a challenge. One of the topics that comes up frequently is whether you should be monitoring your child’s texts? By reading your child’s texts does this make you a stalker? A helicopter mom?

"read your child's text messages - yes or no"

When your child is first navigating that brand new iPhone you bought him/her, reading their texts is a MUST! Teaching your child what is okay to say and what isn’t is essential – especially since when something is in writing – it isn’t going away anytime soon. In our house, we tried to teach our children, “If you wouldn’t say it in person, you shouldn’t write it in a text.” Since many children (and adults) tend to hide behind their messages, this is an important message.

Reasons to read your child’s texts:

  • Find Out What’s Going on in Your Child’s Life
    • Let’s face it – while we like to think we know what’s going on in our child’s life, some children are not so open about the ‘reality’ or ‘forget’ to tell you some of the goings on.
  • Prevent Bullying
    • This goes both ways. Is your child bullying or being bullied via text – saying inappropriate things, being mean, ganging up on a child. One of the first places you may find out your child is being bullied or is the bully is via text message.
  • Know Your Child’s Friends 
    • While it’s easy to know your children’s friends when they are in elementary school and you are planning their playdates, as they get older, you may not know their friends. You may have heard the names – but reading what your child’s friends are saying often gives you insight into what kind of person they are friending. Are they cursing, are they cordial, friendly? 
  • Help Guide Your Child
    • By viewing your child’s texts, you will get a real understanding of what is going on in their life and you will be able to guide them. It can be as simple as seeing your child is texting someone, who isn’t responding to them. By telling your child to stop texting the person, you can be saving him/her from embarrassment and guide the child towards people who want to engage with your child.

Not all parents read their children’s texts, saying they don’t want to invade their privacy. What are your thoughts on reading your children’s texts and do you believe at a certain age, it is okay not to read their texts?

Remember, besides the simple text message you can see on your child’s phone, there are other places you can send text messages including Group Me, DM messages on Facebook, DM on Twitter, DM on Instagram. 

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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