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Children and Teens: The Privacy Issue

The sad fact of life is that as our children grow older, they no longer want to spend as much time with us, their parents.  It starts off so gradually that you hardly notice it and then one day you realise; those joint shopping trips are a thing of the past; going to the cinema with you is no longer cool and (worst of all) they start to shut their bedroom door.  OK, you are used to them spending time in their room as that is where all their playthings are. No longer called toys of course, but things like TV, computer, books, paints, in fact all the things that keep them occupied.  But as a family it is nice to have an open door policy and I mean that literally.
For example, in our home we never close any of the doors except for essential ones like the bathroom.  If someone does close one of the other doors, it seems strange.  Similarly there are no locks on any of the doors apart from the bathroom.  So how do you feel when your one and only little boy/girl starts to display signs of ‘teenage behaviour’ and wants privacy i.e. time alone in their room with the door shut.  It’s a difficult thing to ignore and something that we shouldn’t just accept.  There are many reasons why.
Children and Teens:  The Privacy Issue
If your child has a computer then the problems can escalate.  Just think about it. Have you restricted their website access?  Are they barred from chat rooms?  What about social networking sites?  Before you start to panic, help is at hand.  Websites like Quib.ly can help with child safe websites and all the other intricacies of the internet.  The privacy issue is also one that you will find rears its head amongst the various postings, questions and discussions revolving around other parents and their children and the panel of experts on Quib.ly.
If you have a lock on your bedroom door, maybe you think it is OK for your child to have the same.  But, apart from fire health and safety issues, this could be a recipe for disaster.  Put it this way.  If you child is in the same room as you and surfing the internet and they hit a problem i.e. something untoward happens or something unsuitable pops up, they are likely to tell you or you may even observe it yourself.  If they are in their own room, door shut and this happens, are you absolutely sure they will know how to react?  Would they come and tell you if they received an unpleasant message or photo or even if they were approached by someone ‘virtually’ that could be absolutely off-limits and even possibly dangerous?
All in all, with the dangers on the internet ever present, you should do all that you can to monitor your child’s actions and behaviour, whether it is off line or on line.  If this means keeping the doors open and them feeling slightly aggrieved about it, better that than an unknown and potentially worrying situation starting to rear its head without you knowing anything about it.

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