How do I monitor my teen online without "spying"?
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for how to supervise kids' online exploits, because every kid is different. When it comes to media and technology, you want to establish a relationship in which your kids will come to you if something awkward, inappropriate, or uncomfortable happens online. Talking to them nonjudgmentally and encouraging them to share the apps and websites they love will show them that your interest goes beyond policing their activities.
Most kids use technology and social media responsibly. And, having grown up in a world with unprecedented access to media and technology, many kids are incredibly sophisticated users. Still, their technical savvy often far exceeds their judgment. As parents, it's our responsibility to set rules and establish consequences for misuse.
Mandatory measures -- such as demanding kids' passwords or insisting they friend you on Facebook -- tend to backfire. Kids can get around any crackdowns you impose. If you're really having problems, then look into monitoring programs for their online accounts. And don't forget that you are your kids' digital role model, so let them see the kind of behavior you want them to emulate.