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Should I demand my kid's passwords to his or her social websites and apps?

Here's a little secret: Having your kid's passwords does nothing to make your kid safer online. Every kid knows it's a cinch to change passwords, create a new account you don't know about, or simply block you from ever seeing anything he or she posts. Instead, work together to make sure your kids develop their own sense of responsibility, and try not to have a parent-versus-child dynamic. Have regular check-ins, review their privacy settings, see who their online friends are, and take an interest in their online activities.

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Teen, 13 years old written by jbug360

my relationship is already ruind and i'm only 13 my mom is a helacopter mom i wish that i could tell her that but she would freack out so parents give your kids some space if you don't your relationship will be ruind i'm sorry as scary as that sounds it's true
Kid, 12 years old

Personally I think no. I know that they’re the parents, but I really do not think demanding the password Isn’t a good idea.
Kid, 10 years old

Just don't do it. It'll ruin your trust bond. My mum was reading through my messages once, and I didn't care too much, since I didn't have anything to hide, but I wish she would've asked me first and done it with me watching. I've never completely trusted her since around my iPad alone...
Adult written by BrielleSbei22

I think that it should ask bc if the child’s passwords gets saved someone can hack it and then they will already have the password in an then it will be hacked
Teen, 14 years old written by -curiosity-

As a teenager myself, I can tell you that demanding your child's social media passwords and reading through their messages is possibly the worst thing you can do. You can discipline them and make sure they know how dangerous the internet can be, but looking in their apps just makes us lose respect for the parent. It shows that you don't trust us. Mistakes are how you learn, and I can assure you that your child probably knows the internet pretty well, maybe even better than you. And besides, kids will always find a way to slip past you. Growing up in a strict household, I've basically had to parent myself and teach myself about these things. Us kids are smarter than parents think!
Kid, 11 years old

Well, I think thats fine, as long as you arent snooping around at 1 in the morning checking your childs phone..
Teen, 15 years old written by dealwithit999

Parents should respect their child's privacy by holding them accountable for their actions. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's true. When you demand your kid's passwords without reason and disregard their privacy, they develop a deep resentment and look for ways around your rules. We always think we can change each other's behavior by just doing this or that, but it's not likely. For example, my sister plays volleyball and is doing great in school. However, my parents are always asking for her phone and knowing her passwords to everything. She (we) don't trust our parents because they don't trust us, and their attempt to get us to do something usually results in fighting. I understand why my parent would want my passwords if I was suicidal, possibly doing drugs/alcohol, or something in that caliber. But always needing to know what your 15 yr old is doing 24/7 causes more tension than clarity. What I've found to work with my parent is when we assume the "innocent until proven guilty" mentality. It goes both ways!
Teen, 13 years old written by Sunlight077

Children will always find a way to evade their parents, and whether you like it or not, it's true. Now I, personally, don't try to, but with many others, including myself at points, it will happen. It also slowly destroys the trust between you two. Ask for their phone every so often, tell them to unlock it for you, but personally, the discomfort of parents having your passcode can be too uncomfortable to think about.
Teen, 16 years old written by abbius

I believe parents should not be doing this. It breaks trust, and proves to their kid that they think they are not responsible. I understand that if you follow people, you cannot see direct messages, but at the same time, a parent should not go and listen in to every face to face conversation their child would have. Looking through a kids messages like that is, in essence the same thing. A parent should not be micromanaging their child's relationships with friends, even if they do not have that in mind. The fourth amendment of the united states constitution states that all people have a right to privacy, and a search must have legitimate cause. Although some parents might be genuinely worried, maybe the best way would be to actually to talk to their instead of going behind their backs and taking this right away from them.
Teen, 15 years old written by Teraphiel Kaatara

Simply put, no. As for why it'll take a while for me to explain. My case is an extreme one, as I have two fundamentalist Asian Christian parents. They have no care for my privacy, and often don't ask questions and verbally berate me when I ask 'why?' about anything. This basically shut me up for a long while, and I'm pretty sure I suffer from mild depersonalization at home (and at school at well). I believe that parents should at least make an attempt to understand and adapt to their child, as failure to do so can have drastic results on their child's mental health. As for why my case is extreme, they have literally built a cage in my mind, so to speak, and I accepted it at first. Now breaking free is near-impossible, and telling them that I have lost my faith in the religion has only thrown fuel on the fire. If anyone is in my situation, know that it will take a while to recover, but it is possible. Now, I memorize most if not all of my passwords. This is in case my parents want in my accounts. Often, whatever you become must be hidden, so as to avoid getting the literal hypocrisy that is the bible thrown at you. This only serves to hurt you and your relationship with your parents. There are many other reasons, but it's late, I need to study, and I'm not sure I can summarize every one of my damages. o7, fly safe in the real world, and Hivaa Saitsuo.
Kid, 9 years old

You should never. If you feel suspicious maybe talk with them, they could let you see their accounts if you talk with them, not demand it. If they feel sad or depressed after using social media, just ask them what's wrong. My mom is often suspicious that I'm being bullied, but I'm really just sad from School and not really doing anything exciting in life. If your kid is sad only after using social media, just talk with them.
Teen, 17 years old written by PopcornSnowday

When you say it does nothing but make them safer, that is not true. What is does is cause your kids not to trust you because it shows that you don't trust them. If you really have so little trust for them that you need to invade their privacy by demanding their passwords, you are not doing a good job as a parent, and in that case, then just don't let them get an account anywhere. If you know their passwords it won't teach them anything about responsibility and being an adult. You need to let them do some things by themselves and not constantly have to know every little detail of their lives. They deserve to be their own person and you should treat them like one. Leave them alone. They deserve space.
Teen, 13 years old written by ThatRegTeen

No!! This will ruin the bond of trust. It happened to me. My mother asked me for my phone, laptop, and tablet password. I asked why and she freaked out on me and doesn't trust me anymore... Honestly, out trust is very bad rn. You may think we're dramatic, but you adults would've thought the same things. It's like they act like they were never teens!!
Teen, 13 years old written by Shooked_Pinetrees

I do nothing inappropriate with my phone. I sometimes cuss only when talking to a few of my friends. The thing is though, all of my friends know that I am non-binary and it would be horrible if my mom knew. She flips out whenever something doesn’t go exactly as she planned, adding upon the fact I am non-binary, I am also greyromantic. Luckily though, I lock my phone with my fingerprint and when she asks me for the password, I say, “I don’t remember” or “I forgot it” and she thankfully doesn’t question.
Teen, 13 years old written by BananaGoat

No! This will ruin your relationship with them. If your asking this question, you may have already ruined your relationship. If you still have a good relationship with your child, they will probably want you to see their social media pages.
Teen, 17 years old written by TheKNOWNone

true fact ,parents are always worrying about stuff on theirs instead of worrying about them and their friends.
Teen, 14 years old written by Learn-er_101

I think you should because my parents know all my password because they are parents and they need to know I am not hiding something from them Because that’s what kids do. If they are not letting you know then they might be doing something bad on it. It is for their own good. But I would try asking nicely first. If they are older though like above 15 or 16 then you should trust them. Though once in awhile check in on what they are doing.
Teen, 16 years old written by doraemon_4419

No, it is your child’s choice. If you demand for passwords, they will loose trust and/or feel like they are being watched. An alternative is to every once in a while ask to view their profile, this means you can see what they are posting and who they are following and still respecting their privacy. If you find a reason to know their password, such as they are being bullied or not being appropriate, THEN you can ask for their password. If you ask for passwords, or go onto their phone without asking, they will ultimately loose trust for you.
Adult written by NikkiHodge

First and foremost, whether a child bought their own phone and is paying the bill or if the parent did, the bottom line is they're still a child...point blank PERIOD. If a parent asks for a password/passcode...that means that CHILD has given them a reason. This is what's wrong nowadays. CHILDREN no matter the age, it can be 0-18 for all I care, think THEY are the parents... and sadly we let them think that. When did this get so twisted? Ahhh..I know....society did it...the media. All the "grown" kids who raise themselves on Disney and Nickelodeon shows and treat grown-ups like they're blooming idiots. Sure, everyone deserves privacy, but when your child's attitude has taken a downward spiral to begin to wonder why....What are they watching? What kind of music are they listening to? Who are they connected to on social media? So to all the kids out there who are not yet PARENTS or ADULTS..this goes way beyond what your frontal lobe can digest. It is called PARENTING and it takes diligence to not raise fools.
Adult written by Bigbucks45

That is true but my question is I’m an adult that works and helps put groceries and pays bills in the household and I’m over the age of 18 so I feel its wrong for the mother to have or ask for the lock screen passcode to your adult child phone
Parent of a 5, 8, 12, 15, and 16-year-old written by ctleng76

This greatly depends on the child. However, as a parent you absolutely have the authority to demand access to their account. It all hinges on trust. Before you even give them the green light to sign up for an account, you need to sit down with them and talk candidly and openly about the dangers of interacting with others online. Ground rules need to be set up ahead of time. If your child goes into this knowing that you are going to stay engaged, and you continue to stay engaged with them, they will be open to sharing their passwords. We told our kids that a condition to them having their first social networking account, was that we would have access to the account at all times. I see a lot of posts here about invading privacy and about letting them find their own way. For the adults making comments here (and I think many of the "adults" here are really just kids posting as adults), it is your responsiblity to know what your children are doing online. Teenagers don't have the developed mental capacity to reliably make responsible decisions. Think back to when you were a teenager and some of the stupid things you did when you were that young. That alone should be all the proof you need. They also don't have the life experiences to draw on that keeps them from wandering into dangerous territory. You have to ask yourself, is it more important that my child "like" me, or is it more important that they live to be an adult? We are NOT supposed to be our child's friend. We are supposed to be their parent.
Teen, 13 years old written by MJ3579

well if you want your child to grow as a mature, secure adult, then they should know that you trust them. even if your child does something stupid, let them face their own concenquences just my opinion! \_(-_-)_/
Kid, 12 years old

Whether you should ask for your kid's passwords depends on their maturity. I would agree with under 10s giving their parents their passwords and checking their accounts frequently. For those 10-13, I'd suggest asking kids for their passwords, and then putting them on a piece of paper, and then locking it in a safe and ONLY taking it out when needed. If a kid refuses to hand their passwords, then question them WHY. If it's simply because they don't like handing out info like that, then tell them that you would NEVER tell anyone else the passwords. If they say "Because I want a bit of privacy" then ask them WHY. For those 13+, you should trust your kids to be open with you about internet and computer usage, and tell you what they're doing frequently. So yea, that's my opinions on whether you should ask for your kid's passwords. As stated at the beginning of the post, it depends on their maturity.
Teen, 13 years old written by strangerthingsl...

No. If you demand they won’t give it to you. You have to give them some space. If you give them space they are more likely to share it with you. If they aren’t giving it to you it may be just because you are barging into their life and they need some space too
Adult written by Connor E.

No! You should not. If I️ were in the kid’s situation I️ would be absolutely terrified, what if you were to find something out about them and start screaming at them, or be in their shoes, what if your parents started invading your privacy and just started going through your phone for literally no reason. They would feel violated. Nobody would want that.
Teen, 15 years old written by dabonem1738

no. teens need privacy too just like adults do. they will think u dont trust them and be stressed. now if u think something dangerous is happening then ask to see their phone or sneak on.
Teen, 13 years old written by a.f.2003

Yes, you should know your child's passwords so that you know what they've been looking at online and they people that they follow or that follow them. It'd be good to create your own social media account to follow them on, to know theyre recent activities. For example, my mom used to follow me on my Instagram account so that she would know what I was up to. And if she saw me looking at anything questionable, she would have a talk with me to see if I had any questions to ask her.
Teen, 13 years old written by dance_is_life04

You should have knowledge of ALL your child's information such as their phone passwords/email/social media it's best to play it safe rather than sorry
Teen, 13 years old written by Pianogemboy

Ask your kid first, do not, and I mean DO NOT force it out of them. My mom came in one day and demanded my phone password and began to tear through my phone. I wasn't doing anything necessarily bad, I just cuss here and there, but that wasn't what I was worried about. I had been watching some transgender related things on YouTube prior to that and was discussing my body dysphoria with my friend and they were helping me. I was panicking in fear that my mom would find out about my gender identity and whilst I have come out to her, my trust for her is still damaged. Social media, depending on your child, can be like a journal or a photo album. It can be extremely personal yet anonymous or very public. If you suspect negative activity happening, such as nudes, cyber bullying, etc, talk to your child, don't barge in and invade their privacy.
Teen, 13 years old written by ardageek

This same exact scenario happened with me recently and my parents demand they know all of my passwords, so it really limits me for things like this.
Adult written by Jsivaches

Don't you dare. How would you like it if your teens demanded your passwords huh? Just follow them or add them as a friend if you care so much so they don't change the password to keep you out of what is not yours. If it's such a big deal share some rules before they make the account.
Teen, 13 years old written by dance_is_life04

Parents should have their teens info because the differn First of all is that their the adults and they have wayyy more life experience and knowledge compared to someone who's only been on this earth for like 14 years
Teen, 14 years old written by Ross May

I beg to differ, my mom ACTS like she knows more but I'm telling ya, if you don't know that if you follow someone on a site they can see you, you don't deserve to consider yourself a "now person"
Teen, 14 years old written by GamerVs05

I can relate to this situation and so how my mom goes to my privacy while I'm at school and she checked all my devices and caught a video concerning inappropriate actions. I understand that my mom is my guardian/elder but this was the 4th time snooping on my device like swiper no swiping. When it comes to using her phone, she'd be overprotective, and say "Don't touch my phone." "Uh, why is that!?" I'll say in the most positive way unimaginable, not tying to get her to try to strike an argument nor trying to win it. My mom says,"I don't know what you be doing." Now guess, what's wrong with what happened? She's more concerned on her privacy, with no regard for mines. FOR EXAMPLE... I ask a burglar to come inside his/her house. But the robber strongly declines, more concerned on thinking I'll rob him/her. Do you get it? So my mom doesn't ask how I feel about that. All people on Earth, female and male have the CERTAIN talk in their lives. Im not gonna say it, because it's not my place to, but right back to what im saying. Im in a single parent home, only parent is my mom. Guess who gave me the talk? My mom! Eventually I got it from my step grandfather. To be completely honest, I often do feel stressed even for a teen like me who acts silly most of the time. Im saying all this because I can relate, and it feels better blogging about it for others benefit. If u need any advice or help, just talk to a trusted parent(s) or guardian, teacher, staff, neighbor or relative, etc.
Adult written by dgh

Yes for instagram. I can follow my daughters account however I could not read her direct messages (DMs) without logging in AS her. She left her IG account open on my phone and to my horror I found out she was cutting. So glad I did find out and now she is in counseling. Reading the DMs logged in AS her was the only way I would have known she was talking to cutters and to ask why she never took her sweatshirt off and ask to see her arms.
Teen, 14 years old written by Space-Narwhale

I think that you can ask for the passwords and say that your worried for their safety and say you only want to just pop in and make sure nothing bad is there. If they say no, just try to trust them. Or, just sneak into their rooms and hack their accounts. Lol. I give my parents my passwords to almost everything and I'm happy that they care about me and want me to be safe.
Teen, 14 years old written by kitty47

My parents make me but I absolutely hate it. I lost trust and respect from them when they demanded my passwords. I don't think having your kids passwords will necessarily make onlilne safer for them, and they may hate you for it.
Teen, 14 years old written by GamerVs05

I can also relate to this. My mom invaded my privacy, and lost most of my respect, even if I know that my mom is concerned about me. I respect her to ask about how I felt or to just trust me. Recently I was watching a website I go to watch anime(Naruto series). Before I tell it, I had eye witnesses. So my routine is to get up and do normal stuff, then go to my grandparents house to be dropped off at school. So after that, I went to school and once I came back, while later, she says your aunt saw a website that's bla bla bla. I even told her I was watching Naruto Shippiden( if u want to watch it, watch the show Naruto first) and she, out of NOWHERE says, come to me if you want to download something. In my mind, blocking her out was like... You daughter of a b#tch, [email protected], and all the bad thing I could ever think of. Sorry for my language but it was true, today. And I do my homework, needed a calculator so I used my boring same Windows phone. BUT THEN REALISED THE FREAKING PHONE WAS RESETED. WHY!? All I could think of was why. And she was talking about inappropriate content and videos and pictures, but guess what?... Not once in my history nor YouTube did I and the whole world did not see any inappropriate stuff. To say one more thing, I will sometimes look at an inappropriate anime or video time to time, but will never be shown on my history. All I do is look, be like okay, and go on about my life. Due to my mom's privacy invading, I pause my watch and search history and cleared it. Im on Xbox 360(don't have it anymore) xbox one(not often due to it being at my grandma's) and Ps3 which I now have. You may befreind me people chat if u like :-)
Teen, 17 years old written by Thequestionasker

Yes and No. No, they want privacy just as much as you do. If it makes you feel better, you could also make a social media account for the same apps/websites and friend/follow them. This way, you still know what their posting while they get they privacy they want. Yes, but only if you think they are doing inappropriate things or are being bullied.