As long as you are the parent or legal guardian, and the child is under the age of 18 years old, you are legally allowed to monitor your child's activity without informing them.
At TeenSafe we believe that families are safest when they have good communication and ongoing dialogue about screen use risks and benefits. Negotiations around TeenSafe monitoring are awesome opportunities to build these critical relationship-strengthening skills. Our psychologist expert, Dr. Tracy Bennett, calls these discussions “grist for the mill.” She says to be open that you have a safety playbook, even if you don’t tell them the play by play elements (If you want to incorporate expert credibility).
Furthermore, we have found that, if you use an effective tool like TeenSafe, there will come a time when you have to talk to your teen about his or her choices. If you haven’t been open that you are at least spot-checking their texts and social media posts, that admission can damage your parent-child alliance. Your child may feel spied on or ambushed and shut down rather than open up.
Rather than take that risk, we have offered specific strategies <link to blog articles> to let them know that you use a monitoring program from the beginning. When parenting strategies are justifiable and adopted early, most kids accept them cooperatively. In fact, often times it launches a team approach and the parent becomes the child’s go-to screen media support. That kind of open relationship is what we all want, isn’t it?
Of course, all families and situations are different. We trust parents to be the expert on their kids. Because of this, we allow parents to make the choice for their family.