When Am I Done Monitoring?

Here is a great question from a Facebook Page Follower:

“I have come across a difference of opinion with my parent peers and wondered your thoughts. At what age do you recommend that you stop monitoring your child’s phone/electronics? My children are 13 and I still monitor everything.  I read every text, email, check phone calls in/out and still have the parental controls set that I can control their phones. I do not allow group texts (major lesson learned a few years ago).

My kids are very responsible and mature for their age and yet I am not ready to let go.  The majority of the other parents tell me it is an invasion of privacy.  My thoughts are that I would monitor until maybe 16, at least. Is that extreme?”


Thanks for the question. My kids are still too young for personal technology, I have not experienced the teen years yet. My kids use “the family iPad” with strict limitations. Having technology is not a Rite of Passage. Just because you turn a certain age does not mean you automatically have a right to technology. However, you would not believe that if you take a look around at society.

My responsibility to my kids is to raise them, teach them, guide them, and protect them. As a parent I will do this till the day I die. Legally, I am responsible for my kiddos till they turn 18. Their successes, failures, and mistakes are shared with me as a family and legally, if it is the case. While teens are in need of a level of privacy (and we should respect that), I am still legally responsible for them for their health and their actions upon society.

In saying this, I will always, at some level monitor their devices based upon their age, maturity, and degree of responsibility. Until they are 18, living on their own and paying 100% for their own technology, I will be a part of teaching and monitoring their use. These are just my thoughts as a parent and as someone who encourages taking it slow with technology.