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Should parents snoop through their children's mobile phones?

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

potential danger: Parents are urged to check their children's texts and online exchanges.

Comments (12)

CALLS for parents to tighten their grip on their children's mobile phone use have been backed in Gloucester.

Claire Perry, David Cameron's new adviser on childhood, has urged parents to check their children's texts and online exchanges.

The 48-year-old mother of three said "sexting" – where children send each other explicit images of themselves – went on in "pretty much every school in the country".

Mother-of-four Shazzy Bryan, of Linden, believes children should have their phones monitored.

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She said: "Sending naked pictures or sex videos to one another is grim and gross. These kids don't know the reaction this causes, you read things in the press about youngsters killing themselves because of the humiliation.

"Kids don't realise what effect it can have. Parents can only monitor so far though, it is down to the children themselves to take responsibility."

Last April, a 14-year-old boy from Cheltenham was arrested for circulating a pornographic video of himself and a 14 year-old girl from the Forest of Dean. Lyn Ackroyd is a governor at Calton Junior School, in Linden. She said: "Parents should help in teaching their children the responsibilities of owning a mobile phone from a young age."

Alistair Macnaughton, headmaster of The King's School, said: "We all need to be realistic about the issue of children and phones. Texting and children's use of social media will not disappear just because we are apprehensive about the dangers. I also agree with Claire Perry's idea that parents need to be prepared to police their children's use of these media, if it can be done with modicum of balance and a degree of respect."

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  • tishwash  |  January 24 2013, 8:04PM

    and perhaps scaring her with your over protectiveness :)

    |   -3
  • tecmandan  |  January 23 2013, 5:35PM

    @ The Mogul Maybe you should spend less time commenting on here and more time reading the full facts about the stories you are commenting on. I have 100% trust in my daughter that she would not instigate sexting however most girls get drawn in to sexting by peer pressure. In a lot of cases I have read about the girl only became involved in sexting because of verbal threats from there boyfriend. It doesn't matter how much commen sense a child has, when there under this amount of pressure there's always a risk they will fail. By putting in place the secury measures on her phone I am reducing the risk of my daughter falling in to this trap.

    |   3
  • tishwash  |  January 23 2013, 5:14PM

    Even if your child got older and started 'sexting' then does it matter? Everyone matures at different ages and learns life lessons, if you sugar coat everything then they have no hope in life.

    |   -3
  • the_mogul  |  January 23 2013, 4:26PM

    @ Tecmandan That sounds like a bite if i have ever heard one. If your child is considered old enough for a phone, then you should be trustful enough of them to use it correctly. You should be confident enough that your child has gained enough common sense from somewhere that they won't be 'sexting'. If you child has not done enough to earn your trust then may I suggest this is something the two of you work on together?

    |   -1
  • tecmandan  |  January 23 2013, 2:13PM

    @ The Mogal Am I a control freak you dare ask? NO I am just a parent who naturally wants to protect my daughter from this horrible craze that is causing teenage suicides and depression. If more parents followed the practical steps I have put in place there wouldn't be the national media interest in sexting because less kids would be involved in it.

    |   3
  • the_mogul  |  January 23 2013, 10:20AM

    @tecmandan Are you a bit of a control freak? or are you just not very trusting of your family members? Justsayin

    |   -10
  • tecmandan  |  January 22 2013, 9:08PM

    I have bought my daughter who is 11 years old a Samsung Galaxy Y on a £10 a month tarriff. The first thing I did was got Tesco to turn on parental control. This works the same way at parental controls on computers allowing you to control what can be sent or accessed on the phone. I have selected options to block her sending photos and videos and viewing inappropriate web content. The phone is also capped to £10 a month, if she goes over this then she won't be able to use the phone. The other thing I have enabled are is the samsung remote phone management. this allows me to remotely view call logs and track the phone. These are all conditions of her having the phone if she doesn't like it tough because I'm the adult and she is a child.

    |   6
  • tishwash  |  January 22 2013, 6:23PM

    @EllJay1 nope, locks are required to aid in stopping phones being nicked or usable after being stolen, so just put the condition that the child will unlock on request.

  • EllJay1  |  January 22 2013, 3:29PM

    OK - when you buy your child (under 16) a mobile phone, tell them that one of the conditions (since you are paying the bill) is that you will occasionally flip through their messages and if they lock the phone youwill take it from them. Seems reasonable to me.

    |   4
  • the_mogul  |  January 22 2013, 1:23PM

    Most children will just put a lock on it so won't matter. Also this should only be ok if the children can 'snoop' on their parents phone. See if Mamma is still going to see Santa on a Friday night if you catch my drift

    |   -2