Forget Their Right to Privacy


Today’s topic is one your kids probably will not like. In fact, some of us may disagree as parents, but my experience suggests great parents choose protection over privacy. Here is what I mean. To know what we were thinking when we were kids, our parents simply had to read our diaries. And the primary threat to many of us was the walk home from school. Consider this list of private communication mediums this generation is commonly using: email, texts, Facebook, Twitter, apps like Snapchat, Kik, Photo Secret Calculator, and the web browser. (If you are not familiar with the apps above, they are responsible for recent national stories surrounding sexting, teen suicide, and child abductions.)

The prospect of managing our children’s presence in the virtual world can be daunting. After all, there are new apps everyday, and our kids know more about all of them than we do. But parents who successfully navigate these waters have several things in common:

  • They are open with their kids about monitoring their various devices and accounts. This is couched in terms of love and protection (even if the child does not agree with it).
  • They require passwords from their kids when necessary.
  • They randomly check various apps and devices. They do not daily check 18 different websites and devices; they simply use discernment and check on things on a regular basis.

If you are not already doing these things, there is no better time to start. Sure, you may experience some initial “blow back.” But that pales in comparison to what is at stake when unawareness rules the day. You might be surprised to find your child is relieved to know you are watching. After all, it gives them an easy way out of peer pressure, and 75% say they are secretly hoping their parents will play the role of the bad guy.


Until next time…



P.S. Did you know that if you use Apple devices, you can share your account in the App Store with your child and see every app they download?


About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→