Hi Mark I was just looking at the safe internet use email and safe surfing guide. I am very concerned about my 15 year old daughter: she is fiercely secretive about her use of the internet - I think mostly instant messenger, Bebo and My space. She refuses to let me see her profile and the type of messages she receives and sends. I have been able to see her provocative pictures and language without her knowing. Her contacts are boasting about trying pot. I want to talk about the dangers of her image openly but I will loose trust if she finds out I have been snooping. She always flicks off if I open the door. She says she understands the dangers and is using the internet safely. She says I am overprotective and do not trust her. This has coincided with her change of attitude to authority - teachers etc and caring less about the quality of her homework, keeping appointments and handing work in on time. She wants more freedom, fun and social time and has a closed, secretive, rebellious attitude. She is not open to any advice/suggestions from us. I want to enforce the safety rules described, but I know she will see this as distrust and an infringement of her freedom which I fear will make her rebel more. I would like help on how to balance the need for her to understand the risks she is taking with building a trusting relationship where we can talk openly. Help please, L.T.
Hi Linda, I’m going to be a bit tough on you. Ready? You are not a buddy! And yes …she IS going to rebel more. It probably WILL get worse before it gets better. Do not try to “advise” her or “suggest” things to her – this is a traditional parenting strategy that does not – and has not – worked. You are being too lenient, which is a huge contributor to the existing problems. Computer use is a privilege – not a right. Please re-read the ebook and listen to all the audio-files. Please don’t get upset with me, but I’m concerned you didn’t ‘get it’ the first time around. Your concerned parent-coach, Mark