Digital Parenting: Finding the Line between Supervision and Spying


81% of toddlers have an online presence by the time they are two years old according to a recent survey. Majority of the parents today are baffled as to how they can best manage their child’s relationship with technology. Technology and smart gadgets have permeated every aspect of our lives; kids and adults alike.

The Rise of Screens:

Children between the ages of two to five years are more apt in playing games and using apps instead of riding a bike or tying their shoelaces. Gone are the days when the eight-year-olds would ask for special toys. They are more interested in getting an iPod or their own phone or tablet! Early access to the internet and exposure to all sort of content on the web is a major concern for parents today. Kids are growing up in an age where technology and myriad of smart gadgets surround them. Nielsen’s recent study reveals that seven out twelve children aged 12 or under, use tablets. Parents popularly use tablets to keep their children occupied when they are waiting in restaurants or traveling or just to have few minutes of peace.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that but, you have to make sure that these gadgets and devices do not replace babysitters or your single means of child-soother. Using apps and software as a substitute for a nanny or yourself even is a habit you can easily indulge into. But that is not good for children in the long run. Excessive screen time can get children addicted and also creates problems in sleeping.

Screen time should always be limited. The use of screens and other high-tech devices should be balanced with a mix of healthy everyday activities. Parents have to make an effort and spend time with their children which is necessary for both of them.

Social Media:

Prevalence of social media is another issue parents of tweens and teens have to deal with nowadays. Technically, the terms of conditions of the major social media platforms restrict those who are under 13 years of age. Studies reveal that three in four children who sign up find themselves face to face in unpleasant online situations.

These platforms do have some positive aspects as well. They are effective means to stay connected with family and friends living in another cities or countries. There are various educational sites and apps available as well. With proper knowledge and education, many children are now getting mature and sensible enough to make use of these platforms responsibly.

Digital Dangers, Child Monitoring, and the Right Parental Approach:

The digital threats such as pedophiles, identity thieves, sexual groomers, predators, and cyberbullies have greatly increased in the last few years. The internet is their playfield. How can parents keep children safe? Is banning technology the answer? Is helicopter parenting? How much supervision is needed?

Youngsters usually have no idea that what they upload on the internet stays there. Adults have to teach them regarding the harms of giving out too much information, sexting, indulging in a heated discussion online, etc. Every child is different and, every child develops and matures at a different rate. They are just clueless and do not have the experience, maturity or the foresight to comprehend the potential consequences of their actions. Parents have to begin teaching their children from an early age.

You cannot entirely eliminate screens from your children’s lives or yours either. But limiting screen time to an extent is definitely a good idea. Balance is the key. You cannot ignore technology altogether but, you cannot let it take over your child’s life. Every parent has the right to make the decision when to introduce social media to their children.

It is very important to understand that although thin, there is a line between supervision and spying. Many parents would argue that as they have bought these gadgets to their children, they have every right to know everything. Sure they do, mostly. But at the same time, it is important to be considerate of the fact that when children are growing up, they need their own space and privacy. It is essential to care for them and remain involved in their lives, but see that you don’t hover over their shoulders 24/7.

In order to keep children safe from the different types of threats and dangers of the cyber world, the need of the hour is the reevaluation of the old approaches. Both children and parents need to equip themselves with a new skill set so they can meet the new challenges. This is not only a parent’s responsibility. Everyone from parents, teachers, and government to law enforcement should get involved and play their part in sharing this responsibility.

As a parent, it’s you who gets to decide what the right measures are and what accounts as appropriate monitoring. Have an honest and open discussion with your children. Tell them why you are going to install a monitoring app on their phone, like Xnspy, and what it’s going to do. Tweens and teens are not full-grown adults and take time to understand things. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach them

the significance of a positive digital footprint, responsible internet behavior, and urge them to come forward if they come across questionable, negative or inappropriate on the internet.

Building trust and nurturing a communicative parent-child relationship is extremely important so that your children learn to make good decisions on their own. This way, you will teach them to interact and act safely on the internet.

How to Protect while Respecting Privacy?

If you research, you will come across quite a range of software and apps to monitor children’s internet and phone activities. But when you monitor, where do you find the line between spying and appropriate supervision? The decision to implement such a solution often leads to arguments between teens and parents. Being typical adolescents, they would find some way around to bypass the restrictions.

Establish appropriate house rules regarding device usage and acceptable content. You can make use of parental controls and software solutions. Xnspy being a popular choice for monitoring children’s online activities. It is a complete solution and solves the digital worries and woes of the parents while offering a great mix of monitoring and tracking features.

You install the app on your child’s phone and see their locations, internet activity, text messages and call logs. Isn’t that invasion of privacy? It isn’t. Using such apps have greatly prevented unfortunate incidents where children were lost, getting harassed or cyberbullied and had shut themselves from their family. Having Xnspy, allows parents to be in the know of things their children are afraid for hesitant to share.

What can it do?

Xnspy offers both basic and advanced monitoring features but, compared to other monitoring apps, it is more efficient. It can monitor text messages, calls logs, emails, contacts, web browsing history, and location tracking. Another reason that has made Xnspy rank among the top spying apps for Android, it gives real-time information. The GPS tracking feature is a great way to know exactly where the target person is along with his movements.

There are no complicated steps involved to get started on this app. All you need to do is visit and subscribe to the app. The installation process is fairly easy. You subscribe to Xnspy and receive instructions to access your web account. That will take you to a dashboard that maps all the activities of the phone you are monitoring.

Xnspy is a complete monitoring solution and offers you a lot more than text messages, emails, and calls log monitoring. It offers a variety of rather advanced monitoring features which makes it among the top monitoring apps. For examples, in case your child gets lost or loses his phone, the app could help you in tracking them with the help of its GPS location tracking feature. You can add certain words and locations to Xnspy’s Watchlist and get alerts right away if your child enters or exits a place you deem dangerous or age-inappropriate. You could add words like drug, sex, and alcohol to the list and know right away if your child or their friends are talking about any of these.

Xnspy lets you monitor all of their social media accounts and activities on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Tinder, Skype, Viber, Instagram, and Kik. Also, you can send remote commands to their phones as well such as locking it while they are supposed to study or block apps you think are inappropriate for them yet.

Last but not least, ensure that you do not monitor them just for the sake of finding a mistake. To err is human. They still are in the process of learning the ropes of growing up and grasping it. See that you are there to guide them and support them. Checking up on your children, on and off, lets them know that responsible behavior is expected of them. And this way, you can decide if they need an intervention. You could check up on them frequently when they have just gotten their smartphones. With the passage of time, you can lessen the frequency of monitoring according to their actions and activities. Random checks are enough to keep their privacy intact. This way, your child would know that he has to tread carefully on the internet and act responsibly while putting anything out there.

Featured Image by Bruce Mars from Pexels:

About Heather Jones

I'm just a mom of two boys living in Northern Colorado. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, volunteering at my church and reading a plethora of Christian self help books.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a mom of two boys living in Northern Colorado. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, volunteering at my church and reading a plethora of Christian self help books.

6 thoughts on “Digital Parenting: Finding the Line between Supervision and Spying

  1. Unfortunately with the rate technology is advancing and children getting exposed to more and more at an earlier age – I am all for the snooping. I have five kids – three were no problem with technology and two have been a huge challenge for us to keep them safe online.

  2. This is really good (and timely!) advice, as so many kids are getting new electronic devices for the holidays. The thing I worry about the most with my daughters is how much screen time they have.

  3. 81% of the toddlers! If that number is correct then we really need to be on our toes. Though the number is no short of baffling we must not let those devices get the better of our kids. Use a monitoring app whenever required.

  4. You are right here that we must not give gadgets to our children to get rid of them. Once children develop a habit of longer screen time, we can’t simply take them off these devices. Besides spending time with the kids, we must use monitoring apps like Xnspy to control their device use.

  5. Of all the concerns shared here in this article, I find the digital dangers emanating from the social media more lethal and counterproductive for our kids. Social media apps are the most used apps online where kids spend most of their time. If we don’t use Xnspy or any other monitoring solution, we wouldn’t even know who has been they talking to.

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