Moms Hack Facebook: Spying Or Smart Parenting?

By Peter Chubb - Oct 22, 2010

Most of you would agree that Facebook has been the best thing to come into their lives for years, but the social networking service is not without its problems. I cannot remember how many times people have moaned about how Facebook ruined things for them, and it is for this reason that parents have started to hack into their children’s accounts.

The worst culprits are mothers, it is that maternal instinct that they have with their kids, and will go to any length to protect them; fathers also want to protect their children, but they are the ones who do all the shouting and no action.

Spying on what your child gets up to has been made so much easier with the popularity of Facebook, as moms find it easier to hack into their child’s account than searching for their diary.

The Week came up with a great question, one that is certain to have a mixed opinion. Is that spying or just smart parenting? This is certainly a tough one to call and will depend who you ask. No it is not right to spy on what your child does, but then again you would fail as a parent if you did not keep them from making stupid mistakes – this is a catch 22.

Where do you stand?

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  • 2nd wife

    Being a friend of your child on facebook to monitor their doings = smart parenting.
    A mom hacking a 17-year-olds facebook solely to spy on her ex-husband during an open child support modification case = unethical. The same mom hacking the same kid's account and deleting the ex-husband's wife as a friend because the child listens to the good advice of the stepmom & sadly despises her control freak mom = should be punishable by a court of law. The 17-year-old has a job that pays her car, insurance AND smart phone, & she's using the phone service NOT the internet connection her mom pays for.

    You are doing nothing but pushing your kids away from you very very quickly if you disobey their trust and the privacy they are entitled to by hacking their facebook to spy. Get a grip people – you cannot control everything. Even in the cyberworld.

  • Lauren

    Rock on Trish. Privacy is not a right in our home, its a piviledge, and a limited one at that.

  • Dawn

    The govt and entertainment industry are doing a great job dumbing down the population and keeping the masses in check by promoting such immoral behavior and drug culture. Back to the point, Yes it is our job AS RESPONSIBLE PARENTS to monitor and give permission or deny our childrens' activities. After all, who gets called when they are in the back of a cop car? Who is held responsible by law for the financial consequences? Parents, not friends. So if everyone would be a responsible parent in the first place, this wouldn't even be up for discussion.

  • dotty

    Since when have parents been able to "hack" Facebook? hacking is not what is described here, and its the parents horrible parenting that leads to the child's faulty and outrageous behavior.

  • starshine95

    To Teens,

    Tired of being bossed around and spied on???
    Tired of have to be under your parents watchful eye all of the time???
    Then get a job and move out while you still know everything!!!!!!!!

  • David

    Trish, I may be a teenager(13 yr old) myself, but I completely agree with you. Parents are just that, PARENTS, and friends are not your parents. And the feelgood liberals are screwing with childhood education and all that….. they are crap. My parents are much the same as you, just not a dictatorship. They will correct me according to the level of the offense. JUST LIKE IT SHOULD BE!

  • Seikei

    In all honesty, I don't really think it is a good idea to hack your child's account. They may be a minor, but some times you have to give them privacy, that is nearly as bad as they stated up above, looking for your kids dairy (journal). If you feel concerned you should ask your kid first instead of jumping ahead of them and doing what you think is best. I was raised by parents that didn't butt their way into my personal life and I respect them for that. Sure I have had my fair share of secrets, but I didn't tell them because I didn't feel the need too or it wasn't bothering me. Normally if something was bothering I would tell them, but they never went through my stuff to find out what was bothering me, that just feels wrong.

  • Angie

    Its just smart parenting. My kids know they have to let me have passwords and email accounts if they are going to use these sites on my computer. They also know I look at their pages and read the comments.

  • Susan

    It is a parents job to look out for their children, and yes, that may include some spying at times. How else are we to be sure what they are up to when we are not around? Too many parents are not doing their job and that is part of the problem today.

  • beccaboo

    amen, amen and amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheryl

    I want to know that the services I pay for are not being abused by my children. It is every parents' job to become familiar and understand the technologies that their children are using everyday to ensure not only their safety, but the safety of the others that their children are communicating with each waking moment.

  • Cheryl

    As a parent I feel that as long as the child still lives under your roof and a minor that child does not have the right to social privacy. I'm not saying that the child should have no privacy, but in this case it should be at the discretion of the parent when discussing the above article. This scream that kids have a right to privacy is BS! The minute they do something illegal those same people will yell why did you not monitor what they were doing…I would not being doing my job if I did not monitor what my children were doing.

    Shame on parents and the people who are for giving kids their "privacy". At school it is understood that they are subject to searches of their person, lockers, vehicles, etc. Until they are of age, I too excercise those same rights and more, to ensure that they are conducting themselves appropriately as well as treating others respectfully. I monitor their on-line social networks, phones and any other device used to participate in social media. I pay for those services that allow my children to utilize social media networks.

  • Trish

    In what way shape or form is it spying in order to be kept up to date on what your MINOR child is doing? You can bet your happy ASS I will have full access to my childs computer and account when the time comes. And hell yes, I will install a web watcher program to do so BEFORE she gets the computer.
    Due to the gov't and all of the feel good, don't damage their little psyche liberal freaks out there, we as parents have no rights and the CHILDREN think they are the ones running the show. Well, not in our household…its a parental dictatorship and will remain as such until she moves out and pays her own damn way! I have every right to know where she goes, with whom, and why. And she will obey the rules or will lose alot more than just her computer. The consequences of parents NOT having authority over their children has led to an increase in drugs, kidnapping, rape and murder of our children. When the hell are parents going to wake up and see this!! YOU ARE PARENTS NOT FRIENDS!!!

    • Lisa

      You hit the nail on the head. I am a parent of a newly 18 year old, 13 and 4 year old. It was not easy but great parenting is not always easy. If you lay the ground rules at an early age- it will be easier later on. My youngest is barely starting out but he has the best time. My older son and daughter both are well rounded, respectful people with many friends, experiences and support. They are both doing well at home/school and have a great future with many options that they have built for themselves. I was in their business when I needed to be. I made sure to know who they were hanging out with and their friends' parents. The oldest a cell phone only when the school refused to fix the pay phone at school. I have taught them to be self sufficient. Yes, we have had our problems but have worked through them. I could go on but just wanted to let you know that it works. Our life is not perfect and my kids have their own opinions on life but they know that I am here to support them.

    • JJW

      AMEN!! I am on the same bandwagon. Thank you for speaking out and being one of the few house holds that understand how to teach morals and respect to there children.

    • Starshine95

      Right on Trish!!!! It is so wonderful to see a real parent, you go girl.

    • Maud

      100% agree with you. I have teenagers and you would not believe just how crucial it is to be ahead of their game

    • Kat

      Great post and I agree with you 100%.

      If a kid wants to do something and the parent says "no" noone has the right to say the parent is wrong.

    • saannie

      I totally agree with you Trish, even though my baby is 25 with children of her own, I think it's very important in this age of technology to keep track of your kids. As a grand parent when my grand kids come for a visit I monitor everything they do even though their only 4 and 6 yrs of age. the oldest one already knows how to use the comp. I think your a smart mom because you can't be to careful when it comes to your kids. Best of luck to you and may God bless you and your family.

    • Dawn

      Bravo Trish ! I sure wish more parents would "parent" like you and I. I agree, we are NOT FRIENDS. The glamorization and promotion of low, promiscuous living and illegal activities has contributed to the undermining of parental authority in this country. The entertainment industry should be so very ashamed and own the responsibility it has earned in the demise of our children. How is being a whore, drug dealer or killing people entertainment???? Our kids are so desensitized by the viewing of murder, beatings, rape, and dissection of bodies on television. And when did children become "so smart" and since when has it been ok for kids talk down to their parents like idiots? I am not entertained by this.

    • jd26

      Thank you!! Finally someone with some damn sense! Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Kim

      No, kids don't run the show. But we have rights to our privacy, just as you do. Would you want people to have their nose in your private life? No? Thought so… use your head and think about the other side before makeing stupid-ass comments on such a thing.

    • carnationmom

      I couldn't agree more! Right on Trish!

    • Lilly

      I'm with ya, Sista! I couldn't have said it better! My hubby seemed to think it is invasion, but he didn't seem to upset with me when I found out his 14 year old daughter has been cutting school, sneaking out her window at night, driving around with a 19 year old boy and having sex with another. She is a good student, very mousy and quiet. He would have never known. Most teens are NOT honest with parents, even if they are good kids. They are kids; they NEED to be monitored!

  • Ramon

    Can i kick them out at 9 10 or 12 if i cant parent them?

    • Kat

      I agree with you.

      I remember a case a few years ago where a parent called the police or DHS to come get the teen kid since she/he wasn't allowed to be a parent because of all the laws. They then tried to arrest the because they weren't being a good parent.

      Now days if you try to be a parent and teach them right from wrong you're a bad parent. If you let them do as they want, you're a bad parent. Someone needs to make up their minds somewhere.

  • Bryman

    I think it's smart parenting !!!