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View Full Version : Parent Looking To Track Teens Text Msg - How Do I Do It?




MFKUSCH
Jul 16, 2009, 07:17 PM
My son has an Ipod touch with the free text download. My question is how do I get a record of these? I want to be able to monitor him from time to time just to be sure he is sending/receiving appropriate material and to keep him on the straight and narrow. If he knows I can check he might think twice, even if I ultimately don't.



Shake 'n' Bake
Jul 16, 2009, 07:43 PM
AFAIK, that's impossible. If it were a cell phone, like the iPhone, it would be pretty easy (I think).

For a computer, I'd recommend VNC, but since the iPT doesn't support that, VNC is a no-go.

Also, the iPT needs an internet connection to do this.

GoCubsGo
Jul 16, 2009, 07:45 PM
There is really no way, therefore, my recommendation is to not allow the app on the iPod Touch if you're concerned.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jul 16, 2009, 07:48 PM
There is really no way, therefore, my recommendation is to not allow the app on the iPod Touch if you're concerned.

And you do that how? If you do the block rating thing, all apps in the categories above the specified age group will be blocked.

eftrix
Jul 16, 2009, 08:32 PM
I had this application last year where you could see evrything hats going on on he iPod from your mac/pc and even control it from it

can't remember the name tough, sorry!

joehahn
Jul 16, 2009, 09:13 PM
how about you just leave him alone?

MFKUSCH
Jul 16, 2009, 10:29 PM
I would happily leave him alone if teenagers the world over used good sense on a daily basis. However, they have been known to make some pretty dumb choices and today those can have serious and long lasting consequences. In my day, a teenager could afford to make a bad choice from time to time without it following him around for life - or ending up on youtube within minutes. I am not trying to control - just do my job as a parent as best I can. This is new to all of us.

Lucas111
Jul 16, 2009, 10:40 PM
If he knows I can check he might think twice, even if I ultimately don't.

Or if he knows you can check, and he wants to do something you wouldn't approve of, he'll just find another way to do it which you cant check.

If you want your son to be mature and make smart decisions, treat him maturely and sit down and talk with him about it.

Trust me, it'll work out alot better than if you spy on him.

Shake 'n' Bake
Jul 16, 2009, 10:43 PM
this is new to all of us.

Just wanted to point out that the 'net's been up since the late '80's - early '90's and texting has been around since cell phones got color displays or earlier, YouTube's been providing funny and cool content since Feb. '05, Facebook since Feb. '04.

Unless this is 2005, none of this is new. The only thing in this thread that is newer than '05 is the iPT. That was out in '07.

tabasco70
Jul 16, 2009, 10:45 PM
i mean if you really want to see what he's up to,
check his ipod touch at times. he probably doesn't keep the device on him all the time, so like.. when hes showering, sleeping, etc.

as a teen id hate it if my parents did this but it seems like the only way.
and if he has a lock on it then you might have to go all the way as to connect it to the computer that its been synced on.

and if u dont want him to text, just dont let him have the app.

MacDawg
Jul 16, 2009, 10:54 PM
I would happily leave him alone if teenagers the world over used good sense on a daily basis. However, they have been known to make some pretty dumb choices and today those can have serious and long lasting consequences. In my day, a teenager could afford to make a bad choice from time to time without it following him around for life - or ending up on youtube within minutes. I am not trying to control - just do my job as a parent as best I can. This is new to all of us.

My kids are already grown, so I think I can certainly understand your quandary

Unfortunately, I would suggest you won't get much sympathy around here
Many of the responses you get will come from kids themselves looking to berate you
Others may not technically be kids, but are of a more liberal persuasion and feel you should let them do as they please

Google will be a friend to you, even if it is difficult to find things
The bottom line is, you are not likely to get much support in the techno world for this

There are no easy answers
But keeping communication open with your child will be the best course of action

My recommendation is to take this out of the public arena though
A board like this is just going to open you up to abuse

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

miles01110
Jul 17, 2009, 02:27 AM
Why don't you tell him a little white lie? Tell him you will be checking up on his texting activity and that owning an iPod touch is a privilege and not a right. Doesn't really matter if you do check or not- as long as he thinks you are checking.

MFKUSCH
Jul 17, 2009, 06:02 AM
"Google will be a friend to you, even if it is difficult to find things
The bottom line is, you are not likely to get much support in the techno world for this

There are no easy answers
But keeping communication open with your child will be the best course of action

My recommendation is to take this out of the public arena though
A board like this is just going to open you up to abuse"

Thats the best advice! Thank you so much. And I understand the need for privacy, but kids are making choices today that can ruin their lives. As a parent of a young teen (with two more not far behind), I want them to grasp technology and appreciate it and participate in it if it helps them socially, but there has to be a balance.

sutom
Jul 17, 2009, 06:03 AM
Sorry to be a liberal or whatever but I would just be honest with him, and respect his privacy. I don't see how texting alone can contain any more inappropriate content than just talking with friends. If you wanted to block net access to inappropriate sites for him then that's fair enough.

Compile 'em all
Jul 17, 2009, 06:14 AM
Thats the best advice! Thank you so much. And I understand the need for privacy, but kids are making choices today that can ruin their lives. As a parent of a young teen (with two more not far behind), I want them to grasp technology and appreciate it and participate in it if it helps them socially, but there has to be a balance.


So instead of working on being a friend with your son/daughter so they can be more open with you, you resort to spying on them? That won't really solve anything.

angelwatt
Jul 17, 2009, 09:07 AM
Mobicip (http://www.mobicip.com/online_safety/ipod_touch) has some features that may be of help. I definitely understand the need to monitor kids communications. Just watch the news to see why. I monitor my little sister's FaceBook profile to make sure she doesn't post anything stupid.

designgeek
Jul 17, 2009, 09:15 AM
I monitor my little sister's FaceBook profile to make sure she doesn't post anything stupid.

I do this too. Except it's on Myspace.:mad:

dlo604
Jul 17, 2009, 07:59 PM
I can see where the OP is coming from when it comes to kids, but has anyone thought the reason why kids are doing the things they're doing is because their parents are doing things like this to begin with?

Sorry OP I hope you're not offended, but there are people out there that have the leashes on the kids really tight and their children choose to rebel.

Good luck with your search.

Wowzera
Jul 17, 2009, 08:55 PM
if you find a way to spy him, make it in silence. He/She/They won't bother if they don't know about it.

Tallest Skil
Jul 17, 2009, 08:58 PM
if you find a way to spy him, make it in silence. He/She/They won't bother if they don't know about it.

GREAT way to show a kid that they can be trusted with something. WONDERFUL parenting skills.

Oh, and the kid can find out, easily. It doesn't matter what is done.

André M
Jul 17, 2009, 09:48 PM
I doubt he can make bad decisions via an ipod touch* (that sends messages? has to be iphone).

the OP also said anything about making choices that can ruin their lives, via a phone? Then he must already be involved in some pretty heavy stuff if he can do that via a phone....unless he's found a way to get women pregnant via texts.

Sorry for my sarcasm, I feel bad that you can't trust your son enough that you need to resort to spying.

angelwatt
Jul 17, 2009, 09:57 PM
I doubt he can make bad decisions via an ipod touch* (that sends messages? has to be iphone).

the OP also said anything about making choices that can ruin their lives, via a phone? Then he must already be involved in some pretty heavy stuff if he can do that via a phone....unless he's found a way to get women pregnant via texts.

Sorry for my sarcasm, I feel bad that you can't trust your son enough that you need to resort to spying.

Apparently you haven't heard of sexting and how it can lead to teens being charged as sex offenders for child pornography, which can hurt their future greatly.

André M
Jul 17, 2009, 10:04 PM
Apparently you haven't heard of sexting and how it can lead to teens being charged as sex offenders for child pornography, which can hurt their future greatly.

Being charged for sexting? That i've never heard of actually, it's quite common over here but well, we have different laws than you do in the states(which im guessing the OP lives in). The only crimes that has anything to do with sex over here is well, rape, underage pornography and paedophelia but thats illegal everywhere (last time i checked)

Cromulent
Jul 17, 2009, 10:10 PM
Apparently you haven't heard of sexting and how it can lead to teens being charged as sex offenders for child pornography, which can hurt their future greatly.

Only in America (literally). Most countries actually have a reasonable view of things like this. Although, alas, I think Britain is heading the same way as the US.

André M
Jul 17, 2009, 10:14 PM
Only in America (literally). Most countries actually have a reasonable view of things like this. Although, alas, I think Britain is heading the same way as the US.

If you're referring to being charged for it, Yes I would probably agree. Here in sweden though, it's quite common to send texts talking about "explicit" stuff such as sex etc but explicit pictures, even though its not illegal, is something the majority thinks that its something that shouldn't be tossed around, if you even have any of those pictures :p

steve knight
Jul 17, 2009, 10:28 PM
If you're referring to being charged for it, Yes I would probably agree. Here in sweden though, it's quite common to send texts talking about "explicit" stuff such as sex etc but explicit pictures, even though its not illegal, is something the majority thinks that its something that shouldn't be tossed around, if you even have any of those pictures :p

but what about nude pics of your 14 year old daughter. or son. well the son pics would not get around much but node girls do. this is the problem with sexting. teens don't realize who will end up with the pictures.

André M
Jul 18, 2009, 03:06 AM
but what about nude pics of your 14 year old daughter. or son. well the son pics would not get around much but node girls do. this is the problem with sexting. teens don't realize who will end up with the pictures.

There's always going to be problems with a few pictures getting leaked, there's always a problem percentage with everything. But over here, again, 14 isn't an age to be suprised that most people have their first sexual experience. That doesn't make sending nude pictures okay though mind you :p

Hard to debate since we have very different laws when it comes to "you have to be X old to do Y" but as I said before, I doubt spying will add anything good to you and yours sons relationship if he ever finds out.

Chase R
Jul 18, 2009, 05:53 AM
If my parents ever did that to me I would not be happy. Don't do it, let the kid have a little privacy...

4np
Jul 18, 2009, 05:59 AM
My son has an Ipod touch with the free text download. My question is how do I get a record of these? I want to be able to monitor him from time to time just to be sure he is sending/receiving appropriate material and to keep him on the straight and narrow. If he knows I can check he might think twice, even if I ultimately don't.

Any device on your wireless network can be sniffed. For example, I have a linux server at home that also acts as a router (and fileserver, and webserver, etc). All traffic goes through the linux server and you can easily sniff the traffic.

If, for example, a computer (or iPod Touch) on your WiFi network is surfing the web (non https) you can clearly see all HTML content and the IP addresses of the sites visited. I regularly use this for debugging or reverse engineering purposes.

Not sure if you should spy on your kid (like people have replied before), but at least you can if you would want to ;)

spillproof
Jul 18, 2009, 06:15 AM
Op if you are still reading this thread, MacDawg's advice (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=8103200&postcount=11) was good.

Be a friend and be open with your kids. Be cool and casual, like you are talking to a friend. Tell them how you feel. Don't do formal family meetings, kids normally are annoyed by them and don't want to listen. My thoughs: Right after he is done texting, strike up a conversation about how his friends are. Then transition into texting.
... there are people out there that have the leashes on the kids really tight and their children choose to rebel.

So true. OP, do not spy on your child. It will break all the trust between you two if he finds out.

tri3limited
Jul 18, 2009, 06:17 AM
Personally I believe this is in breach of your child's human rights.

I'm 19 years old and find time and time again that the human rights of young people are taken from them because of their age and it's getting incredibly frustrating.

Try getting a job other than a paper round under the age of 16. Try getting a meaningful promotion under the age of 21. Try to stay at a hotel with 3 friends of the same age under 21.

This is the most under-discussed type of 'ism' there is and it infuriates me.

Monitoring your child's text messages... Quite frankly I find it pathetic! How can you justify going through their messages to 'help them.' If they're on drugs or involved in dangerous situations you'll have to ask yourself, as their parent in the first place, how you were so blissfully unaware of their situation.

angelwatt
Jul 18, 2009, 07:10 AM
Personally I believe this is in breach of your child's human rights.

I'm 19 years old and find time and time again that the human rights of young people are taken from them because of their age and it's getting incredibly frustrating.

Try getting a job other than a paper round under the age of 16. Try getting a meaningful promotion under the age of 21. Try to stay at a hotel with 3 friends of the same age under 21.

This is the most under-discussed type of 'ism' there is and it infuriates me.

Monitoring your child's text messages... Quite frankly I find it pathetic! How can you justify going through their messages to 'help them.' If they're on drugs or involved in dangerous situations you'll have to ask yourself, as their parent in the first place, how you were so blissfully unaware of their situation.

Those are horrible examples of violations of human rights. There's much more serious issues relating to human rights violations. You apparently aren't a parent.

annk
Jul 18, 2009, 10:15 AM
Why don't you tell him a little white lie? Tell him you will be checking up on his texting activity and that owning an iPod touch is a privilege and not a right. Doesn't really matter if you do check or not- as long as he thinks you are checking.

That doesn't have to be a white lie; if you think you might have a need to check, it's the truth - and I think it's a good idea.

I understand the OP's concerns well, being the parent of a teenager. Being a good parent means finding a balance that allows the child to grow, but also allows the parent to parent. Parenting is not a popularity contest, and sometimes we have to set down boundaries that kids would rather not have. Not only that, but sometimes events transpire that give us reason to think something might be going on with our kids, and we have to find out what's up. It's part of the job.

I told my son I would respect his privacy in regards to his computer and phone as long as I did not have reason to suspect he was lying or getting into something that could cause him or others trouble, or compromise safety. I made it clear I WOULD check whatever I felt necessary if I felt there was a reason to do so. I suggested he ask himself "how would I feel if my mom and dad read this?" before texting, writing, posting or downloading something. These are the terms he agreed to, in order to be given the electronic equipment he has.

To the OP - MacDawg is right, you're going to get a lot of responses from kids here. And of course they will see this as spying, violating rights, they'll comment on your parenting skills etc. You and I know better. Our job is to get them safely through this period of their lives, and this is one area we have to address.

Good luck. :)

Cromulent
Jul 18, 2009, 12:26 PM
but what about nude pics of your 14 year old daughter. or son. well the son pics would not get around much but node girls do. this is the problem with sexting. teens don't realize who will end up with the pictures.

14 is the age of consent in Germany and I believe other countries. It really is not that bad.

America is a surprisingly conservative country politically and socially.

steve knight
Jul 18, 2009, 12:37 PM
14 is the age of consent in Germany and I believe other countries. It really is not that bad.

America is a surprisingly conservative country politically and socially.

it's not a matter of consent, kids don't realize how their pictures or porn vidscan get around. It can really screw up someones life. the girl sends a pic to the boyfriend of the month. then they break up and he sends it to everyone. not a good thing at all.

Jolly Jimmy
Jul 18, 2009, 03:03 PM
it's not a matter of consent, kids don't realize how their pictures or porn vidscan get around. It can really screw up someones life. the girl sends a pic to the boyfriend of the month. then they break up and he sends it to everyone. not a good thing at all.

It's not exactly going to haunt someone for the rest of their life. Rather embarrassing I admit, but it's not the end of the world.

Eyedn
Jul 18, 2009, 04:01 PM
Making statements such as "Teenagers make mistakes" is a really stereotypical thing to say and one of many that just seems like you judge a book by its cover.

I can't really imagine being your child if you apply this same attitude to your own child, how much faith does it show that you have in your children. It also does no favors in showing how much confidence you have in your parenting skills if you have to resort to such "monitoring". By all means do what you like, it is just a shame.

Take my post with a pinch of salt because i am not a parent.

Ashka
Jul 18, 2009, 05:09 PM
Communication, consistency and age appropriate rules with consequences plus Google.
Keep yourself up to date with technology and pray..
A Parent is NOT a friend, a parent is a parent with a darn hard job to do well.
I wish you all the best.

My kids are grown and are bringing up their own teenagers.

iPenguin
Jul 18, 2009, 05:33 PM
When you find something, what are you going to do about it? Spying on him may seem easy, but will make the situation 100x worse when the shock of mom has been reading all of the messages and whatever he did "wrong" set in. If you want to see his messages, have him fork over the phone or tell him you may look through them from time to time. If he's smart, he will delete any bad ones before you would ever have a chance to lay your hands on them.

ETA: And if they are deleted, they are immediately limited to never getting out to ruin your child's life.

clockworkorange
Jul 19, 2009, 06:59 PM
As a teen, and having a father who works with internet security, there has been times where he has invaded my privacy and I have noticed it (Seeing the "Message Read" message even though I never read it... :rolleyes: )

After discovering this, I began to look for ways to get things by (example: using portable self-contained irc programs for chatting).


It wasn't long before my dad figured it out, I then approached him, and we talked for like hours.



Moral: Talk with your kids, make them understand that while the web may great, there are still dangers that can ruin you.

Queue Cumber
Jul 20, 2009, 09:09 AM
I wish I was young again, when I, too, knew everything. Obviously becoming a parent makes you suddenly and inevitably dumber.

Moral of the story for you young'uns: As you are, so once was I. As I am, so shall you be.

seb-opp
Jul 20, 2009, 09:55 AM
Thats the best advice! Thank you so much. And I understand the need for privacy, but kids are making choices today that can ruin their lives. As a parent of a young teen (with two more not far behind), I want them to grasp technology and appreciate it and participate in it if it helps them socially, but there has to be a balance.

How old is your son/daughter?
It seems strange that you would let him/her have a device that lets you access the net and view pretty much anything, but not let him/her send texts on it. If an iPod touch was around when I was a 'young teen' Im sure I wouldn't have been allowed one partly because of this, partly because its an expensive and desirable item for a child to carry around.

In another of your posts you also suggest that kids today have more of a chance to ruin their lives than previous generations. I don't think this is true, surely teenage cultures in the past were just as 'dangerous' as today. What about the hippie culture where drug use was very widespread?

Fishrrman
Jul 20, 2009, 10:26 AM
RE:
"GREAT way to show a kid that they can be trusted with something. WONDERFUL parenting skills"

Old Russian proverb:
"Trust - but VERIFY"

- John