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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Is it ethical to do stealth monitoring of my teens (14 year

Resolved Question:

Is it ethical to do stealth monitoring of my teen's (14 year old) smart phone. He is doing fine --grades OK, conduct OK, he plays video games online with kids who are likely more rowdy than he is, but overall is a good kid and obeys us and is respectful at home. I am concerned that he might get into trouble online etc. and we really would have no idea. We have not, as of yet, been overly controlling with his phone, for example, ask him to show us text messages etc. I was thinking of telling him now while all is calm that because he is a minor, his Dad and I have an obligation to look out for him and that in the future, should we sense there is a problem we would look at his computer and smart phone..... I would not reveal how we might do this, but clue him in that this could happen..... I just do not want him to feel betrayed by us.....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friends,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Monitoring your son, when he is such a decent young man, is a betrayal, and if he ever finds out, he will feel (rightly so) that you do not trust him, and he will back away from you and shut you out in little ways.

Customer:

I understand what you mean..... but I think the issue is more complicated with cell phones and computers.... I am not so worried about him, but the persons/images etc. that he might inadvertently be exposed too.... So your answer is OK...but I think somewhat simplistic.....

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

All children who are growing up experiment and try to take a look at the bigger world out there and are not perfect..

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Truth is simple.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you cross the line and breach his trust it will be hard to ever win it back.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he finds you out, what lesson will you have taught him?

Customer:

That makes more sense to me.... I think the hardest thing...is not monitoring and then something happens and I think I could have prevented it...but I guess this is my problem not his.....

Customer:

Thanks....

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are overly worried. You might see something that is harmless and then over-react, and will have a break in trust that you do not want to have.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are so lucky to have a good young man.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are very welcome.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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