My 11 year old is in 6th grade. At my 11 year olds son middle school and elementary they allow cell phones during times when the students aren't learning such as during lunch time or when there is a substitute teacher. Kids let other kids use their cell phones. 6 months ago, I discovered my son borrowed a cell phone to create a Facebook when he was 8. I confronted my son about this. He admitted to this. I even saw posts on other websites during school hours connected to his name and on his Facebook wall. I demanded his password. He wouldn't give it to me. I explained to him why I wanted his password (predators, bullying) and his father showed him a Dr. Phil episode about a girl being raped by a man she met on a cellphone with internet and how cyber bullied kids committed suicide. I had him sit at the dinner table until he gave me his password. He sat there all day Saturday and Sunday. Then I tried other consequences such as taking away TV, computer and friend privileges and he still didn't give me his password. I told the school not to let him borrow cell phones and he didn't listen to them and they gave up after 2 months. They gave him lunch and after school detention and he took cell phones and didn't give them up he was using them in detention the school tried to grab them from him and the school gave up after 2 months. A month ago his teacher was absent from one week because she was feeling sick. During that week, my son watched rated movies with friend's cell phones. I know because he even told me what they are about. He doesn't use the internet in my home unless it's for homework. Even if he did, he wouldn't log onto Facebook. I reported his account daily upon discovery and had friends report it, no luck. The district said they cannot keep out cell phones so they "compromised" and allowed kids to use cell phones during times when they aren't learning such as during lunch time or when there is a substitute teacher in all their schools. Private and charter schools in my city do this too. My son will find a way to sneak in a cell phone and he already has done that they took away 5 cell phones away in 1 day from him but they put him under strict supervision but they said they can't supervise him like that every day nor can they supervise him 100%. Every day when he comes home he just sits at the corner every day until he gives me his password and he sits there all day doesn’t watch TV, use computer or go to friend's homes he just does his homework. This went on for 3 months. It has been 6 months already he still hasn't given me his password. I report his account daily and have multiple friends report his account daily since the day I discovered he had a Facebook, no luck. What should I do?

P.S. I was also thinking about homeschooling him because of this. Please give me advice on that?

asked 20 Mar '13, 06:52

mom2fly's gravatar image

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What kind of a school does your son attend, is it private or public?

(26 Mar '13, 10:16) Emi

That sounds rough. I appreciate how hard it must be to control that kind of content outside of your house.

The first thing I might say is that Facebook claims you have to be 13 years old to have a Facebook account. However, 38% of kids on Facebook are under that age. You can report an account as being underage and they say they will delete it. However it sounds like you've already done that and they aren't complying. Honestly, I'm not one to consider legal action lightly, but if Facebook isn't responding to a parent's request like this, perhaps a strongly worded letter from a lawyer might change their tune.

Now I don't have a teenage child, but in about 10 years we will. I've given the matter some thought, and here's how I would handle such a problem. Perhaps it might give you ideas, perhaps not.

First, there will be internet access in our house. I use the internet every day for valid uses including, but not limited to, comparison shopping, selling used items, printing maps and directions, and looking up how to do things. I want my kids to be proficient with these valuable tools by the time they leave the house. However, all internet use will be strictly monitored: the computer(s) will be only in public areas, and if they have a cell phone (which they will only have if they pay for themselves) then that cell phone will be stored on a charger in a public area (kitchen) at night with our cell phones, along with any similar devices like laptops.

Second, I wouldn't ask them for their passwords, because one of the fundamental rules of protecting yourself online is to never give anyone your password and I don't want to start that rule with an exception. However, there is the rather important fact that they're using my infrastructure to use the internet. That means I will have detailed transcripts of everything they do online. That will be spelled out in the terms of use of our internet agreement. I won't hide the fact that everything they do online is public, not just to us, but to everyone.

When they make a specific mistake by misusing the internet (providing too much personal information, not behaving in a polite manner towards others, giving their password to their girl/boyfriend, etc.) then they will be punished by taking away privileges, having to do extra chores, etc.

If you're interested in knowing what your child is doing on your computer, there are two technologies to start with:

  1. Keyloggers - installed on your computer and captures all keystrokes for your perusal later
  2. Hardware Firewalls - replaces your internet router and filters/reports on all internet activity

There are also website services you can subscribe to that purport to sell such monitoring services. I don't know much about them and I don't like the idea of pointing another tracker at my family.

Since you'll be able to record everything your child does, you don't have to ask them for their password, you'll already have it.


answered 25 Mar '13, 12:40

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

What e-mail address did they use? All of my kids have e-mail addresses from our ISP, which means we can, if necessary, reset their email password and from there reset the password of pretty much any website they use.
Like scott, I won't ever ask my kids for their password, so if they want to use "daddys mean" they can. :) I do however expect them to supply their password if asked, but I would only ask for access to their facebook / phone whatever for a good reason and would explain why first. So far, I've not had to do this other than when they want me to fix something on their phone. :)

Do you have any reason to suspect they are either in trouble or causing trouble? Have you considered taking a less hardline approach and allowing facebook access from home just to get it into a more open arena, get them comfortable discussing what they are doing on there. and try and build some controls from there?

PS. Obviously I don't know your child, but I can't see a child that will sit for a weekend rather than give up their password having too many problems resisting peer pressure and standing up for what they think is right.


answered 16 Jul '13, 14:08

pipthegeek's gravatar image

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To be honest, I'm not good in parental discipline because I'm not yet a parent. On the other hand, try to be a friend to your son. Maybe he see you as authoritarian parent or very strict parent. Think of this. When we were child like them we see our parent not as a friend so we tend to seek friend whom we know that we can share/say things easily without nagging. So try to be a friend to your son not just a mom that nag whenever he did something. Maybe through that your son might trust you in his facebook account.


answered 17 Jul '13, 01:11

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Asked: 20 Mar '13, 06:52

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Last updated: 17 Jul '13, 01:11