Parenting & Family

Monitoring teens devices

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 7th, 2017 10:01 am
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Jun 8, 2008
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Kenze, you realize that whether or not YOU think a 13 year old doesn't have something to be depressed about, doesn't stop a fair number of them from committing suicide every year, right? This isn't about you or your experiences, and I'm sorry that you have had your own personal issues but telling someone who is clearly trying to do their best for their child that their child's mental illness isn't really that bad, because he's 13 and has a stable home life is shocking.
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wirebound wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 2:41 pm
Kenze, you realize that whether or not YOU think a 13 year old doesn't have something to be depressed about, doesn't stop a fair number of them from committing suicide every year, right? This isn't about you or your experiences, and I'm sorry that you have had your own personal issues but telling someone who is clearly trying to do their best for their child that their child's mental illness isn't really that bad, because he's 13 and has a stable home life is shocking.
You clearly misunderstood. I didn't talk about the severity of her son's depression.. I said that there can't be that many reasons for his depression. (OP said her son doesn't want to talk about it and I pointed out that it's likely school related.)
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kenze wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 4:01 pm
You clearly misunderstood. I didn't talk about the severity of her son's depression.. I said that there can't be that many reasons for his depression. (OP said her son doesn't want to talk about it and I pointed out that it's likely school related.)
You wrote "He's 13 years old for christ sakes, he can't have that many things to be depressed about if his situation at home is normal..."

You basically discounted that this could be real depression at all on account of his age which is worrisome given the statistics about mental illness at this age. I don't think we should be attempting to minimize the severity of it or suggesting that a 13 year old doesn't have too much to be depressed about. You're guessing. Whether or not you or I might be affected by the same thing in the same way doesn't matter at all, the fact that this child is self-harming means that they are - its severe enough for that, or worse.
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Jan 2, 2015
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OP i am really sorry to hear about your 13 year old. I don’t have advice for apps, as I have always just taken my kids phone for inspection. I understand why that may not work though.

In terms for judgement, every kid is different, and just keep on him in terms of trying to get him to open up. Keep on finding pyscholigists he can talk to, and you May have to go to different ones. My friends daughter had the same issue with cutting. It’s has been a challenge since she was about 13, now that she is almost 20,she is starting to see the light, but it has been so difficult for the parents. They are great caring, loving parents too. So don’t let anyone especially someone on line let you think it may be you. Just keep getting help, and please do not give up.

I wish you and your family only hope and best wishes.
Last edited by Macx2mommy on Nov 6th, 2017 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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just came in here to say that my heart and prayers are with you OP and her son.

Don't give up.
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Melissa7791 wrote:
Nov 5th, 2017 2:57 pm
Normally this is something I wouldn’t consider but, considering the circumstances, I feel this is needed for my sons safety and well-being.

My 13 year old has mental health conditions. Recently, those issues have increased drastically and he’s not in a good place. He recently began cutting. He’s very depressed and is not sharing much right now. We are seeking help for him but wait lists are ridiculous. I am pretty positive that the conversations he’s having on his iPod, iPad, Facebook messenger, FaceTime, etc will help me learn what the source or triggers for his cutting are. But if he knows I’m monitoring, he’s going to filter what he says and that may not help me identify the source. I know there’s apps and software out there that can monitor this but I’m not very IT advanced. Can someone give me a suggestion as to a good product or app that will allow me access to the above mentioned communication means. It would need to be something that I could use in the moment. A report with access a week after the conversation took place is not going to help me.
OP, I am sorry to read this.

I'm not a security expert, but am savvy enough to know that there is no monitoring tool that does what you ask. While it would be for the right intentions, that tool could also be used to monitor anyone. Therefore, Apple, Facebook, etc have all made those types of communications encrypted and only accessible by the intended recipients.

For example, Facebook is forbidden to grant access to other accounts due to privacy. They also a policy requiring that everyone be older than 13 to be able to create an account.
https://www.facebook.com/help/156236274 ... _permalink

Simply put, it would be the equivalent of you being able to hack and access/snoop someone else's app/device.

I did see some other suggestions on products, but they seem to be around restrictions like time of use, length, what the children can access and who they can talk to, not accessing the actual content of their conversations etc, which I think is what you're after.

There could very well be products that could do what you ask, but I would think those are borderline legal, if not illegal, and therefore discussion would not be allowed on online forums such as RFD.

I can empathize with your frustration on the inability to do something, anything, for your situation.

I am sorry, but there's not much that we can do to help; we can only offer virtual words of support.

And please do keep in mind this is an internet forum, so you will get any and all kinds of responses, so be watchful and not let things get to you.

It looks like for the most part, you have the support of the RFD community.

If you think there are things we can help in the future, like suggesting cool activities to help bond and break the ice with your son to help open up dialogue, I'm sure we can help with those types of questions, so don't hesitate. At the minimum, it's worth the asking any/every question, based on your situation.

I wish you and your family well.
[OP]
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Aug 24, 2016
36 posts
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Thank you for your words of encouragement.
I am not giving up. I can’t. If I give up, that leaves him no one that will fight forward as hard as I am.

It’s evident that the youth mental health system is broken and lacking the funding needed. I have been in contact with Ministry if Children and Youth, our local MP and MPP as well as our provincial children’s advocate. Is there any other government body that could help that I have missed?

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