Learning Together

Our daughter just received a phone a few months ago. We talked through all the rules and guidelines and committed to a plan we felt good about together. Even with her turning in her phone in every night, I got lax with checking through her texts and DMs on a regular basis. I woke up one morning and had the thought to check her phone immediately. I followed that thought and found some conversations going on in DM chats with strangers that were alarming. They started innocently but soon comments were being sent to her that had inappropriate and offensive content. I’m sure if it would have continued it would have gotten progressively worse.

My initial feeling was to get angry and fearful and remove everything from her. I talked with my husband and he wisely reminded me to not act out of a spirit of fear but of love. We spoke with our daughter in our car as we were driving (it’s a great place to start a natural conversation). We expressed our concerns and talked with her in a calm way about the changes we felt needed to be made. We let her come up with solutions and involved her in setting additional boundaries. The result has made a huge difference in our family technology use and has sparked additional opportunities to talk and increase our love and trust for each other. 
One thing I’m learning as a parent: It is just as important for us to trust her as it is for her to trust us!