The first thing you should do is find out for yourself whether or not your children are users of MySpace.com. We will show you exactly how to do it.
Our suggestion is that the best way to know something is to do it yourself. So if you locate your child’s profile on MySpace, why not join MySpace.com yourself?
It may sound crazy, but it will show you the most detail about the sign up process. Plus you may have to join to see all of your child’s site. To see ALL of the photos a user has posted on MySpace.com you must be a user. You can see the basic front page your child has posted as a visitor but to see “additional photos” etc, you must be a member.
Don’t fret! You don’t have to post anything personal at all. You can put up a site and use pictures of your dog or cat or no pictures at all.
Before you search out your child’s site remember the immortal words of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – DON’T PANIC. Prepare yourself for the possibility that what you see may not agree with what you believe your child’s personal life and preferences are. Don’t forget you were a rebellious teen once yourself. Think of all the feelings you hid from your mom and dad, but not your friends. Now realize that this is your kids “secret hideout” from you, so to speak.
This is the time for understanding – not anger. Your children are expressing themselves to their peers and peer pressure is even more intense these days than when we were young. They will most likely have things on the site that may shock you. It is to be expected. If they don’t – you are one very lucky and blessed parent.
Calmly go over what is there. Rather than focus on “immorality and bad language”, it is best to concentrate on things that compromise their privacy.
If you can keep your discussions around the privacy issues the kids will understand you care, especially if you overlook other things they thought you would get upset about. Explain to them that your biggest concern is their safety.
If you get upset, yell and scream and criticize their opinions and artistic expression they will most likely be unresponsive to the privacy concerns (or anything else you say on the subject for that matter).
This is called “shooting yourself in the foot” and being a parent gives us unlimited opportunities to do it.