Should parents monitor kids' calls and texts?


It's not just adults using cell phones these days. Your kids are probably texting and surfing all the time too. There are currently 5 million people under the age of 13 using cell phones in this country, and that has some parents concerned. But thanks to a company started by moms, they're doing it safely.

Hilary Decesare is a mother who started Everloop to help other parents, while helping young people text each other safely. Because for everyone involved, it's a whole new world.

"Everything from hello to I'm in this location to I'm now starting to see a boy and texting because that's how they're developing their relationships. It's gotten kind of crazy," said Decesare, Everloop CEO.

Everloop calls itself a safe place for young people to develop their online social skills...Pre-Facebook. Like many social networks aimed at young people, Everloop requires parents to join along with their child.

The parent can then keep track of their children's texts, while Everloop's software automatically fends off swear words, cyber bullying, and online spam. Think of it as a mix of technology and trust.

"I have to be involved. It's not acceptable for me to be at arm's length, so our policy is I am actually allowed to look and I've told my children, 'I am going to look at what you're texting and if you say that at an early age, as you continue to grow up you can still grab that phone," said Decesare.

You can call Decesare and her company big brother or big sister, but you know your kids are socializing online. And since you can't look over their shoulder while they surf, you might want to reach out and safely text someone.

Do you allow your children to have cell phones? At what age is it appropriate? Do you monitor their calls and texts? Is this social network a safe alternative for kids? Leave your thoughts below.