Originally Posted by JSMa
Growing up my parents house was very much a "my house, my rules" place. I never knew they would just search my things and throw them in my face. The teen years were the worse ever. I felt very violated and never felt like I could talk to my parents about anything... so I withdrew from them even more.
To be grounded because I had condomns blew my mind... I did not have a good relationship with my parents til well after I moved out and was in my early 20's. They never respected me as a person to make sound decisions... this still comes up some to this day actually, they like to tell me how to spend my money and worry I spend too much money on going out to eat when I have a baby on the way... Note, all my bills are paid. Money isn't overflowing, but we are okay, and I don't think it's any of my parents business.
It would have nice for them to respect me and appreciate I was doing well, even if I was doing things they did not agree with...
But wanted to add some knowledge for parents that said they would check up on their kids to make sure they are where they say they are and know their friends and such... My parents tried to do the same... but after they broke my trust so many times... I was sick of it and started doing more and more of my own thing. I had it set up with my best friend that if my parents called there for me, I'd be "in the bathroom", she would know where I really was and would call me letting me know my parents called, I'd call them back... My parents never knew where I was half the time...
It might have been different if they talked to me in a respectful manner and realized I wasn't just some dumb kid.
I can see why anyone who had to deal with this as a teen would be resentful and not want to 'monitor' their kids for fear of it turning into the same thing, and I'm so sorry you had to live this. I was a "good" kid too, who did happen to start having sex at 16 but that was my only vice
....my parents were not snoopers (at least that I know of); I gave them no indication that anything was wrong with me to snoop about. I think most of us here are saying that we're going to be open, honest, and respectful with our kids, and not just snoop or keep tabs on them just to get our jollies and make a power play...BUT, if we see troubling signs, we would not NOT snoop just to save their privacy. I feel the same way about my husband, and about anyone that I love. If I saw them heading down a destructive/dangerous path, I would do what I could to help them...and sometimes that might mean finding out things that they are hiding from you. Obviously in a relationship where there is no respect to begin with, there's going to be a lot of hiding, and I can totally understand it. I would hope that with a more open, closer relationship, there would be less hiding and the chance for feeling the "need" to snoop would be less.
Originally Posted by Tigerchild
I think your title may be slightly confusing, OP. I think a lot of people are reading "to make sure they are okay" as "I see signs of immenent concern/danger" rather than "snooping to see if they fit my standards." Even by your own description, it doesn't sound like what you heard on the radio fits the former.
: I think there's a HUGE amount of space between a parent searching their kids room routinely just to see what they're up to and just because they can, and judging/punishing their child based on what they find, and a parent who sees their child heading down a destructive path and seeing if there is anything helpful but hidden in their room that would help the child stay safe. I'm pretty sure most of us on the thread fall into the latter category (at least I know I do).
I guess the thing is, I want to be open, close, and honest with my kids...there will be reciprocal
transparency about lots of issues, and I'll talk with them about lots of topics; ongoing conversations about tough issues will hopefully go a long way in preventing problems. So I hope in that way to avert a lot of the problems that many on this thread talk about where their parents didn't do a lot of talking or respecting, but did snoop. Or threw snooped information in their face...or other controlling, disconnecting type things. However, if push came to shove and my child started dramatically pulling away from me (more than the normal teen/parent separation), doing foolish/dangerous/disrespectful things, and/or acting like a completely different person, I would first try to talk to them about it, but if that wasn't productive I would definitely snoop.
I read Hold On To Your Kids (Neufeld), and it really, really resonated to me. My parents were very emotionally connected with me, and we had a close relationship even through the teenage years. They respected me, and I respected them...however, that didn't mean that they didn't check in on me, or stay involved in my life, or set limits on my behaviors/activities, because they did. And they did no less themselves, either (always let me know where they were going and when they'd be back, didn't shy away from uncomfortable conversations, etc.)...the relationship they fostered from the beginning led itself to me trusting them throughout my teen years, and listening to their counsel in difficult situations. And they proved to me they were trustworthy by not micromanaging my life, but setting out more 'big picture' guidelines, BUT nonetheless, staying connected and involved with meddling. I don't think that closeness is the kind of thing you can fake well, and if I suddenly withdrew from that, they would have had good reason to dig deeper into what was going on with me.
I am going to do everything I can to foster that closeness with my kids while at the same time setting age appropriate limits and boundaries...because I do believe that the teen years, while very important for gaining independence and discovering oneself away from your parents, also has the potential for some major problems and issues, due to the swirling mass of hormones and not yet fuly developed emotional/social IQs. And until my kids are able to intellectually, emotionally, and socially fend for themselves in society, I will be there to guide them, and gradually, gently hand over the reigns.