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Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 6

post #101 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Room searches? Like just random room searches just because??

*shudders*

I know you mean well... but geez... do you think your child will ever feel comfortable in their own space knowing you will just waltz in whenever and search them?? I can't even think of how degrading and demoralizing that is.
Like another poster said: "I think I will probably snoop, but be like my mom. She (with the exception of the condom incident) never let me know she snooped, but used what she found out to have certian talks."

That's the way I would do room searches - kind of sneaky like and I would not confront them directly with anything I found (unless it was dangerous or illegal ie. drugs) but it would allow me to target talking about certain subjects with them. I don't see how it can be degrading or demoralizing if you use the information wisely and not confrontationally.

Christine
post #102 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Recording your child's keystrokes simply means they will use the library computer or a friends computer for things they don't want you to see.
I understand that and so along with the spying will be talks about what is acceptable and not acceptable as far as computer usage. But if you can find out unacceptable usage at home first, then you'll know better what you're dealing with.
post #103 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
Like another poster said: "I think I will probably snoop, but be like my mom. She (with the exception of the condom incident) never let me know she snooped, but used what she found out to have certian talks."

That's the way I would do room searches - kind of sneaky like and I would not confront them directly with anything I found (unless it was dangerous or illegal ie. drugs) but it would allow me to target talking about certain subjects with them. I don't see how it can be degrading or demoralizing if you use the information wisely and not confrontationally.

Christine
i guess i don't think you need to snoop to have good conversations.

i'll talk to my kids about sex, drugs, alcohol etc without snooping through anything.

if you are only looking to talk about things with them you don't need to snoop since you don't need 'proof' they are doing it
post #104 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
I understand that and so along with the spying will be talks about what is acceptable and not acceptable as far as computer usage. But if you can find out unacceptable usage at home first, then you'll know better what you're dealing with.
talking about spying like its eating dinner is totally blowing my mind
post #105 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i guess i don't think you need to snoop to have good conversations.

i'll talk to my kids about sex, drugs, alcohol etc without snooping through anything.

if you are only looking to talk about things with them you don't need to snoop since you don't need 'proof' they are doing it
I'm not saying the ONLY things I'll talk about are the things I find through snooping. Of course, I'm going to have all those same conversations regardless (sex, drugs, alcohol, etc). But I just feel like snooping every so often can give you an edge, so to speak, to know what you need to focus on and when to give extra guidance.
post #106 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
talking about spying like its eating dinner is totally blowing my mind
I guess I might be just a little bit more pessimistic about human nature than others on here.
post #107 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
I guess I might be just a little bit more pessimistic about human nature than others on here.
considering the kind of teenager i was i should be pretty pessimistic. I know that snooping like that would have made me 1000 times worse. if i knew i couldn't trust my parents and knew they didn't trust me i would have said screw it and done whatever the he!! i wanted.

i think this is why it seems like such a bad idea to me.
post #108 of 293
oddly enough, I had no real DESIRE to rebel, but my mom had so may rules it was impossible not to break them! Part of my parenting strategy is to keep the rules simple, and clear cut. Half the time I got in trouble for stuff I didn't even know was against the rules!!
I think that could go a long way. Please make sure your children are 100% aware of what is and is not acceptable, that way if you do any of these things they know why!
post #109 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
considering the kind of teenager i was i should be pretty pessimistic. I know that snooping like that would have made me 1000 times worse. if i knew i couldn't trust my parents and knew they didn't trust me i would have said screw it and done whatever the he!! i wanted.

i think this is why it seems like such a bad idea to me.
I was the opposite. I was such a goody two shoes, other kids couldn't believe it. But I did work 3 part time jobs so I hardly ever was home except to sleep. I think that's why I was so shocked by dsd's behavior...my older brother and I wouldn't have dreamed of doing anything our parents told us not to. We were terrified of the consequences. Even though we aren't hardcore authoritarian parents, it never occurred to me that my children would be openly defiant and dishonest. The concept was totally foreign to me, but then, I don't know what normal is.
post #110 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
considering the kind of teenager i was i should be pretty pessimistic. I know that snooping like that would have made me 1000 times worse. if i knew i couldn't trust my parents and knew they didn't trust me i would have said screw it and done whatever the he!! i wanted.

i think this is why it seems like such a bad idea to me.
I can see what you're saying - each child will internalize things differently. I think it would depend on the child how much you'd want to tell them about any snooping you might be doing. I guess I had very sneaky parents because I never knew they snooped until I was older. They never let on that they knew more than I was telling them. But now that I'm older, I'm glad they kept an eye out for me and were pro-active about it. But I never knew! Barring any real serious issues, in which case I'd have to come clean about my snooping, I'm thinking that I'd be the same way. Thus, unless something serious were to happen, if they don't know you're snooping, it can't make them rebel any more than they already would naturally.
post #111 of 293
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.

Is there a parent out there that, if they SERIOUSLY thought their child was in serious danger that wouldn't use whatever tools they needed to use in an emergency?

I grew up with controlling/abusive parents, and because of my dad's job pretty much being monitored was par for the course. At first I had the gut reaction that I would never ever read a diary or follow my kid. But when I thought about it, that's not true. If I thought that I might need to act quickly to protect my child, I would. I believe that my "dangerous" threshold is far more reasonable and healthy than what my parents felt, and I certainly don't have the same structure or motivation.

I sincerely hope that I would never be in the position to make a choice like that. But I don't know, not to be a downer but in my journey of parenting I've had to make a lot of decisions that previously I would have said "I WOULD NEVER EVER!" So I've decided to stop tempting the universe and saying stuff like that. It would take a lot, but I assume there would be some threshold at which I would be prepared to suffer the consequences of breaking in to my teen's computer files or rummaging through their room.
post #112 of 293
I have read her diary, Last week. My dd (13) told me that she had a bf she has had a crush or two so I didn't think anything of it until she told me that he was 19!! I got scared what on earth does a 19 year old want from a 13 year old?

I told her that it was against the law and I FORBID her to ever see him. He lives about an hour away from us but he has a car! I wanted to know just what was going on and she wasn't talking just saying that she was *in love*

I felt that I HAD to read her diary, she is 13 and needs to be protected. Sex was mentioned in her diary, she had asked her *bf* if he had sex with someone since they were together. I NEED to talk to her about this. 13 is just WAY to young.

It wasn't my intention to snoop. I just needed to know that she was ok.
post #113 of 293
My mom found out I was pregnant by reading my journal. I moved out five days later, so I can't say her snooping did much for our relationship at the time, although we do get along now.
post #114 of 293
I would never read my childrens' diaries or private letters/writings. I don't even go into their rooms if they aren't there unless I'm gathering laundry or cleaning.
The Internet is a different matter. Everyone here knows that dh and I know all the passwords and will check Facebook/Email/MSN chat logs at any time. To me this is necessary to keep them safe and it was part of the agreement in them using the Internet in the beginning.
This works for our family
post #115 of 293
No, I absolutely won't spy on my kids to make sure they're okay. If they catch me doing it, they're certainly NOT going to be okay.

If I have reason to believe that they are endangering themselves or someone else, I'll take actions to prevent that . . . but spying is not one of them.
post #116 of 293
Thread Starter 
The4OfUs
Quote:
For those who were snooped on, and resent it: Did your parents use the information they got in a punitive, shaming, etc. manner? Would it have been "better" to you if they hadn't brought it out that way, but instead had conversations with you about being safe, etc.? I wonder if a larger part of the problem was the way they handled it, not just that they did it at all. Also, did they talk with you beforehand about the fact that some things, for your safety, needed to be open? Or was it all in a dictatorial sort of "MY HOUSE MY RULES" type of dynamic? I'm interested to know your thoughts.
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.

What made me even more angry... I was a "good" kid. I got straight A's in school. I was in several activities, band, chorus, a peer tutor at my grade and at the elementary school, debate... etc. I also worked part time. I had a ton of responsibility, and the fact that they were still treating me like a child incapable of making any of my own decision really pissed me off. I gave them no reason to search my room.

Yes I became sexually active at 15... but I was responsible about it and went to Planned Parenthood, got on the pill and got condomns. I attended underage drinking parties and hosted a few myself, but we were always responsible about it and made sure none of our friends drank and drive. I experimented with various drugs, but never got into it too deep, and my life never suffered from it.

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... at least I wasn't dropping out of school or something.


Quote:
If you already feel that she is off course and this is how you are responding she will only become better and better at hiding things the older she gets. She will have a cell phone you know nothing about. She will create email accounts and myspace accounts that you know nothing about. You won't even know her friends' names. She will sneak out in the middle of the night. She will cut school. She will do anything she can to feel that she has some sense of autonomy, control and privacy, which the development thereof is a vital part of adolescents and becoming an adult. Being possibly troubled but then being this mistrusted and this subject to an absolute lack of any privacy, autonomy and general faith in her as a person will backfire.

How are kids supposed to grow up to become responsible, self-reliant human beings if they are not allowed to make a single risky choice for themselves, a single mistake, or a single choice that goes against their parents' values?
This!!! This is precisely how I handled my parents spying/snooping into my life. I got a pager behind their backs (this was before cell phone days) lol... I started sneaking out at night because I was only supposed to go to school, work and my extra curricular activities... they did not want me having a social life at all... I'm a social person, I needed the interaction.

I made some bad choices... but I learned from them too, and I think I came out okay in the end. I'm here aren't I? lol


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.
post #117 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
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.

<snip>
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...

<snip>

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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
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.
post #118 of 293
At the moment, my stepsons (9 & 11) don't do any email or facebook. And I make it a point to not go through their stuff. I feel like snooping simply encourages dishonesty. Of course, if I were at all concerned, I'd try to talk with them first, and if need be snoop. But that would not be my first reaction. I try to encourage my children to tell me the truth, and I want them to trust me.
post #119 of 293
I would much rather keep the lines of communication open than feel like I had to control every bit of their lives.
My mom snooped constantly on my computer, recorded chat conversations, rifled through everything and anything in my room, read every single note I ever wrote.
She confiscated any mail she didn't deem appropriate, even after I was 18. My favorite was when I ordered pajamas from VS (regular cotton pajamas) and the invoice had string bikini's back ordered. You know, regular underwear? She didn't know what they were and thought I had ordered something really slutty hahaha!

Oh my gosh when she found my stash of condoms, all hell broke loose. One way to teach about responsiblity...

So I just learned how to be an expert liar.
In fact, when I was honest about where I was going or what I was doing, she would flip out and insist that I must be lying. I never did anything awful enough for her to have any reason to get upset. But when I lied, she believed me! Go figure. It did nothing for our relationship, it just drove me further and further away. There's no trust between us whatsoever and I find it impossible to forgive her for everything she said and did during my teenage years under the premise of "keeping me safe".

The only consolation is that she was just as freaky about my sister. My sister worked nights so my mom would drive 20 minutes into town (we lived in the country) to stalk my sister after she got off work. She'd drive around town to find out where she was hanging out and sit and watch her from the car.
CREEPY!

I guess she didn't feel confident that she did a good enough job raising us to be smart independent individuals.
post #120 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
Like another poster said: "I think I will probably snoop, but be like my mom. She (with the exception of the condom incident) never let me know she snooped, but used what she found out to have certian talks."

That's the way I would do room searches - kind of sneaky like and I would not confront them directly with anything I found (unless it was dangerous or illegal ie. drugs) but it would allow me to target talking about certain subjects with them. I don't see how it can be degrading or demoralizing if you use the information wisely and not confrontationally.

Christine
How do you think your kids will feel when they catch you "sneakily snooping"? My guess is that it would have a very detrimental effect on the relationship. Kids are not stupid, they can tell when someone has been going through their things, no matter how "sneakily" it's been done. Especially when "certain talks" happen afterward.
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