or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 8

post #141 of 293
Oh, one more thing: At least one poster mentioned a teen who steals from other family members. In that situation, of course I would try asking first, but I think it is reasonable to search the whole house for your stuff, even the private space of other adults.

For example, my partner and I used to live with housemates. One Christmas the housemates were away, and we couldn't find some CDs we wanted to play. We looked everywhere in our space and public space. Then we recalled that one of the housemates had made some mix tapes to give as Christmas gifts. After a long discussion of whether it was okay, we went into her room and looked only at her CD shelf. We found our CDs...and we found that she had scratched off (incompletely) the return-address stickers that marked them as ours. That's what took it from "I borrowed them without asking and forgot to return them" to theft. We spent most of Christmas : figuring out how to address this with her. When both housemates were back, we held a household meeting...at which the other housemate demanded to know if that's what had happened to HIS missing CDs, which it was...and we told her her excuses were lame and we expected her never to "borrow" anything without asking again.

This person was 28 years old. If my 13-year-old child did the same thing, I would respond the same way. However, if the person was home (or would soon be home) when I discovered the items were missing, I would wait for her to get home, ask, "Have you seen my CDs?" and give her a chance to return them without my having to go into her room. If she didn't, and I still couldn't find them, THEN I would wait until she was out and look in her room. I realize that gives her a chance to hide them, but it also gives her a chance to come clean. I think that's important.
post #142 of 293
This is a really interesting thread.

There is a lot of judgment here. Just because you (general you) do not agree with someone else's parenting decisions does not mean that their children will turn out poorly, that they are controlling or overly permissive parents, or their their children will feel exactly as you (general you) did when you parents did x, y, and z to you. Children are individuals, and maybe the behavior which you (general you) simply cannot stomach or imagine is what that child truly needs. If your child has psychological problems, for example, or is possibly harming someone else, there are some boundaries that will need to be crossed.

This is a very fine line to walk, IMO. I was a pretty easy teenager-- mostly because I was boring and into academics. My younger sister was more stylish and social, and she was much more challenging. I don't want to post her personal info, here, but she went through a lot, and much of it was caused by other people harming her, not by wrong things that she was doing herself. She was so desperate for their (that is, the people who harmed her)approval that she didn't tell my parents.... they found out about some of her problems (for which she needed, and immediately received, professional counseling) because of the (accidental--really) snooping of her friend's mom.


One more thing, re: internet safety. My children will know with certainty that internet activity is not private. If their friends, their friends' friends', the stranger who hacked in their friends' myspace accounts, etc, are seeing their activity, then their mother will be seeing it, too. I firmly believe in the importance of privacy, but "privacy" on the internet is an illusion. If I provide the computer, the internet service, etc, I feel like I have a SERIOUS responsibilty to make sure that it is safe (that my child will not be exposed to pornography, perverted strangers, "bullying," etc). IMO, it's like having a speed limiter on a car... or for that matter, having functional brakes.
post #143 of 293
my roommate in college stole my adderall : during exam week too! i would never have known but i thought they were disappearing kind of fast so i counted them one day and then went class.. when i came back i was missing one! i started taking them with me after that.. i knew which roommate it was but i never said anything to her... i just told the psychiatrist what happened and he wrote me another prescription. then when i explained it the pharmacist she lied and told insurance company someone stole my purse and they were in it.. so that i wouldn't have to pay full price.

i never said anything b/c i just started keeping them with me and moved out a little bit later. If we were family i would have definitely said and done something about it.
post #144 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
This is a really interesting thread.

There is a lot of judgment here. Just because you (general you) do not agree with someone else's parenting decisions does not mean that their children will turn out poorly, that they are controlling or overly permissive parents, or their their children will feel exactly as you (general you) did when you parents did x, y, and z to you. Children are individuals, and maybe the behavior which you (general you) simply cannot stomach or imagine is what that child truly needs. If your child has psychological problems, for example, or is possibly harming someone else, there are some boundaries that will need to be crossed.

This is a very fine line to walk, IMO. I was a pretty easy teenager-- mostly because I was boring and into academics. My younger sister was more stylish and social, and she was much more challenging. I don't want to post her personal info, here, but she went through a lot, and much of it was caused by other people harming her, not by wrong things that she was doing herself. She was so desperate for their (that is, the people who harmed her)approval that she didn't tell my parents.... they found out about some of her problems (for which she needed, and immediately received, professional counseling) because of the (accidental--really) snooping of her friend's mom.


One more thing, re: internet safety. My children will know with certainty that internet activity is not private. If their friends, their friends' friends', the stranger who hacked in their friends' myspace accounts, etc, are seeing their activity, then their mother will be seeing it, too. I firmly believe in the importance of privacy, but "privacy" on the internet is an illusion. If I provide the computer, the internet service, etc, I feel like I have a SERIOUS responsibilty to make sure that it is safe (that my child will not be exposed to pornography, perverted strangers, "bullying," etc). IMO, it's like having a speed limiter on a car... or for that matter, having functional brakes.
snooping when you know something is wrong is way different then snooping just to 'make sure' something isn't wrong.

one is to find out how to help your child.. the other one.. i don't know.

if you snoop all the time and your child knows it they are just going to hide stuff.. where they know you wont find it. friends houses and cars for example. using an email account and myspace you don't even know exists. then if something bad happens and you actually need to snoop you won't be able to find anything.
post #145 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
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 was a bit of juvenile delinquent in some ways - lots of emotional problems going on in my teens. That said, my parents always knew where I was, almost always knew where my brother was, and knew where my sister was, more often than not (and there are serious issues there - she lives in her own world and was a compulsive liar as a teen). My parents never snooped. I had several friends whose parents did snoop - and every one of them snuck out of the house after going to bed, arranged for friends to lie to their parents, etc. If something had happened to one of those kids, their parents wouldn't have even known where to start looking for them. The parents didn't trust their kids - many of the kids adopted a "might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" approach - the kids also didn't trust their parents, because it's hard to trust someone who spies on you.

As for me...I never respected anyone who didn't treat me with respect. If my parents had started spying on me, I would have has no respect for them, and would have behaved exactly as my friends did.
post #146 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
snooping when you know something is wrong is way different then snooping just to 'make sure' something isn't wrong.
<snip>
using an email account and myspace you don't even know exists. then if something bad happens and you actually need to snoop you won't be able to find anything.
I agree, and I would not "snoop" for the sake of snooping
(fwiw, I don't considering internet controls snooping--- just part of the rules of using the internet in our house. If these rules are explicit, it's no more an "invasion of privacy" than the filters on Dh's computer at work. I DO NOT provide internet access so my kids can bully, be found by pedophiles, or look at porn. Period. if I find them sniffing glue, I'm not going to buy them more glue, even if there are 10 stores in walking distance where they can buy it. Same with misuse of the internet.).

The problem-- the gray area-- is that sometimes there are so few signs that something is wrong. It could be just the slightest inkling of something "off," or it could be huge red flags. This is really, really a difficult issue, IMO, and the "correct" resolution depends so much on one's own values and principles that judging other parents so absoluetly seems very uncharitable to me.
post #147 of 293
i think if a parent feels like something is 'off' with one of their kids they should trust their instincts. if you are concerned enough to snoop a little then i would go with that instinct yk?

but it needs to be b/c something is off with the child. if is just generally suspicious then i think thats wrong... snooping b/c something is off and you are concerned doesn't necessarily break your child's trust.
post #148 of 293
under 18 and living in my home = no privacy.
post #149 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
I firmly believe in the importance of privacy, but "privacy" on the internet is an illusion.
This is very true. I was reminded of this when I found out in May that two of my relatives had been reading my posts about my pregnancy with Aaron, and repeating the content of them to my mom...and urging her to come here and read my posts herself. While I knew the privacy here was an illusion, I did think more highly of my relatives than that. Now I know they can't be trusted and will gladly invade my privacy, read my posts about highly charged emotional issues (eg. VBAC and the death of my son) without telling me, and otherwise behave in a voyeuristic fashion about my life...all out of "concern".

I don't like it any better now than I did when I was a teenager, and my relationship with those two people has been permanently impacted in a very negative way. Whatever their motives may have been, I will never trust them again. I never want my kids to feel that way about me.
post #150 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This is very true. I was reminded of this when I found out in May that two of my relatives had been reading my posts about my pregnancy with Aaron, and repeating the content of them to my mom...and urging her to come here and read my posts herself. While I knew the privacy here was an illusion, I did think more highly of my relatives than that. Now I know they can't be trusted and will gladly invade my privacy, read my posts about highly charged emotional issues (eg. VBAC and the death of my son) without telling me, and otherwise behave in a voyeuristic fashion about my life...all out of "concern".

I don't like it any better now than I did when I was a teenager, and my relationship with those two people has been permanently impacted in a very negative way. Whatever their motives may have been, I will never trust them again. I never want my kids to feel that way about me.

Goodness-- my sympathies All of my siblings have had similar (though neither as extreme nor sad) situations arise via facebook/myspace/etc-- people they didn't know were reading all about their lives and reporting back to my mom, ladies in my parents' church (, relatives.... it was a mess. And my sister had a semi-stalker logging in and following her via his roommates' computer (or something like that... it was weird).

I have heard people argue that one should not read one's child's blog. To me that seems very backwards... but this is a strange world, sometimes.

ETA-- when I was in college, my boyfriend's parents (now my in-laws! ha!) staged an "intervention" (and his father called my father at work (!!!!!!!)) because they thought we were having sex. And we weren't. We were sleeping in the same bed somtimes. It was MORTIFYING. I feel sick remembering it. My future Dh was 22 or something at the time (but living at home). Their basic thing was, "It's our house, our rules." FutureDh almost moved out afterwards, and I would have encouraged him to do so if his friends (i.e., future roommates) had not been absolute losers.
It did damage my relationship with them, yes. I still think about it sometimes. Even then, though, (and more so now) I realized that they were doing it because they loved their son (and me, too)-- they thought I was being seduced. : Um... if anything, the other way 'round.

Our relationship has totally healed. There will always be scarring, but it has healed. So even if parents make mistakes, if they are truly making the mistakes out of love and not their desire to control (or voyeurism, as StormBride notes), then there is definitely a way past it.
post #151 of 293
May I also add that there are always going to be parenting choices that are going to be detrimental (at least in the short term) to one's relationship to one's child? Sometimes though the short term loss is to the benefit of the long term.
post #152 of 293
I think it depends on the situation. If you think you have a legitimate reason to do this because your child is giving a lot of signals that they may be suicidal or on drugs then I do think you have some reason to do this. I think it should be done only if you have a well founded concern though, not because you are wanting to snoop. My parents did do this a few times when I was a teen but they didn't tell me until I was an adult and had my own child. Apparently they even plucked some of my hair to test me for drugs and I never knew. I didn't really care when I found out but that was because we have a really open and close relationship.
post #153 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
May I also add that there are always going to be parenting choices that are going to be detrimental (at least in the short term) to one's relationship to one's child? Sometimes though the short term loss is to the benefit of the long term.
It obviously varies from person to person, but loss of trust isn't a short term issue with me. It doesn't matter who it is. Once someone has proved that I can't trust them (by snooping my room, for example), I don't trust them. In the very few instances where I've patched things back up to some degree, it's still nothing at all like it was prior to the trust being damaged.

I'll also add that some of us need our space desperately. My room was my refuge as a teen, and having someone snooping around in there would have been devastating. Mom actually did look around once, when she had serious concerns about reports from school. Even at the time, I understood exactly why she did it...and I still didn't feel safe in that room again for about two years. It was the only safe space I had in the world...and it was stolen from me. Fortunately, I knew my mom well enough to know that only extreme concern could drive her to do that for me, so I did regain my safe space, eventually. Solely because I understood why she'd done it, I did eventually trust my mom again. She's the only person who has ever betrayed my trust and earned it back - the only one.
post #154 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
If you think you have a legitimate reason to do this because your child is giving a lot of signals that they may be suicidal or on drugs then I do think you have some reason to do this.
What's the rationale for spying on someone if you think they're suicidal? One of the things that contributed to my depression all through my teens was the feeling that the world was hostile, mean and unsafe for me (I was bullied a lot, which was part of it). I'm fortunate in that I regained my feeling of safety in my room before I started having my major depressive episodes, but I think another invasion of my privacy at that time would have pushed me over the edge.
post #155 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
under 18 and living in my home = no privacy.
Lemme guess, not a math major?
post #156 of 293
If my mom had read my diary or snooped in my room at all when I was a teenager she would have known I was suicidal and found me help. Instead my *help* came after my suicide attempt. So that's MY rationale. I'd rather be able to help my child BEFORE she tries to kill herself thank you.

If my DD grows up to hate me, well, I'd hate that. But I WANT HER TO GROW UP. If the only way to get her there safe and healthy is to end with her hating me. It's a pain I'll have to deal with. I would hate it, but I would hate myself more if I didn't *snoop* and lost DD forever from suicide, getting killed in a gang, etc.

My mom NEVER snooped at all. Didn't read my mail, never went in my room, didn't listen to conversations, etc. But I don't trust her in the least. Never did. And when she tried to kidnap DD1 that kind of cemented that. So just because you'd rather not look in your DC's stuff doesn't automatically mean you're going to have a child that adores you and trusts you immensly.

And for the record, my *snooping* started AFTER there were huge warning signs. And I'm glad I did. If I hadn't I may not have DD with my now.
post #157 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
What's the rationale for spying on someone if you think they're suicidal? One of the things that contributed to my depression all through my teens was the feeling that the world was hostile, mean and unsafe for me (I was bullied a lot, which was part of it). I'm fortunate in that I regained my feeling of safety in my room before I started having my major depressive episodes, but I think another invasion of my privacy at that time would have pushed me over the edge.
My parents used this because they knew that I was suicidal and I think it helped them to identify with me more. And as I said, until I was an adult I didn't know that they had done this. I think done in this way though it can help a parent to know a little more about their child who thinks the world hates them and doesn't understand them and knowing this can save their life. It isn't the same for all people and it would have been a horrible blow for me if I had found out, but the way they did it worked and helped build up our relationship.
post #158 of 293
I had problems with depression in high school too. If I think one of my kids is suicidal, I will absolutely snoop. But it would take something that serious, and I'd have to have a strong feeling about it. I do feel that kids should have as much privacy as they can, but serious issues like drug use or potential suicide would be bigger than that.

I would not snoop about sex. If you find out your kid is having sex, what will you do? If I suspect that she is having sex, I'll get her birth control and get on with life. You can't stop a teenager who wants to have sex from having sex. That's just folly.
post #159 of 293
bu thee is a difference between puttin a keystioke reader and chcking the histoy o simply eading thi blog o looking at their myspace site. those things are by nature public. anything they type at home or school or on any shared compute inherently lacks pivacy.
post #160 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I would not snoop about sex. If you find out your kid is having sex, what will you do? If I suspect that she is having sex, I'll get her birth control and get on with life. You can't stop a teenager who wants to have sex from having sex. That's just folly.
Even though I am very conservative on this issue (I am borderline Catholic and think chastity is very important-- we're thinking of even NFP), I agree. I hope very much that my children choose to be chaste before (and after) marriage, but this is not something that can be forced. My Dh and I did not have sex until after were were married, but it was mostly because of fear of discovery/a sense of guilt, not because of moral choices based on reason and faith. I wish I had made the same choice but for better reasons.
Anyway, my job is to teach them/model behavior as best I can, but this is a choice they have to make on their own. And yeah, we could have had sex 1000 times in 1000 places, even after the "intervention." referenced in my post above.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay?