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Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 2

post #21 of 293
I guess there's that overlap between being nosy and keeping your child safe.
I think some of the online activity monitoring software invades kids' privacy. My husband was telling me that a coworker told him the software he has records keystrokes, to me that's too much! To me, that is nosy, why on earth do you need to know every word that your child types online? Blocking sites, knowing how to get to your kids' public webpages like myspace is basic good parenting and not an invasion. Knowing the contents of every IM, email, google search, etc. is overly restrictive. If my child wants to look up something, like the disease chlamydia online out of pure curiosity because they heard it on a radio announcement, they should be free to do so w/o having to talk to me about it, and without me worrying. I have mixed feelings about GPS trackers on cell phones for kids who are otherwise basically good kids. Something seems stifling about it. Disclaimer: my baby is only 8 mo so I don't know what I'm in for.

If there was no signs that anything was askew, I would not invade my child's privacy. If something was off, of course my first course of action would be to talk to my child about it, and if necessary siblings/friends to try to get information, if not specific info then simply an acknowledgement that everything is ok and my child can cope. If my child shut down, I would talk to them about going to a therapist since s/he felt that talking to me would not be possible.
post #22 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellebluetoo View Post
Granted, my son is only almost 7.
BUT, I pay the rent here, that IS NOT his room, THAT is MY room, I allow him to use it.

It is MY job to keep him safe and help him learn how to be a good man, a productive citizen, a good father, know the difference between right and wrong, and to love himself!

Children don't always talk to parents, even the most patient loving and openly communicating ones.

I WILL check up on him, I WILL check out his friends, I WILL make sure he is safe, and not doing anything illegal (underage sex or drugs)... The rest is pretty much up to him, I can only do so much, but what I DO have a say in, I WILL.

BUt thats just me......

It WILL be done in a productive way. Condoms found will result in a conversation about safe sex and responsibility. Drugs will result in immediate action. They will not be tolerated in my home, I will not have things like that put me and my family in danger.
That sounds like me. I have a responsibility to my children to keep them safe. Now depending on what was found, I may never say anything to them. (like one example i think of, say I'm worried my DD is doing drugs with her long term boyfriend, so i search her room, find no evidence of drugs but do find BC pills and condoms, then i thank my stars I taught her well and keep my mouth shut)
post #23 of 293
No, I would never read a diary or go through my child's stuff. My mom did that to me and all it got her was some ammunition to shame me. If I feared my teen were having sex or doing drugs (I was as a teen ), then I would do my best to open the door of communication. I don't think going through a kid's stuff will stop them...on the contrary.

If I really feared my child were suicidal, I would get the child to a doctor quick.
post #24 of 293
I'd have to say that for me, the way I feel, is that "Heck, yeah!" I'd do whatever it takes to make sure my child was fine. And I know many of you would hope there would be other signs but oftentimes with teenagers, there just isn't. Especially in these times of cyber bullying and all things computer related. Even back when I was growing up, teenagers hide so much of their feelings inside. I come from a very close family - we all call each other at least a few times a week - yet, still my sister was going through a lot and NO ONE IN MY FAMILY KNEW! She was anorexic, bulemic, and tried to commit suicide. On the outside, she was happy, healthy, didn't look sick or act sick, had many friends, was quite popular in school and had healthy activities and outlets. Luckily, my parents found her and were able to save her but I keep thinking, if only I (or my parents) had read her diary, then maybe we could have helped her before she did something so extreme.

So, in my opinion, as long as you are living under my roof, there is no right to privacy. I intend on getting a computer program that will record key strokes when he's old enough to be on the computer and I'm all for room searches. He is my pride and joy and it is MY responsibility to ensure his safety and wellbeing and I will do everything I can towards that purpose.

For what it's worth - my DH and I also are very transparent with each other. He has my email password and vice versa.

Christine
post #25 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
So, in my opinion, as long as you are living under my roof, there is no right to privacy. I intend on getting a computer program that will record key strokes when he's old enough to be on the computer and I'm all for room searches. He is my pride and joy and it is MY responsibility to ensure his safety and wellbeing and I will do everything I can towards that purpose.

For what it's worth - my DH and I also are very transparent with each other. He has my email password and vice versa.

Christine
I know you want to keep your son safe from online negative social interaction, but please reconsider. My opinion is that this is the equivalent of listening on another line while your child is talking on the phone. People communicate online so casually these days, that it is really a form of eavesdropping. Anything that is posted in the public sphere is, you know, public, but having private space online too I think is important.

Added: You sound like a loving Momma and I just added these thoughts because this is my opinion.
post #26 of 293
Thread Starter 
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.
post #27 of 293
I would never invade my child's privacy unless I had a real reason to be concerned for the child's safety (say, search a room for drugs if I had other reasons for suspecting drug use, and gentler, more respectful approaches weren't working.)

Now, I do monitor my kids' internet and email usage, but I've always been upfront about that. There's no sneaking around "spying on" my kids- they KNOW that I reserve the right to read the occasional email (often over their shoulders), pop into their online chats, etc. 90% of the time they're on the computer I'm in the room anyway- either on the other computer next to them or doing other stuff in the living room.

I don't have a problem with that "record every keystroke" program (though I don't personally have it or desire that for my family) as long as the child is fully aware of its existence. Then the child can choose to *not* share certain things online if they don't want mom or dad to find out.
post #28 of 293
My parents (mom and step dad) MAJORLY invaded my privacy. I'm still mad about it. They recorded all my phone conversations. They copied letters that I sent to my best friend and that she sent me. My brother was snooping in THEIR room once () and found a HUGE folder full of letters that they'd copied.
Strangly, I have been paranoid about being watched (especially in the bathroom) since before I knew this was happening. I found out in the last couple years that they did have cameras in the bathroom, to check on my brother if he was doing drugs or whatever.

For the most part, I wasn't doing anything wrong. I went on bc before I started having sex, and I wasn't into drugs or drinking or anything.

Now, otoh, my brother WAS causing trouble, and made trouble for himself and the family. He sold drugs from the house, stole stuff, and on and on.

I think I would keep it low key, and only snoop if I had a reason to believe that dc's safety was at risk. I wouldn't copy things, or record phone calls. I maybe could see looking around their room or something, but only if I had a good reason to do so.

I agree with Ruthla- if I were to keep an eye on, say, computer usage, I'd let dc know that it was a possibility beforehand.
post #29 of 293
As a common occurence-no. If I truly suspected something was wrong-absolutely.
post #30 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
Strangly, I have been paranoid about being watched (especially in the bathroom) since before I knew this was happening. I found out in the last couple years that they did have cameras in the bathroom, to check on my brother if he was doing drugs or whatever.

post #31 of 293
I sure would...I sure do (My daughter is 12 years old) Don't care.
post #32 of 293
I think about this and considering she's only 3 by the the time my DD is writing anything interesting it will be mega encoded on a device I don't know how to operate.

I think information is neutral and it all depends on what one does with it. Automatically grounding or shaming based on snooped information is wrong. The PP who's parent used the information found to open a dialog -that sounds appropriate. It often sounds like the kids are not taking much care in hiding their secrets which leads me to think that in some cases they want it to be found.
post #33 of 293
I never thought I would but as kids get older they get more private and open communication doesn't always cut it. I have read my dd's diary a couple of times when there was evidence that she was in danger and it was stuff she didn't want to talk to anyone about. She knows and has forgiven me even if she didn't like it. She did not get in trouble for anything in the diary, nor did I throw it in her face, as I don't feel I have the right to use the information for that. She is online a lot and I do have all her passwords but I rarely check anything. That was the deal we made when I let her have IM and an over 18 youtube account.
post #34 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grylliade View Post
Yeah, I was more than a little upset when I found that out. It's only recently that I can go in the bathroom and feel that I *do* have my privacy.
I'm feeling kinda riled up just thinking about it...
post #35 of 293
I truly hope there is never a need. If I suspected a dangerous issue I think I would do what was necessary at the time but other than that - No Way.

I think to snoop and sneak around would only break the trust with my kids that I've worked very hard to establish.

There are things that kids don't want to talk to parents about and they have the right to their own private and personal thoughts. Unless there is a serious concern, I just could not justify invading someone’s thoughts and privacy like that.

I can’t agree with the my house and the no right to privacy arguments. I might make the house payments but it is our family’s home … everyone should feel secure and comfortable in their own home.
post #36 of 293
I will always watch what my kids are doing online - no if's and's or but's about it. However, unless I have a valid concern regarding my dc's health or safety, their diary is their's to do what they want with it. FWIW, drinking, unsafe sex, and drugs all fall into the category of safety.
post #37 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
If I felt there was a reason to go through their stuff, I would. I won't go through it just because I can. When they start getting into IM and myspace, I will make sure to have all info so I can check up on them. I value their online safety over their privacy.

:
post #38 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
I'd have to say that for me, the way I feel, is that "Heck, yeah!" I'd do whatever it takes to make sure my child was fine. And I know many of you would hope there would be other signs but oftentimes with teenagers, there just isn't. Especially in these times of cyber bullying and all things computer related. Even back when I was growing up, teenagers hide so much of their feelings inside. I come from a very close family - we all call each other at least a few times a week - yet, still my sister was going through a lot and NO ONE IN MY FAMILY KNEW! She was anorexic, bulemic, and tried to commit suicide. On the outside, she was happy, healthy, didn't look sick or act sick, had many friends, was quite popular in school and had healthy activities and outlets. Luckily, my parents found her and were able to save her but I keep thinking, if only I (or my parents) had read her diary, then maybe we could have helped her before she did something so extreme.

So, in my opinion, as long as you are living under my roof, there is no right to privacy. I intend on getting a computer program that will record key strokes when he's old enough to be on the computer and I'm all for room searches. He is my pride and joy and it is MY responsibility to ensure his safety and wellbeing and I will do everything I can towards that purpose.

For what it's worth - my DH and I also are very transparent with each other. He has my email password and vice versa.

Christine
Does your DH record your keystrokes too?

My kids are a teen and a preteen now. I can only imagine how much damage it would do to our relationship to demean them like that.
post #39 of 293
Yep, and I don't feel bad about it at all.

When my DD1 was younger I thought we'd have this great relationship, all open communication, etc and I wouldn't need to do anything like that. Then she started growing up. Even though I try to make sure she knows she can talk to me about anything at all, she's grown distant and hides things from me.

I do not trust her. Right now that's the bottom line. I don't trust her friends, the music she (wants to) listens to, etc. I can fully see her getting involved in drugs, drinking, and sex, even though she's only 12. I won't tolerate those things in my house. Not a chance of it.

There's another complication involved as well. 2 years ago my mother tried to kidnap my DD1. My mother was also very clear on that she thinks I'm a horrible parent, and horrible person in general. She tries to stay in contact with DD. So I monitor all emails, IM's, snail mail, etc.

DD is aware that until she is an adult everything she does and has is subject to inspection. She knows I go in her room and read anything I find. She knows I have her email password. She knows I read all mail before it's passed along. She knows I check phone logs to ensure only calls have been made and received from approved numbers.

When I was a kid and teenager I was suicidal, drank, engaged in risky sexual activities, etc. I WISH like crazy that my mom had cared enough to check up on me and found me the help I wasn't about to look for on my own.

Then again, I don't see this as *invading privacy* since as a child I think the most privacy you should have is getting dressed, bathing, and using the bathroom. Period.
post #40 of 293
I don't necessarily have a problem with snooping for a tween or teen (because of what I believe about their social and emotional development), but I do have a problem with what is done with any info gleaned thereafter, if it is used in a harsh, shaming way to control a kid. I could see myself looking through my kids' stuff if they were starting to show signs of trouble...but I wouldn't use that information to shame or punish them - I'd use it to help them and keep them safe.

All of our computers are in public house spaces, so there is no expectation of privacy, and that will remain as the kids get older and start using the computers more. I see a personal journal as different than communications with other people, especially online communications where people may not be who they say they are. Journals and phone conversations with IRL friends that I know, I'd not monitor (again, unless I was worried about imminent harm), but online chats, and web pages, etc? Totally fair game in my eye to be monitored and not expect privacy, because there are so many variables and so many ways that young people can be deceived by people with bad intentions. DH and I are pretty laid back, open people, and our basic relationship motto is, "if you wouldn't do it with me standing right there next to you, you probably shouldn't do it behind my back.' We'll likely use a similar kind of thing with the kids, obviously tailored for their ages and situations.

I guess I lean towards the 'their safety is more important than their privacy' side, BUT with some big caveats (like not punishing or shaming, and not searching just because I could. I would have to be seeing some personality changes and troubling behaviors before I would snoop - before I got to that point I would be havign lots of conversations with them about difficult topics in general so they would know they could come to me...).


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.
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