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Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 11

post #201 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post

if your kid is really going off the deep end then room snooping/diary reading/key stroke detecting seems to be a bit too little, too late to be honest.

and if they're not going off the deep end and you are paying attention to their behaviors and friends and you have a good relationship with them why do it?
exactly
post #202 of 293
So if your child were going off the deep end, you'd say, "Oh well, it's too late anyway?" If I didn't know a couple of parents with teens who had issues, I'd probably say that too, but having seen people go through this, I know I can't predict what I'd do.
post #203 of 293
Writing was my outlet as a teen. It was really how I survived those awful years, by writing out all the pain, it just helped me cope. There was no way I could have talked to my parents or friends about any of what I wrote, I just wouldn't have been able to cope with the talk. ( I did talk to my counsellor in my late teens, she was really good)

If I hadn't felt safe enough to write things down privately, and in the moment when I felt my world had ended, knowing NO-ONE would ever read it, well, I don't think I would have had another way out than killing myself. I felt trapped enough as it was (without not having that outlet, or having to talk about things tht just hurt to much to speak about).
post #204 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
I think that if things had gotten to the point where I felt that I had to investigate my child's goings on, trust would have already been broken--on their part.

I suppose I'm a little leery of making my parenting decisions primarily on how it might affect my children's feelings towards me at that time.
Okay. I'm not sure what this has to do with my post. I'm talking about long-term damage to the relationship, to the point where the main figure of authority in the teens life is someone they don't trust - ever again. I'm not talking about a teenage, hormone-fuelled "you're wrecking my life", followed by stamping off to their room to sulk. I'm talking about losing your authority, in a very real sense, because your teen now sees you as not just an authority figure, but as an actual enemy. How do you expect to parent effectively if you're the enemy?

Quote:
I see a lot of people here operanting from the base assumption that parental intentions are automatically bad and suspect (probably reasonably learned for most of us). However, I work very very hard to keep my motivations and intentions "right", going against childhood learning and instinct to do so. Therefore, I assume that IF I've reached that point that this kind of invasive intervention is necessary that frankly the situation is such that trust has already been broken intentionally or not and things will by defnintion never be the same.
I don't know if you're talking about my posts or not. I don't think parents who snoop always have bad intentions (I don't think they always have good intentions, either). What I do think, based on watching this play out many times from both sides (teenaged friends when I was younger, and teens I've seen as I've become an adult), is that snooping with cause doesn't help as often as people seem to think, and snooping just as a...safety measure??...creates huge problems.

Quote:
This is why I guess I don't understand the implication that if you don't intervene in a given specific way that the relationship is somehow preserved. I don't think it is, because in order for someone like me to consider something invasive damage has a;ready occured and I sense danger. At that point, the relationship is already altered (though my child might not be as pissed at me as they're about to be I guess) because of the level of alarm being triggered.
If I'm troubled and going through a bunch of crap in my life (which has certainly happened more than once), it obviously alters my relationships with those around me. For one of those people to then say, "okay - you're altering our relationship, so I can violate your privacy" doesn't follow in any way. In any case, I never said that the relationship would necessarily be preserved if a parent doesn't snoop. What I said is that, for some personalities, the relationship will be damaged, possibly destroyed, by snooping, even if it would have otherwise survived. My depressive episodes and other issues had a peripheral effect on my relationship with my parents (far more directly affected my education and peer relationships). They were my safety net. Had they chosen to invade my privacy, the only safe place I had would have been gone. I'm not talking about "altering the relationship". I'm talking about hurting the child.
post #205 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I do agree with this, but on the other hand I have some very good friends with teenagers, and they've had talks like that where the teen simply doesn't talk, and they're faced with potential runaway situations and things and they have snooped, and from where I'm sitting with my sweet 6-year-old I'm in no position to judge. If I had a child going through some of the things some friends' kids have gone through, I'd do whatever it took to keep them safe. And these friends are good, loving, respectful parents. Teens of good parents do incredibly self-destructive things sometimes too.
I understand that. Quite a bit. I had a butt load of issues when I was a teen. My dad managed to help me without snooping.
post #206 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
So if your child were going off the deep end, you'd say, "Oh well, it's too late anyway?" If I didn't know a couple of parents with teens who had issues, I'd probably say that too, but having seen people go through this, I know I can't predict what I'd do.
No, the point is that if your child is going off the deep end, its too late to start snooping ... what good is it going to do? There are other ways, better ways to manage this - I am one of the parents who had teens with issues - and I snooped, it did not give me any information... in fact I found nothing ... it was a huge mistake in my opinion, and the damage it could have caused if she ever found out? Start counseling, start UA'a, move to the Netherlands if you have to ... snooping is just not worth it...

If you must see a diary.. ask your teen if you can look at it with them, or write something to you...I saw a great idea on this board once about a journal that mother and daughter kept and wrote back and forth to each other ... but that's really another subject..
post #207 of 293
Well I'm not talking just "issues". One friend's daughter took up (she thought but wasn't sure) with an older guy who (she thought) was making meth, and she was afraid her daughter was planning to run away with him. If she hadn't snooped her daughter might have run off with him and she might not have known where they'd gone.

I have probably said in the past I would never snoop, but since then I've seen families in situations I've never imagined. I reserve judgment at this point.
post #208 of 293
What would she have done if she had snooped and not found anything? Would she have been relieved and went about her business? I imagine she still would have taken action.
post #209 of 293
I don't imagine I would snoop. I don't see how an unschooled child of mama who has spent every single waking moment practically with her since birth could, I dunno, take up a crack habit or something without me being clued in. I would imagine if that were the case I would send her to rehab and get her an agent because that would be an academy award winning performance.

My point is, I think that if you are an attached, aware, involved parent who is involved in the goings on of your child's life -- you don't need to snoop. I mean, I know what time my kid is going to poop by an expression on her face 2 hours beforehand that no one else would even pick up. I know my kid. I am not saying we will always have such intimacy but I do hope and trust that we will have the kind of relationship where I would suspect something was amiss.

My parents pretended to care about stuff like that but the fact is, they didn't know any of my friends, didn't bother to know where I was going, didn't sit down with me to ask how I was feeling, how I was doing, etc They sort of took the "as long as we all make it out of this alive we are fine" approach -- dd and I already have a different dynamic. She knows I care about her thoughts and feelings and that she has immense value in this home. It doesn't mean I think she will be some perfect angel who never makes a choice that is unwise, but I do trust she won't be mixing up crystal meth in her bedroom either.

I will never say never, but I certainly don't believe I will ever make a practice of snooping -- especially journals and the like which I believe are extremely private. On the other hand, I don't think it is inappropriate to glance in her bedroom every now and again. My parents I don't think opened my bedroom door for abouut 4 years and I was sneaking boys in, sneaking out and night, smoking pot in my closet and all kinds of other things you don't want your teenager doing.

There is a difference between respecting privacy and just sort of not giving a crap and calling it trust I hope to trust and respect dd but let her know that I do care and plan to be involved in the goings on of her life until she reaches a legal age (and hopefully beyond if she allows).
post #210 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
What would she have done if she had snooped and not found anything? Would she have been relieved and went about her business? I imagine she still would have taken action.
Well she put her daughter in an in-house drug treatment center, which I'm guessing she would have done anyway. But she snooped to find out where this guy would have run off with her daughter so that if her daughter at some point ran away with him she'd know where to look.

edited to add - She also found out the guy's real age. She thought he was three years older than her daughter, but found out in the diary he was really five years older, which made the relationship statutory rape, and gave her a legal way to keep him away from her.
post #211 of 293
the entire concept that children deserve "privacy" is completely just...well, wrong in my opinion. You can have privacy when you are grown. Until then....dh and I would do anything we felt necesary.
post #212 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
the entire concept that children deserve "privacy" is completely just...well, wrong in my opinion. You can have privacy when you are grown. Until then....dh and I would do anything we felt necesary.
Well that I do disagree with. Even now, at 6, I give my daughter as much privacy as she feels she needs. As a teen it's likely she'll need more, and that's fine with me. I'd have to be in pretty darn desperate straits to snoop, but I can't rule it out and say I never would based on what I've seen other parents deal with. If I was afraid my daughter was going to run away with a drug dealer, I would snoop to get as much information as I could in case she ever disappeared. Short of something along those lines, though . . . I wouldn't snoop over sex, drug use (if I thought she needed treatment, she'd get it regardless of what her diary said), anything like that. It would take a situation where I was afraid her life was in danger. It doesn't seem likely that a situation like that would ever come up though. I hope!
post #213 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
the entire concept that children deserve "privacy" is completely just...well, wrong in my opinion. You can have privacy when you are grown. Until then....dh and I would do anything we felt necesary.
I am quoting you 'cause your post is last but I have seen this expressed in this thread and even though I totally get that everyone makes their own decisions and truly do respect that... I have such a visceral reaction to it!

I wasn't afforded a lot of privacy growing up in some ways (although I did in the sense that no one read my diaries or searched my room) and I grew up with very poor boundaries... and was a victim of incest (extended family). Lack of privacy is one of the ways that abusers groom their victims.

I freely admit this experience puts me squarely on the other side of the fence, and my husband feels the same way. For myself and for him, it's not a question of needing to hide things or lack of rules/boundaries. It is, however, about respecting where the rights of others end and the rights of the individual begin, in a step by step, appropriate way.

At 3, my son has the right to go to the bathroom with the door shut if he wants. I imagine one day he will want the space to hide gifts for others; explore his body and his sexuality; record his hopes, thoughts and dreams; hold private conversations with his friends; and perhaps explore interests we don't share.

I know that there are situations (like the attachment disorder one explained in this thread, or addiction) where the ground rules need to change. But I find it so sad that parents are living in enough fear to feel that they have to go to what I perceive as such extreme lengths as a starting point.

And to be honest I do worry about young adults who will eventually leave home and live in various situations, like dorms and shared apartments and so on, who haven't had an opportunity to set and enforce their own personal boundaries. It can be a hard lesson to learn in a mere year or two.
post #214 of 293
Lack of privacy, and the fact that dsd knew that her stepdad and mom could come in any minute and look at anything in her room was one of the pieces of the puzzle that brought about her moving to our house. I hope to never create an atmosphere in the house where kids feel unwelcome, disrespected, and as if they have no rights.

I feel very sad for the kids that have no where to go. I crave privacy, and would feel violated if y parents told me I had no right to it. :

All that being said - I don't judge a desparate parent that is trying to save a child that they think is in danger. I understand difficult teenage years, we are there, we are taking it day by day. We talk a lot. A lot. Did I say a lot? She doesn't always agree with what we have to say, she seems absent minded, and set to make her own choices. But she talks about things (whether we like eharing that she has a crush on a boy that already has a girlfriend, or not), and that's in itself is priceless. We can offer guidance, and opinion that she chose to hear, will she listen? I don't know, but I doubt she'd listen better if we snooped...

I guess I do pass judgement when a parent does it routinely, especially if they use what they find to shame and punish the child. It just something very foreign to me.

I want her to be okay, I want her to be happy. It's such a tough line to walk.. But spying on your kid, or saying they don't deserve privacy? Ugh.. I don't know. Neither sounds like a viable parenting choice to me.

The amount of resentment towards the spying parents in these responses kind of proves the point. To the few that were able to save a child because of spying - I don't think it was because of routine searches, but rather out of clear signs of danger. That's on a different level for me, kwim?

I rumbled on... Sorry.
post #215 of 293
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
the entire concept that children deserve "privacy" is completely just...well, wrong in my opinion. You can have privacy when you are grown. Until then....dh and I would do anything we felt necesary.

I just can't even fathom this mind set... It scares me a lot, honestly.

Most "kids" go away to college these days... you (collective you) let loose a person who has been made to feel totally insecure and that they do not deserve any kind of privacy out into the real world... I think they will be facing some scary, scary situations and not have learned to stand up for themselves and any kind of independance, and they will find themselves into dire troubles that you (again collective you, not pointing at anyone in general, just giving my own opinion) will not be able to snoop for because they are away from home... then what?

This just blows my mind and I think would totally totally damage the child.
post #216 of 293
I agree. I think it is so harmful and detrimental to proper adolescent development.
post #217 of 293
I feel kids have a privacy right that ought to be protected. It bothers me how sometimes we treat kids like they aren't people yet. Well, they are. Not as mature or responsible as grown-ups, but people with human rights, too. I remember being unhappy that I was treated like a lesser person, not allowed to vote, etc. when I had thoughts and opinions of my own.

I would not violate my kids' privacy unless I felt it was necessary. If I was really concerned about my child, I might read something personal that they would not want me to know about. If I found something that really worried me, I would try to work on the issue without letting my child know that I had snooped. And I would never, ever blame or punish for something I found out that I wasn't supposed to know about.

My parents promised to respect my privacy when I was 18 and took a 5-wk trip. My mom PROMISED. She broke that promise, and it's been an issue ever since. It was an affirmation that I couldn't trust her, and she didn't trust me.
post #218 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I am quoting you 'cause your post is last but I have seen this expressed in this thread and even though I totally get that everyone makes their own decisions and truly do respect that... I have such a visceral reaction to it!

I wasn't afforded a lot of privacy growing up in some ways (although I did in the sense that no one read my diaries or searched my room) and I grew up with very poor boundaries... and was a victim of incest (extended family). Lack of privacy is one of the ways that abusers groom their victims.

I freely admit this experience puts me squarely on the other side of the fence, and my husband feels the same way. For myself and for him, it's not a question of needing to hide things or lack of rules/boundaries. It is, however, about respecting where the rights of others end and the rights of the individual begin, in a step by step, appropriate way.

At 3, my son has the right to go to the bathroom with the door shut if he wants. I imagine one day he will want the space to hide gifts for others; explore his body and his sexuality; record his hopes, thoughts and dreams; hold private conversations with his friends; and perhaps explore interests we don't share.

I know that there are situations (like the attachment disorder one explained in this thread, or addiction) where the ground rules need to change. But I find it so sad that parents are living in enough fear to feel that they have to go to what I perceive as such extreme lengths as a starting point.

And to be honest I do worry about young adults who will eventually leave home and live in various situations, like dorms and shared apartments and so on, who haven't had an opportunity to set and enforce their own personal boundaries. It can be a hard lesson to learn in a mere year or two.
Thank you. I've been trying to figure out why I was so disturbed by having to cross boundaries with my dsd. That cleared it up for me.
post #219 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I just can't even fathom this mind set... It scares me a lot, honestly.

Most "kids" go away to college these days... you let loose a person who has been made to feel totally insecure and that they do not deserve any kind of privacy out into the real world... I think they will be facing some scary, scary situations and not have learned to stand up for themselves and any kind of independance, and they will find themselves into dire troubles that you will not be able to snoop for because they are away from home... then what?

This just blows my mind and I think would totally totally damage the child.
I find this offensive really. You're basically judging the other parent like you know for sure that because some level of privacy was not adhered to that that in itself would put a child in danger. You can't know how a child is going to turn out for sure. We all do the best we can and we all have different parenting styles. I'm sure there will be some children whose privacy was very well respected that are going to have trouble when going off to college and vice versa. All we can really do is take it one step at a time and Never say Never is one hard lesson to learn.

I did not have much privacy at home and I believe I'm just fine. Never did drugs, never had teen sex (heck I waited until I met my husband at the ripe old age of 29), graduated with honors as an engineer, etc....
My life turned out just fine and I never felt violated because of the privacy issue. And I was always able to discern lack of privacy from family members versus my right to privacy by someone outside the family. My parents always made it clear that family is family. Family members get different privileges than friends or acquaintances. I always had boundaries when it came to friends. Also, the lack of privacy was a two way street when I was growing up. To this day, I don't know how my younger sisters got conceived.

I just feel there is a lot of judgement on this thread that doesn't need to be there. No one has a crystal ball to see how children will turn out in the future.

Christine
post #220 of 293
would you ever take your childs bedroom door off?
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