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Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 15

post #281 of 293
I absolutely disagree with invading a kid's privacy "just in case". I do believe in doing so if the kid is in clear and present danger and there may be something you could find that might help you help them. The act of being a teenager is not inherently dangerous and definitely not the kind of danger that warrants invading a kid's privacy.

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.
Wow. That's how I feel about my dog. I can't even imagine putting my kid on the same level as my dog. Please don't apply Leerburg's dog training tips to your children.
post #282 of 293
I think the missing term in this thread is 'respect'. This isn't about rights or what one "deserves", but respect for one another. I try to not do things to my child that I would not want done to me. Because I respect him as a human being.
If I felt that I needed to do some investigating for the sake of protecting his life then I'm sure that I would. But I would want to try and talk with him first before it came to that. And I hope that he would do the same things for me if for some reason it ever became necessary.
post #283 of 293
This is a really interesting debate and reminds me I was going to post a related thread. But just to join in here. I think there is a big difference between wanting to keep an eye on your kids by checking out who they are talking to etc AND secretively spying on them.

I have just started using safensoundmail kids email which means I can check what emails Poppy gets and sends (my little girl aged 9) If I want. Now because she is only 9 I think that I need to check she isn't getting dodgy mail from predators or bullies or whatever. However, we have a pretty open relationship so I discussed it WITH her and we decided it was fair for me to check emails coming from strangers but not her friends.

I think that is a good compromise. Discussion AND parent responsibility!
post #284 of 293

erosion of the right to privacy

ok I know this thread is getting old, but I had this thought today... what about teaching our children that the "right to privacy" is an important thing?

We live in a dangerous time of legislation trying harder and harder to diminish citizens right to privacy. If we raise our kids thinking they have no right to their privacy they may well grow up thinking this is not an important or deserved right. Then where would we be?
post #285 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
ok I know this thread is getting old, but I had this thought today... what about teaching our children that the "right to privacy" is an important thing?

We live in a dangerous time of legislation trying harder and harder to diminish citizens right to privacy. If we raise our kids thinking they have no right to their privacy they may well grow up thinking this is not an important or deserved right. Then where would we be?
:
post #286 of 293
OMG I also got 'found out' for being responsable with the condoms! Through sneaking in my room I was put on the pill. Absolutely no to reading anyones diary thats just gross and if you haven't got the self-control to respect someone's diary and privacy what else is permissable to invade? Just in case... no good reason I'm afraid. If your kid is in imminent danger for sure I would do what was needed including putting myself in danger tho I can't think what diary-snooping would accomplish unless some info/dates etc were required for dangerous predicament the cops would probably have read it in such a case. Seems like a parent may think they can control the events and outcomes in their child's life by snooping but it would likely have the opposite effect by destroying any open communication that may exist and which is actually essential to your child safety and well-being. Sounds like the mom who phoned in radio show is super paranoid but probably genuinely concerned for her child but with no recourse to 'find out' what she wants to know. As a mum I want to know whats going on in my childs life but some things are not for me to know.
post #287 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
ok I know this thread is getting old, but I had this thought today... what about teaching our children that the "right to privacy" is an important thing?

We live in a dangerous time of legislation trying harder and harder to diminish citizens right to privacy. If we raise our kids thinking they have no right to their privacy they may well grow up thinking this is not an important or deserved right. Then where would we be?

Absolutely!!
post #288 of 293
Tried to get through the whole thing but around page 10, it started to get pretty redundant... I skipped to page 14 and read from there, and was pleased to see the direction the conversation had taken... So I'm here with my :

I agree w/ pp's re; Respect. For example:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grylliade View Post
I think the missing term in this thread is 'respect'. This isn't about rights or what one "deserves", but respect for one another. I try to not do things to my child that I would not want done to me. Because I respect him as a human being.
If I felt that I needed to do some investigating for the sake of protecting his life then I'm sure that I would. But I would want to try and talk with him first before it came to that. And I hope that he would do the same things for me if for some reason it ever became necessary.
I think that to presume one would know if something were wrong (like feelings of suicidal depression) is naive. I have lost count of the friends and family-members (in-laws and extended) whose own families dropped the awareness-ball til it was nigh too late (and sometimes actually too late... lost a few friends because of parental denial).

When faced with the fact that a child is in crisis, too many parents deny the authenticity of those feelings, or their own part in creating an atmosphere that doesn't support their child's growth and trust, thus contributing greatly to the disparaging feelings youths experience.

Snooping itself can very much contribute to the feelings of discontent and disconnect tweens and teens suffer from. I feel strongly that cultivating a climate of consultation, trust, mutual respect and vulnerability, mutual full-disclosure, and unconditionality can ease the path that tweens and teens are destined to walk.. that is, one of questioning, doubting, insecurity, unsurity, frustration and anxiety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
ok I know this thread is getting old, but I had this thought today... what about teaching our children that the "right to privacy" is an important thing?

We live in a dangerous time of legislation trying harder and harder to diminish citizens right to privacy. If we raise our kids thinking they have no right to their privacy they may well grow up thinking this is not an important or deserved right. Then where would we be?
This totally falls in line with Respect.

What would be the outcome if, instead of allowing a relationship deteriorate to the point of having to snoop, we included our children WHOLLY in the process of inquiry, from the outset? How would our relationships be different if this was an open discussion from very young, if our children knew we are looking after them, but that they are ultimately their own steward?

For example, my mom didn't do a ton of things right, but one thing she did do was constantly repeat these words: "You can always tell me anything, I will always be there for you. I can't always be with you, I can't stop you from doing things I wouldn't choose for you, and I might not like what you tell me, but I'll always hear you. Sometimes you might find you have no one else to turn to, but you can always tell me anything. You'll never surprise, disappoint, or hurt me by talking to me."

I kind of got sick of hearing it through my teen years... and then when things like sex and drugs came up, and the only people I had to turn to were my equally confused and directionless friends, those words would ring in my mind and I decided to put it to the test. "We'll just see how much she can handle..." So I told her... everything. The first time I believed I was ready for sex, my plan, what I thought... the first time I did hallucinogens, the time I cheated on my boyfriend, skipping school, even when I did worse things I knew she would abhor, I told her. She never missed a beat. She didn't like most of what I told her, but she knew that by cultivating that atmosphere of consultation and presence, I would come to her, and she therefore had a front-row seat to everything, rather than having to dig. She never showed signs of judgement, or disappointment. She just listened and helped me by asking open-ended questions that usually allowed me to arrive at the answers myself.

With dd I plan to utilize what I learned from my mom, and more.

There should be no problem opening a conversation with a person about concerns you have about them and the choices they may or may not be making. Those conversations may not yeild the information you're seeking, but often will act as avenues to further communication later. The PSA commercials may be trite, but they're right... it all starts with talking.

Young people are going to have sex. They are going to be faced with drugs. They are going to face unhappiness, evil, darkness and depression... There's no stopping the world around them. Snooping makes parents one of them... the enemy. We have to ally with our children, be the presence in their lives they will need to be able to count on.

I already don't like some of what dd tells me, and she's only 4! But I listen, and I let her know I Respect her.

How do you plan to be available? What kind of dialogues do you have now? Do they know they can tell you anything... can they?
post #289 of 293
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
When faced with the fact that a child is in crisis, too many parents deny the authenticity of those feelings, or their own part in creating an atmosphere that doesn't support their child's growth and trust, thus contributing greatly to the disparaging feelings youths experience.

Snooping itself can very much contribute to the feelings of discontent and disconnect tweens and teens suffer from. I feel strongly that cultivating a climate of consultation, trust, mutual respect and vulnerability, mutual full-disclosure, and unconditionality can ease the path that tweens and teens are destined to walk.. that is, one of questioning, doubting, insecurity, unsurity, frustration and anxiety.

....

Young people are going to have sex. They are going to be faced with drugs. They are going to face unhappiness, evil, darkness and depression... There's no stopping the world around them. Snooping makes parents one of them... the enemy. We have to ally with our children, be the presence in their lives they will need to be able to count on.
Nicely done post! I agree 100% with everything you said especially the above quoted parts. You had an awesome Mother and sound like you are being one as well!

This is exactly what I am hoping to acheive in my household.
post #290 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
I already don't like some of what dd tells me, and she's only 4! But I listen, and I let her know I Respect her.

How do you plan to be available? What kind of dialogues do you have now? Do they know they can tell you anything... can they?
Actually, I was a person who posted that my child at almost 5 already doesn't want to tell me some things, despite my frequently stated unconditional love and reassurances that he can tell me anything, and that I won't be upset with anything he has to tell me, and I'm there for him. So I don't know what the future holds for us. He is very perfectionistic and very hard on himself (despite DH and I talking about our own struggles and dealing with not doing everything right the first time and how making mistakes is how you learn, and you need to practice, etc. etc.), so sometimes when he perceives *in himself* a wrongdoing or mistake, he doesn't want to talk to me about it even though I've told him repeatedly that I'm not bothered by the situations...or at least only bothered inasmuch as he may have hurt his sister, or damaged something...but it's not guilt ridden, long lasting upset or anything approaching judgement or shaming.

Soooooo...I'm not sure where we will end up, based on his personality. I can only do so much to tell him and show him that he can always come to me...in the end, he has to actually come to me. And if he doesn't, then where am I left as a parent trying to keep my kid safe if he appears to be going down a destructive path?

Sex doesn't register on my radar so long as they are being careful, and that will be a frequent conversation in our household starting pretty early on. But drugs, and other risky behaviors? If he won't talk to me because he's disappointed in himself and thinks I'll be disappointed in him too, what do I do then?


I grew up in a nonjudgemental, open household where I talked to my parents about a lot of topics, so I'm familiar with the kind of open, respectful, trusting atmosphere. But that's only as good as the person who is willing to share, KWIM?

I am not a person that is going to go snooping for snooping's sake, just to keep tabs on my kid. I intend to know their friends, and their friends' parents, and know where they are, etc. to be involved and connected. Nonetheless, if I saw troubling signs in my child and they wouldn't talk to me about what was going on, I wouldn't *not* look around their room to see if there was anything I could find out that would help me talk to them more effectively. IMO, privacy is not that absolute a right.



And I see it as kind of a leap to go from, "if you're in trouble I might look through your stuff" to "The government should be able to do anything they want to you". So many opportunities to talk to your kids about nuance, and the differences in relationship with people and larger entities.
post #291 of 293
I've been following this thread for awhile.. some very interesting points! I remember growing up, I had a fair amount of privacy most of the time, but it was certainly not considered a right or an expectation. Interestingly enough, due to the occasional incidents where my privacy was disregarded, I never felt secure, even though more often than not, I was given a fair amount of space growing up. I had my own bedroom and could close and lock my door most of the time, have time to myself in the bathroom, etc. but I honestly remember thinking at times, fully convinced, that there were cameras in my room, or if I was on the phone that my parents were listening on the other line. There were times when my parents took the door off my bedroom to punish me, read my journals, etc. so there were definite invasions of privacy, but the hardest thing for me was trying to understand what I could expect and what was a normal amount of privacy to have. Since it had been invaded at times, I never really felt that I was guaranteed it. And I definitely got the line that this is my house and I make the rules, you are just living in it. That is a horrible feeling to have as a child! I know it was said out of frustration, but it bothers me that parents can have that attitude, that a member of their family is less than them because they don't pay the mortgage- you chose to bear a child, of course they are going to live in your house and of course you are going to pay the bills! That does not change their basic rights. And I don't mean to make it into some legal issue of rights either; for me the most significant thing was just how I felt i was regarded as a member of my family- I think children grow up feeling much more secure if they feel they are regarded with respect and considered a member of their family unit, and lack or privacy or comments like that disrupt that.

I know in my case, I also felt from a very early age that I could not talk to my parents about things. I remember several incidents when I was in elementary/middle school where I would try to talk to my mom about something that happened at school or something I was feeling or something that worried me, and she would find something to question or criticize or punish.. don't use that word, or why didn't you do this differently, or you shouldn't be talking about that or doing that.. I think she just wasn't used to communicating openly about difficult things, and didn't realize that what I needed was just someone to listen and not judge/question.. so by the time it got to difficult situations coming up as a teen, I knew I couldn't talk to her, which didn't help anything. I still wound up drinking and experimenting with drugs and having sex, but I couldn't be honest, so I would up having to lie as well, and probably took more risks than necessary. If I could have told her where I was going and something happened, she would know where I was, but if I had to lie, well, who knows where I wound up that night. If I was out drinking and couldn't call for a safe ride home, I then end up riding home with a drunk driver, or even driving drunk. I am not proud of it, but kids do those things, and I did too. I didn't always make the best decisions, but I was generally smart enough to know how much alcohol I could drink without overdoing it, or not to go off alone with a guy I didn't know well, etc. Still, I was young and reckless, and knowing I could talk to my parents and seek their support would have been nice. But then I suppose that puts parents in a tough position- they don't like what you are doing and feel like they have a responsibility to stop you from doing it, so maybe it's easier for them not to know. But it's not like they were in denial- they genuinely had no idea, and when I lied, I did a good job of it. Once my parents caught on, they absolutely went through my room. But when it gets to that point, it is way too late. I spent my whole childhood and adolescence feeling insecure about privacy, and feeling like I had to hide things (like journals). I spent that whole time feeling like I couldn't be honest with my parents about things. By the time I was actually doing things that could have been problematic, searching my things just made me feel more violated and angry, and reinforced my feeling, as someone said above, of them being the enemy and out to get me.

I am due in February so I have some time to think about these things, but I know I absolutely want my child to feel like they have their own space and right to privacy, and that they are deserving of respect. I can imagine it is hard as a parent to respond lovingly or neutrally when you are angry or worried, but I know kids will test you, and how you respond builds that foundation for later. I understand parents have the responsibility to look out for their kids and make sure they stay safe and do what they need to do, but my thinking is that I really cannot make their choices for them- they may be my child and a minor but they are an independent human being with free will. I can only hope to do my best to instill good judgment and more than that, learn to trust that they will do what is right for them, accept that they will make some mistakes and learn from those mistakes, and try to be a part of their life so that I can be a source of support and someone they trust enough to come to with concerns or questions. I know that some of the things I did growing up were dangerous, and I know as a parent it has to be the scariest thing in the world to think your child might harm themselves or someone else through a bad choice, and I understand wanting to intervene in any way necessary, but I also know that in my case, all the snooping and threats in the world didn't help or change things. It came down to me, and I had to make my choices and learn from my mistakes. Obviously it differs with a seven year old and a seventeen year old, but I think the threads of open communication and respect apply no matter what the child's age. I know most of this is already easier said than done- it's probably much easier to talk about how one ideally wants to parent than to come face to face with those difficult issues in the moment, so I hope no one minds me chiming in here. But I do feel that from my experiences with my parents, I definitely think about these issues through that lens and feel strongly about them..

I am actually a lot closer with my mom now, and am able to talk with her about a lot more than I could in the past; it's a lot better now. But occasionally the old issues will come up, and it took some time for me to feel somewhat safe opening up to her without feeling that I was going to be criticized or punished, and there are still some things that are off-limits, because I don't feel safe talking them, and I know she might not respond well or in a way that is helpful to me. What I want more than anything with my child is to have that openness from the beginning where s/he never feels like I am going to disapprove of her or make her feel bad for sharing something with me, but again, I am sure it is easier said than done.. something to strive for though! And btw I don't mean that I never will disapprove of something my child has done, just that it doesn't have to lead automatically to a comment or action that would make her feel I am disapproving of her as a person, or taking a punitive or authoritarian approach that doesn't solve anything. I just think the parent-child relationship should ideally go above and beyond the-big-authority figure-and-the-little-person-to-be-guided model, and I think basic parameters on privacy and respect will go a long way towards that.
post #292 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_Gaia View Post
And I definitely got the line that this is my house and I make the rules, you are just living in it. That is a horrible feeling to have as a child! I know it was said out of frustration, but it bothers me that parents can have that attitude, that a member of their family is less than them because they don't pay the mortgage- you chose to bear a child, of course they are going to live in your house and of course you are going to pay the bills! That does not change their basic rights. And I don't mean to make it into some legal issue of rights either; for me the most significant thing was just how I felt i was regarded as a member of my family- I think children grow up feeling much more secure if they feel they are regarded with respect and considered a member of their family unit, and lack or privacy or comments like that disrupt that.
Yes! I agree completely! Those type of remarks only serve to leave a child feeling insignificant and unwanted. I grew up around comments like that and often felt very low and undeserving. It's stuff that still haunts me at times.
post #293 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grylliade View Post
Yes! I agree completely! Those type of remarks only serve to leave a child feeling insignificant and unwanted. I grew up around comments like that and often felt very low and undeserving. It's stuff that still haunts me at times.
: I agree fully. I have been following along and have been amazed at the responses here :. It seems that some would give more respect to a visiting stranger than their own children. :
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