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Would you invade your child's privacy to make sure they are okay? - Page 3

post #41 of 293
Yes, absolutely. If I have any reason to be concerned about my child's well being I'm going to do everything I can to find out what's going on.
post #42 of 293
When my brother was 12, my mom could tell that he and his friend were up to something. She listened in on a phone conversation and found out that when they supposed to be out delivering newspapers (this was back in the day when KIDS had newspaper routes), he and his friend were stealing the friend's mom's car keys and DRIVING around. At 12.

When my brother was in high school, he was getting a lot of 'odd' phone calls. My mom listened in and found out that he'd lost about $100 to some boys playing poker during the lunch hour and they were threatening him. In addition to making my brother get a job to pay off his debt, they talked a lot about the difference between friends and people who take advantage of you. (It's been a lifelong issue for my brother.)

Did they do this on a regular basis? No. They only did this when they had real reason to be concerned.

I think I will follow a similar path when my kids are older. I wouldn't ever read a diary or snoop in their room unless I had some reason to believe there was something wrong. But I won't say that I wouldn't ever do it, because I don't know. Ds is a major introvert who doesn't share his thoughts/feelings easily.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
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?
The reason is that there is no "record" of IM chats and things like this, so the only way you check up on what your child is IMing about is to record the keystrokes.

I might use such software if my kids were very into IM and I was uncertain about who they were IMing with. (They are never going to have computers in their bedrooms, but even with the computers in public places, it's impossible to know what they are doing at all times.)

But I will let them know that I am monitoring. Then they can choose or not choose to write things.
post #43 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
The reason is that there is no "record" of IM chats and things like this, so the only way you check up on what your child is IMing about is to record the keystrokes.

I might use such software if my kids were very into IM and I was uncertain about who they were IMing with. (They are never going to have computers in their bedrooms, but even with the computers in public places, it's impossible to know what they are doing at all times.)

But I will let them know that I am monitoring. Then they can choose or not choose to write things.

I know on Gmail IM and Yahoo you can set it to keep a log of IM chats. I don't know about other IM clients, but I would imagine it would be the same.
post #44 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
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.
How on earth does this fit into seeing a child as a full and complete human being, as AP would suggest? I'm horrified by this.
post #45 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post

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.
No, my parents did not use the information in a punitive or shaming way. The phone call recording came out when a foreign exhange student that was staying with us had a questionable conversation with one of my friends on the phone. We weren't allowed to go visit the friend, but THAT part wasn't done in a shaming punitive way, iirc. The fact that they were recording my phone calls was a HUGE fight. I was so mad, and my mom said that if I wanted I could smash the phone recording thing. I did. (I don't know if it was because she felt bad, or because they had another one and wanted to throw me off the scent).
With the letters they copied, I NEVER heard anything about it. Until my brother found them. That was at least a year after I'd stopped writing letters. My parents never said anything about them, at any time. And if they ever took action from the info they found in the letters, they never said it in a way that I could connect it at all.

My parents did sort of have a "my house my rules" frame of mind. They (mind you, this is my mom and my step dad) said more than a few times that until we are adults, we were legally their property (or something like that).
But otoh, my mom stopped telling me what to do by the time I was 16yo. And even before that, I think she knew that a lot of things just weren't going to be worth the battle for her. (I was a head strong teen, with a strong sense of social injustice)

I do think that the birth control talk might have been brought up by my mom because of her snooping. I'm not really mad at her about that. (That would have been at the very beginning of the snooping, so I doubt it was phone calls recorded, letters copied, etc).
I think it comes down to this- I'd be more ok with it if it was your basic listening in on phone conversations (not recording them), and looking through letters (not copying them), and if I KNEW that there were never any cameras in my bedroom (I have no idea) or the bathroom (which there were). I mean, I can think that, but I don't know for sure. I'm sure I would have felt that my privacy was invaded either way, but I *think* I would understand my mom's perspective too.

I think it caused a lot of trust and privacy issues for me that shouldn't be there.

eta- I don't think my parents were wrong for going into my brother's room and finding the pot plants that he was growing (they strongly suspected to find drug related stuff). And that's not because it didn't happen to me that I don't feel that strongly. That seems reasonable, imo.
post #46 of 293
*****shudder*****

some of the posts here have really triggered me. but i choose not to go into it.

no i never would (yeah never say never . not unless she was missing.

but then i have a 6 year old.

and so i am preparing for it now.

i have surrounded myself with my friends whom i trust and my dd knows i trust them too. so she has some place to go if she needed guidance and didnt want to talk with me. and those friends have the right to tell me when i am messing up myself. and they are both men and women. and even now they have helped me and guided me. some i have ignored. some have made me change.

and i am working on my parenting too and working on respecting her space. she already has little notes she doesnt want me to read and has one secret from me that i dont make her tell me. and yet she knows she doesnt have to tell me everything. but if she ever needed a shoulder to cry on i would always be there.

i go over basic age appropriate safety stuff with my dd as she grows old. and so when and if she starts on drugs and sex she would know about them. and how to be responsible. beyond that i would not go check her room to see if she WAS doing it. doing it would be her decision - not mine.

i do not buy into the my house thing or age thing either. she can live in my house as long as she wants. 16 or 20.

i think we should also look at what we each call 'safety' as. there is a difference between knowing and safety. for instance i dont consider my dd doing drugs or sex a safety issue. but how responsibly she does it and how responsibly she lives her life would be more my concern.

and the house we live in - it is our house. not hers or mine. even now we both have our say about our lives. there are v. v. v. rare times i put my foot down. and those were physical safety issues.

i have learnt she learns much more from life experience than by me saying you cant do it. i always, always say a yes and add but i think .... (and give reasons why i wouldnt do it). and then i tell her if you feel called to do it, go do it and i will be here when you cry or get hurt.

i have been doing this since she was a baby. and she has learnt to trust my judgement and she herself chooses to say no. so i dont see any reason why i would have to snoop ever.

as she grows older i will move with technology and be there to guide her.
post #47 of 293
i read my then-sixteen-year-old dd's diary after she came home from living with my mother because i was concerned about her eating disorder. i felt that it was a safety issue since she had threatened suicide if I had NOT gotten her Greyhound ticket ASAP and ds1 had been concerned that the ED was more serious than it actually was. If he had been right, I would have needed to sell securities and/or apply for government assistance to pay for treatment that might have been necessary to SAVE HER LIFE.

Yes, I saw a lot of things that I wish I hadn't and she found out I "spied" and was very upset with me, but I think I was justified because of my concern for her HEALTH AND SAFETY.

Yes, i have tried to improve her opinion of me by my actions, but I have never punished her for writing (and feeling) some pretty hurtful things about me.

I also feel that I am justified in cleaning the room that she and her boyfriend occupied together for over a year and then moved out of abruptly about a month ago. My name is on the lease, not theirs, so I am the one responsible for the condition of the property.
post #48 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
How on earth does this fit into seeing a child as a full and complete human being, as AP would suggest? I'm horrified by this.
Just because a child is a full and complete human doesn't mean they have the maturity, wisdom, knowledge they need to lead a safe life. I wouldn't send a child out into the world to live by herself for a reason. Children NEED guidance and a parent to help them grow up into an adult who IS prepared for the real world. I don't believe a parent can do the best possible job of that without ALL the info.

I do it BECAUSE I love my children. I do it because I know what harm can come of a parent who looks away and doesn't KNOW what their child is doing. I will do everything in my power to ensure my children stay safe so they CAN grow up into adults. That is my role as a parent, and one I take very seriously.
post #49 of 293
Yes, and I don't apologize for it.

Dsd has been man obsessed for as long as I have known her, and it icks me out. It's not normal for a 6 year old to have crushes on men in their 40s, and I have already had to remove her from situations that were just plain creepy where she thought some guy was just being nice while I got a totally different vibe.

This week she sent our address to a perfect stranger via email! I preview all of her emails, I stepped away to stir something on the stove....she hits send, and it's done. :

He!! yes I will invade her privacy, and ds's too, and I will hover over them when they're on the computer. Until I can trust their judgment, or they're old enough to fend for themselves, it's my job to protect them.
post #50 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
Just because a child is a full and complete human doesn't mean they have the maturity, wisdom, knowledge they need to lead a safe life. I wouldn't send a child out into the world to live by herself for a reason. Children NEED guidance and a parent to help them grow up into an adult who IS prepared for the real world. I don't believe a parent can do the best possible job of that without ALL the info.

I do it BECAUSE I love my children. I do it because I know what harm can come of a parent who looks away and doesn't KNOW what their child is doing. I will do everything in my power to ensure my children stay safe so they CAN grow up into adults. That is my role as a parent, and one I take very seriously.
Isn't there some kind of middle ground between the only privacy you have is when you bathe, change and piss and looking the other way completely?

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?
post #51 of 293
Exactly. That is so disturbing and unhealthy and hindering development.
post #52 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.
So, he's basically a guest. A guest with no privacy. That's rough.
post #53 of 293
My dd is 8.
We have parental controls on our computer- dd knows it and we review the activity report together. I think monitoring every keystroke is too invasive.
Dd isn't allowed to IM or e-mail anyone but family at this point. She doesn't have her own account so I do see what she has written. She usually wants to show it to me. When she is older we'll probably let her have her own account.

I don't think I would search dd's room, read a diary, open her mail, spy on phone calls or e-mails because she is a certain age.
If I had cause to think she was doing something that could endanger her life then maybe I'd snoop a bit more. I don't know. We aren't there yet.

I wasn't raised in a snooping household.
post #54 of 293
This thread reminds me that I must STRIVE to not become a "Toxic Parent."
post #55 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
So, he's basically a guest. A guest with no privacy. That's rough.
No kidding. I can't imagine being treated like that by my family. How could that engender anything but animosity and further distrust?
post #56 of 293
You know, I can understand parents snooping when they think something is wrong even if I disagree, but this whole belief that children don't deserve privacy or that their room isn't their room, they just use it is so wrong and disrespectful. This is not going to foster an open relationship. It is going to foster hiding, deceit, and more destructive behaviours.
post #57 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
This thread reminds me that I must STRIVE to not become a "Toxic Parent."
I have toxic parents.

I walk a fine line with my dsd every day. She has attachment issues and has a problem with boundaries, and I question every move I make, but I also know she is at risk for molestation because of her attachment issues. Handing out our address and having crushes on men my age scares the cr@p out of me and her father, and her therapist totally backs me up on the protective measures I've taken. So I certainly hope I'm not the one you're referring to as toxic. I know what it's like to have controlling parents who breathe down your neck without cause. :
post #58 of 293
I don't think I'd read my child's diary, that's too personal, and I certainly wouldn't invade their privacy for no apparent reason, I want my children to trust me! And I hope I'll be able to trust them. BUT if I had a strong suspicion that they were involved in detrimental behavior, I would certainly start following up closely with them, ie: call to make sure they are where they say they are, insist on meeting their new friends/talking to parents, etc. It would be a safety or health concern, thoughg, not to catch them "doing something bad". And of course I would try approaching the subject with them first, in as many ways as possible.
post #59 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
I think it comes down to this- I'd be more ok with it if it was your basic listening in on phone conversations (not recording them), and looking through letters (not copying them), and if I KNEW that there were never any cameras in my bedroom (I have no idea) or the bathroom (which there were). I mean, I can think that, but I don't know for sure. I'm sure I would have felt that my privacy was invaded either way, but I *think* I would understand my mom's perspective too.
I think the recording, copying, and cameras are SO creepy and wrong, I'm so sorry you had to live that. And I find it interesting (and perhaps a bit reassuring since it's the way I feel like I'll parent a tween/teen) that you would have probably been more OK if it wasn't SO invasive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
Just because a child is a full and complete human doesn't mean they have the maturity, wisdom, knowledge they need to lead a safe life. I wouldn't send a child out into the world to live by herself for a reason.
ITA with this, and it is why I don't have a problem monitoring IM/email/web pages/etc. where people can be other than what they are presenting themselves as.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
Isn't there some kind of middle ground between the only privacy you have is when you bathe, change and piss and looking the other way completely?
I hope there is, and I hope to find it - I hope that letting our kids know that we're concerned for their safety, that things are not always as they seem in our increasingly technologic, superficial, peer-driven world, and that we will maintain a certain amount of transparency during the tween/teen years is going to be a good middle ground for us. I have no interest in micromanaging my kids' lives, but I also have no intention of losing them or allowing them to put themselves in dangerous situations just to let them have privacy and be autonomous.
post #60 of 293
I'm so torn on this...

The question was phrased that if you felt that your child was in danger, would you invade their privacy. I want to say that I am almost certain that I would if I felt that their behaviours warranted it.

Other than that, I'm not sure. I certainly would never belittle, shame or control my children based on something that I found in their room intentionally or not.

Take care,
El
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