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How much privacy do we give our kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 66

Mine are 7 and 5 right now but I have learned some valuable lessons through my best friend who has a 14 year old son. I will read every text, or they won't have phones. I will have the password for every account they have online, or they won't be able to access the internet in my home. I believe if all parents were like this kids would get in deep trouble far less. And my friends son told me in confidence that he likes knowing mom will check, that it keeps him from making poor decisions. Now I won't go through their rooms or anything unless I felt they were in some kind of trouble. I feel with anything digital its easy for adults to fall into trouble and it's alot of responsibility to hand over to a child without them having time to learn.

post #22 of 66

 

 

 

Have you ever read their diary?  No. 

Listened in on a phone call?  Overheard, yes, when they knew that I was present (so they could move away and speak privately if they wanted). Eavesdropped surreptiously, no. 

Asked their friends questions about them they wouldn't answer?  No

Would you follow them?  No

Have you gone through their personal things, like a purse, back pack, wallet?  Only with their knowledge, to borrow a pen or something like that. 

Have you looked through their room?  They know that if they don't put their dirty clothes or bed linens in the laundry, I will go get them. Likewise, if they leave clean laundry or books or other personal items lying out, I will put them in their rooms. I don't go through their drawers or peep under the bed. 

 

How much privacy do you give your kids and how often do you feel you invade their privacy?  

 

I respect their privacy. I don't have passwords for their e-mail or Facebook. I hated living without privacy when I was growing up (a parent who snooped and listened in on my phone calls, many siblings so it was hard to find separate space at home, and I shared bedroom until I moved out at age 17, desperate for my own space). I don't want my dc to feel like that in their own home. I trust that they have learned to conduct themselves appropriately, including on-line, and that they will seek out my help if they need it to deal with any problems.

 

I also believe that I don't need to know about or share every.single.little.thing about their lives to have a close and loving relationship with them. I don't need to spy on them or deceive them to know that they are doing well. If they are troubled about something, I recognize the signs and extend some extra support and comfort and let them know that I'm available to help them. 

 

post #23 of 66

my dd is 9.

 

when i was reading your OP my reaction was v. visceral. jaw.gifmy insides completely churned and my whole body went NOOOOOO!!!!

 

dd is on FB, has her own email account and surfs the web often. she has been given her boundaries there and also been told she needs overseeing where this is concerned. she knows all her online stuff is not private. even when she opened up her new secret society email she knew i had to have access to it. she has had dangers of internet talk. 

 

when she is online i take a cursory glance at her email. she writes to some common adults i am not so much in touch with. 

 

if i ever felt like snooping for me it would be a total failure as a mother. that i wasnt able to be the mother dd wanted and thus i had to snoop. but who knows. she is not 14 yet. right now i dont have to worry about secrets.

 

plus dd has some of my friends who i consider safe and wise and whom dd loves so she has someone else to talk to when she doesnt want to talk to me. 

 

so i feel there really should be no reason for major secrets. 

post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cateerob View Post

I think there is a big difference between the privacy  of a journal compared to the supposed privacy of being on-line...


 

On my kids' facebook accounts, they have set the privacy settings so that no one can see their page without them accepting the person as a friend. They are also both in a small, private facebook group which only people in the group can see/read. They both have private one-on-one chats with friends on facebook.

 

To feel that as their mother, none of that is private and I have a right/obligation to review all of it to me is the same thing as a parent routinely listen at the door with a teen is talking to a friend, or picking up the other phone to listen to conversations.

 

I think there is a difference between being "friends" with one's child on Facebook, and demanding the passwords to write what the child has deemed private. Very different things.

 

The reason I'm not facebook friends with my kids is that I'm not into facebook, and have no desire to get into it just so I can follow my kids around.

post #25 of 66

I give my kids privacy as much as possible.  I can still remember (and I'm afraid that even now it's still with anger) my mother reading everything I had in my dresser drawers.  I was a prolific writer, and I was upset not only about true things I had written in my journal being dug up, but also poetry and fiction that was not edited or ready for public consumption.  The fiction reading may not have bothered some teens, but to me it was humiliating.  She even read an experimental piece of poetry about bleeding and assumed I was picturing killing her, out of all things.  I took nearly two years to write anything again, outside of school.  The only vindication was that at least the piece I wrote was picked up by a small publishing company.  I think that to this day I still prefer nonverbal expression just because it's less concretely capable of being interpreted.

 

Because my older two are preteens, I do keep the computer in a family space so that they feel less inclined to get into situations they shouldn't be comfortable in, but i don't read anything.  They e-mail but don't Facebook (none of us do), but they do play online games.  My youngest has parental controls on his account because he's 7, so that he can only chat with approved people on our list.  Before DH went back to school to become a nurse, he worked in the computer engineering field, and for a while specifically in security.  He's very explicit with the kids as to how little privacy there is with anything online, and I feel they are adequately informed.

 

I did accidentally come upon a note once.  It fell out on the floor from a backpack, and I read it to see who it belonged to.  I saw that my daughter had been passing along a poll about who didn't like a girl in her class.  I couldn't help remembering being that girl, once, and brought it up.  She felt so betrayed and was angry with me for days, and I felt awful.  I didn't know if it was worse that I had read it or that I had discussed it.  We decided together after that if I find a random paper from now on, I'll just ask who it belongs to and walk away.  I'd rather find out things when my kids are ready to discuss it than happen upon it again.

post #26 of 66

 

"She felt so betrayed and was angry with me for days, and I felt awful."

 

Having been in a similar position once (not with that particular genre of note, but something else meanspirited), what you daughter probably actually felt was shame that you had found out about her cruelty. That's an appropriate emotion for her to feel in that circumstance.

 

I'm not saying you should make a habit of digging through her stuff, but bullying is something that you need to address whenever it comes to your attention, not when the bully is "ready to discuss it." You had a parent-job to do and you did it. 

post #27 of 66

I believe privacy is very important, because what "I respect your privacy" really says, is "I respect YOU".

 

That being said, we don't have TV here, the internet is not on my kids radar (period...and it won't be for as long as possible, it is just WAY against our value system to allow access to the world in that way), we belong to a small homeschool co-op, and will not at any point in time be buying a cell phone for any child while they are living under our roof....so, our world is very small and we've gone out of our way to live in the middle of nowhere and create a very laid back and safe place for our kids to grow.

 

The only areas of modern life that make me feel an itch to turn "snoopy" involve things that we just don't like anyway (cell phone, FB, surfing the web, etc). Things like journals and friendships and all of that, REAL places which actually exist in the mind and heart and real world for my kids....those are sacred. I would never read a journal without an extremely serious reason.

 

So yeah, I'm against snooping. Unless I find out you've been lying to me, sneaking away, or doing something that could get you hurt. Then, it's *on*....and you will have no room to breathe until I am reasonably assured that you are reformed and won't keep dangerous things from me again.

 

I think it's much harder though, for parents with kids in large schools, whose kids have a TON of different friends, or for parents who have children with cell phones and FB pages and all of that. IMO, a journal is SOOOO much different than a FB page. I would never snoop a journal.....but I would have an EXTREMELY hard time not snooping a FB page.

post #28 of 66


This is the reason i have my kids passwords and monitor thier accounts..my 14 daughter will accept friend requests from anyone..i have expalined the risks of this numerous times but have still found her talking to 18 year old  boys who she does not know and who are asking her out  ...i dont think it is the same as listening at the door i know all my daughters friends who come to the house, even if i dont i can see that person in frount of me and know they are who they say they are...

 

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post



 


 

On my kids' facebook accounts, they have set the privacy settings so that no one can see their page without them accepting the person as a friend. They are also both in a small, private facebook group which only people in the group can see/read. They both have private one-on-one chats with friends on facebook.

 

To feel that as their mother, none of that is private and I have a right/obligation to review all of it to me is the same thing as a parent routinely listen at the door with a teen is talking to a friend, or picking up the other phone to listen to conversations.

 

 

 

post #29 of 66
My parents listened to phone calls, read my diary, went through my purse, went through my dresser and all through my room, and pretty much snooped all the time. Nothing was private in my house. And I still tell them pretty much nothing about my life. I lied all through my early 20s about everything I did, just so that I could have a life that they didnt know about. As a teenager, I kept my journal in my best friends glove box, my pot underneath the rock in front of the mailbox, and my condoms outside in a ziplock bag taped to the underside of the front porch.

If you dont give kids privacy, they will lie and do whatever it takes to have it. JMO, I dont have an older kid, so its just my experience.
post #30 of 66

 

"As a teenager, I kept my journal in my best friends glove box, my pot underneath the rock in front of the mailbox, and my condoms outside in a ziplock bag taped to the underside of the front porch."

 

While I don't want my kids to have to live that way, I am impressed by your ingenuity. winky.gif

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

My parents listened to phone calls, read my diary, went through my purse, went through my dresser and all through my room, and pretty much snooped all the time. Nothing was private in my house. And I still tell them pretty much nothing about my life. I lied all through my early 20s about everything I did, just so that I could have a life that they didnt know about. As a teenager, I kept my journal in my best friends glove box, my pot underneath the rock in front of the mailbox, and my condoms outside in a ziplock bag taped to the underside of the front porch.

If you dont give kids privacy, they will lie and do whatever it takes to have it. JMO, I dont have an older kid, so its just my experience.


I wonder how many teens are setting up second email and Facebook accounts to mislead their parents, who mistakenly think they have full access to their children's on-line lives.........

 

post #32 of 66
SIL had two facebook accounts for quite a while to keep MIL out of her business. On her "real" fb, which only people who were not friends with her mom she had pictures of herself partying and going to clubs and on her fb that her mom saw she had school updates. (freshman in college). Eventually she got rid of the party facebook, and just uploaded a bunch of pics onto the other account. And she was 20 before she was friends with her mom on her real facebook. Aside from SIL, I also have three teenage sisters who ALL lie to our parents (two different sets of parents might I add) to keep things private that my parents are always trying to find out about. Given, some of it they really NEEDED to know about (like my sister dating a guy 30 years older than her when she was 15 and her having a secret pay by the minute cell phone to keep him a secret). Most of it though, is just personal stuff. It sucks to have all of your interactions monitored. I dont want my parents reading my email, even now that I have nothing to hide.
post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Most of it though, is just personal stuff. It sucks to have all of your interactions monitored. I dont want my parents reading my email, even now that I have nothing to hide.


I also think people fail to adjust for different degrees of sensitivity to that feeling of being monitored. Some people don't mind being an open book (although I can't imagine being that way myself). Some children are naturally more private than others. They will sense an intrusion even if none is intended (although, IMO, reading e-mails is pretty intrusive). There's a potential to create an unhappy cycle - the parent wants to ensure the child's safety and thinks they are just being vigilant, but the child senses an intrusion and retreats, thus the parent steps up the surveillance because the child is acting secretive.........  

 

post #34 of 66

if, IF, i ever did any of those things mentioned in the OP, i would hope i warn my boys way beforehand. like, "If i feel like you are in any kind of serious danger (drugs/gangs/etc) i will try to protect you by coming to you first. BUT, if you are repeatedly dishonest and sneaky with me, i might feel compelled to search your things. you have been warned."   :) 

 

my mom did crazy things when i was in high school. she read EVERYTHING i wrote - dairies, stories, poems, note-to-self things.... like a pp, i rarely write because im paranoid that someone will find it before it is ready to be read. and i hate it because i am such a good writer!

 

my mom would send me to school then rummage through my room. i use to come home with drawers opened, notes and mementos from crushes/friends/whatever destroyed, articles of clothing missing, etc. once my bed was turned over. 

 

i once had old looking converse and she forced me to wear newer converse. being 16, i snuck my old converse to school, kept the new ones in the locker and tried to wear my old ones until school would be over. naturally, she looked for the old ones in my room, drove to my school, took me out of class, made me THROW THEM AWAY in the school trash, put on my new ones, took me home, and i was grounded. 

 

im seriously slightly traumatized by this, which is why im writing such a long reply. it just sucked cuz i didnt DO anything bad. the only major thing that was going on was that i was figuring out my sexuality (im married to my dh with 2 boys and 1 on the way NOW, but back then ... you know, i was just figuring things out.) THATS IT. no drugs. no drinking. definitely no sex lol. but it has taught me to be extra careful about giving my children privacy that children and teens need. 

 

the internet, well i havent thought of that part yet. we will see how it goes ...

post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




I wonder how many teens are setting up second email and Facebook accounts to mislead their parents, who mistakenly think they have full access to their children's on-line lives.........

 


My DD friend has a real life facebook account and alter ego in Australia who is 18. 

 

We like to think we have internet access, but for many of us our children's knowledge (particularly as they age ) outstrips ours.  Teens also go on the internet everywhere - school, libraries - I don't think you can know it all.

 

post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

It sucks to have all of your interactions monitored. I dont want my parents reading my email, even now that I have nothing to hide.


I agree with this. I'm very open with my DH about everything I do, but he felt the need to monitor what I write on Mothering, go through my voice mail, needed my passwords for my email, I'd divorce him. I just couldn't live like that.

 

There's no way I'll treat my teens in a manner that I couldn't tolerate myself.

 

I personally feel that nurturing a relationship based on trust and respect with my teens keeps them far safer than I could by attempting to monitor all their interactions. BUT it is based on trust, and my teens have earned that trust. When my younger DD first wanted a facebook account, we set it up so I got an email with all the activity on the account -- I saw every friend request. It gave us a chance to talk about things. We took off after about a year because there were no issues and it clogged up my email account!

 

I think that even if one isn't to a place of total trust with their kid and a specific form of technology, they can choose to work toward that point.

post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




I agree with this. I'm very open with my DH about everything I do, but he felt the need to monitor what I write on Mothering, go through my voice mail, needed my passwords for my email, I'd divorce him.


I feel like we have had this conversation before, but I see this as totally different than parents and privacy.
Obviously, if someone doesnt want their spouse to do this and they do anyway, then its wrong. Before DH and I married, we agreed not to have private accounts online. We both know all of the passwords to all of the accounts. We have always checked each others voicemail, for business reasons, but we log into each other's email accounts for various reasons, including little things like him forgetting to tell me plans with his mom and then her calling and saying "well, I sent DH and email." I can check his email, no problem. We both have nothing to hide.

We agreed to this after a good friend of ours being cheated on by another good friend of ours over a relationship that started with an old flame on facebook. We both decided in that moment to not try to preserve any online privacy within our relationship. I know not everyone does this, but if I really want something to be private, I call someone. Im old school like that. But, it all depends on what you and your spouse agree on. DH is free to look at all of my stuff on mothering, along with the rest of the world, but his common sense will tell him that if its posted in the "parents as partners" forum it really isnt his business.

To me, its so different because I CHOSE a relationship with DH, and as a child I didnt CHOOSE a relationship with my parents. They were forced upon me, and I had no say in the matter.
post #38 of 66
Thread Starter 
Alright, how bout this. My mom flew in to help us while DD2 was being born. She stayed home with DD1. She was only alone for 6 hours before DH came back to get them since we had left so early. However later she asked me all sorts of personal questions. She had the audacity to go through my room and closets. She opened drawers and boxes. I keep a box of mementos from before DH. He doesn't care about it. He's seen it and thinks it's kind of sweet to have those memories. My mother grilled me about it all. She also decided I didn't need all that jewelry those boys gave me and took it. I never told DH since he already thinks my mom is off. I didn't have the time to tell her how pissed I was. Though I got her back. I went to visit with the girls when they were 4 and 2 and while she was at work I went through her things and took all my jewelry back. As well as leaving her drawers open and closet doors open. When she got home she was mad. All I said was "feels crappy doesn't it?"

I didn't actually look at any of her stuff I just made it appear as though I did. I had to show her how horrible it is to invade other peoples privacy. She's the type that would look through someones medicine cabinet.
post #39 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

I give my kids privacy as much as possible.  I can still remember (and I'm afraid that even now it's still with anger) my mother reading everything I had in my dresser drawers.  I was a prolific writer, and I was upset not only about true things I had written in my journal being dug up, but also poetry and fiction that was not edited or ready for public consumption.  The fiction reading may not have bothered some teens, but to me it was humiliating.  She even read an experimental piece of poetry about bleeding and assumed I was picturing killing her, out of all things.  I took nearly two years to write anything again, outside of school.  The only vindication was that at least the piece I wrote was picked up by a small publishing company.  I think that to this day I still prefer nonverbal expression just because it's less concretely capable of being interpreted.

 

Because my older two are preteens, I do keep the computer in a family space so that they feel less inclined to get into situations they shouldn't be comfortable in, but i don't read anything.  They e-mail but don't Facebook (none of us do), but they do play online games.  My youngest has parental controls on his account because he's 7, so that he can only chat with approved people on our list.  Before DH went back to school to become a nurse, he worked in the computer engineering field, and for a while specifically in security.  He's very explicit with the kids as to how little privacy there is with anything online, and I feel they are adequately informed.

 

I did accidentally come upon a note once.  It fell out on the floor from a backpack, and I read it to see who it belonged to.  I saw that my daughter had been passing along a poll about who didn't like a girl in her class.  I couldn't help remembering being that girl, once, and brought it up.  She felt so betrayed and was angry with me for days, and I felt awful.  I didn't know if it was worse that I had read it or that I had discussed it.  We decided together after that if I find a random paper from now on, I'll just ask who it belongs to and walk away.  I'd rather find out things when my kids are ready to discuss it than happen upon it again.


The note would bother me. If I find something like that left out and I do more than glance to see who it belongs to and find that my kid was being that cruel... I wouldn't apologize I'd be sick. Absolutely sick and very sad. Finding out my kid could be that cruel by not actively snooping sets up a responsibility on my part to talk to them about something like that. We don't like our kids to be treated like crap. Why would we turn out heads when they're doing it and someone start another thread!
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post



The note would bother me. If I find something like that left out and I do more than glance to see who it belongs to and find that my kid was being that cruel... I wouldn't apologize I'd be sick. Absolutely sick and very sad. Finding out my kid could be that cruel by not actively snooping sets up a responsibility on my part to talk to them about something like that. We don't like our kids to be treated like crap. Why would we turn out heads when they're doing it and someone start another thread!
 
 
Actually, I was sad, sick, angry and sorry at once.  It was awkward because it was a retaliation situation with the other girl having socially bullied that week by forbidding a mutual friend to talk to DD.  I had hoped my daughter wouldn't stoop to the same behavior, but there ended up being two bullies.  I'm not saying I should have ignored the bullying behavior when I saw it, It's just that I wished she had had a chance to come out with it (she usually does when she behaves as she shouldn't).  I did the right thing, I just would have felt better if It had happened differently.


 

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