How much privacy do teens have a right to?

How much privacy do you give your teen and when do you make sure to keep a more watchful on them?

25  Answers

7 46

I have a 13 going on 14 year old daughter. I have her password to everything she has accounts for from emails to facebook. She complains alittle because all her friend's parents don't have their passwords. I have explained that it's not so much about what she is doing but what other kids are saying regarding bullying or god for bid she goes missing one day. I want access to her info and friends list. I do go through her phone from time to time but don't find it necessary.

Teenagers are still kids! They are learning to figure things out and I told her that she has a right to make mistakes but to make sure they are the small ones. I have explained that the news is constantly showing kids missing and their parents had no clue who they were or what they had posted on facebook or emails. I don't want that with her. I check in with her regularly to make sure things are ok.

She knows she can come to me about anything. She has come to me for advise on friends and mistakes they are making and how she should handle it and I am thankful she knows to come to me but I won't interfer unless she asks so.

8
23 30

watch out for hover spot. that is one my daughter had and it's not a good site. She was about 14 15 when I found it.

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1 22

My daughter is only 13 so she has very little privacy. I just don't "snoop" behind her back. I tell her that I am looking at her texts, I have her password for her email and her facebook. Like I have told her many times....when I feel she is being responsible and trustworthy, she will earn some privacy. I believe it is a priveledge and that trust is earned, not just expected. Unfortuantely she has given me some reasons not to trust her, mostly from lying.....little white lies mostly....but when it becomes too easy to lie with no consequences.....the lies and distrust just gets worse.

5
6 2

you are kidding me folks !!!!! I have seven kids and number three are four are 17 and 16 respectively and I wouldn't dream of going through their private thoughts like that . you too were young once and I know I hated my mother for spying into my personal life . give your children some breathing space and let them live . they need secrets and a life to grow up in without you knowing every twist and turn - learn some trust and respect for your off spring!!!

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8 15

I have 8 kids and don't want to know everything going on in their lives. Maybe I'm naive but until I have to be suspicious, I'm gonna stay out of their lives. For everyones info, I did have a daughter run away and had her back before noon of the day she left, not because I had her passwords, but because a worried mom is better than any police detective. Give your kids space...they need it and need some secrets too.

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24 22

I have 2 teens now :( 17 yo dd and 14 yo ds...I have emails and facebook passwords for both and every other week or so, go through their text messages...there is nothing wrong with this as we all talk openly and nothing is done behind their backs! If there was some sneaking around, it would be more often, but there has never been an issue! As far as going into their rooms, I do a general check once a week to make sure there is no huge amount of laundry/garbage etc, but I do not feel the need to really check into their lives at this point. I am not against it, we just don't have a need for that. We do have open conversations on a regular basis and that helps us to build the trust that has been gained! Hope this answers your question. Jenn

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2 31

A teen should be given as much privacy as the parent decides to give. Whether it be none, some or all. I personally check everything from rooms to online activity. It is not up to the teen, but the parent! Mine earn their privacy also. When they are 30, they will thank me!!

1
5 3

I gave my girls privacy and did not snoop in their room s or computer accounts as long as I felt they where trustworthy and following the rules expected of them. If I I suspected otherwise, all privacy privlileges were off the table. I respected their privacy as much as they respected our expectations of them. With teens and all the things they are timpted with it can be a matter of life or death. Would they get angry? Yes. But part of parenting if need be.

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215 8

Got new for ya. It doesn't matter if you have all the passwords and you watch everything they do at home. Secret accounts for any site can be made anywhere else they are. I can say I have my kid's passwords. I'd be a fool to say I have them all. If a teen wants to do something without mom and dad finding out, guess what? THEY WILL. My oldest just turned 18. Her sister is 2 years behind her. Whatever you think about your teens lives is WRONG. You think they're safely at their evening job? Think again. I've lost track of how many times we've been lied to. Think your kids are doing well in school? Don't just trust them. Talk to the teachers. You think you know their friends? Ya right. Those friends will protect your teens private lives and be every bit as willing to lie to you as your own teens. You may not be able to stop your teens from doing fantastically stupid stuff but you can make it difficult. Make sure you personally know the computer lab teacher at school and tell that teacher your concerns. Search rooms regularly. Secretly follow your teens at random times so you can see what trees and bushes they frequent to hide stuff in before they get home. Know the parents of their supposed friends and be in contact with them. Know what music they're listening to. This is a warning to you parents! We thought our then 14 year old was doing well. She seemed happy, well adjusted.... She came home sick one day from school. Stomach upset. She sat at my kitchen table, joking and laughing with us between bouts of puking. Then she got scared from all the puking and told us the truth. She had taken a huge handful of asprin to school with her in an attempt to kill herself! She spend the next several days in intensive care! She wasn't being bullied at school. She just hated herself that much and would not have us know what was actually going on in that head of hers!
It's been a battle and a half. Counselors didn't help. She told them what they wanted to hear and continued to be extremely secretive. We didn't start being so invasive in her life till that night. She's 18 now and graduating in may. College in August. Secretive? How about sneaking out after bedtime and not coming home till 3 AM? That was just last monday night! We wouldn't have known except the neighbor reported seeing headlights in the alley behind out house in the middle of the night. The 16 year old turned her in to us. As we told her, she may be 18 but she hasn't graduated yet, still has to live here, and still has to abide by the rules of this house INCLUDING not going out on school nights and TELLING us where she's going, who's she going with, and WHEN she's going to be back.
TRY to keep communication open with your kids. But keep it in the back of your minds that if they want to do something, THEY WILL.

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1,355 3

This must be terribly difficult on you. If I may ask, how many counselors did you try? Sometimes it can take awhile to find the right one. I have suffered with severe depression, panic disorder, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder almost my whole life. (started with the panic disorder when I was in grade school and went down hill from there) But when I was your daughter's age, I didn't like the doctors or the therapists we tried, either. For one thing, what does an old man with ear hair know about a 17 year old girl? So, I told them what they wanted to here also. If she hates herself, is still being that secretive, having no fear of consequences, etc. she is still at risk for self harming or suicidal behavior and/or she has little to no fear of dying. Some things to look out for are, cutting/burning one's self, drug or alcohol use/bingeing, (I'm sorry to be so crude!) engaging in unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners (trying to find a feeling of love and acceptance), sleeping all day, change in her eating habits. I am strongly urging you to be vigiliant, stay involved even if it pisses her off, talk to her friends, talk to her teachers, don't give up on finding the right therapist and/or doctor. If she won't go, you go. Learn how to cope with this and how to best encourage her to get help. The 2nd attempt is easier than the first, believe me and it keeps getting easier until you get it right or until you get help. I'm sorry, I could go on forever and for all I know you've heard and done all this before. It's just when I hear a story like this, my heart aches and my body jumps into "rescue" mode (for lack of a better phrase) because I just never want another person to suffer as I have/do and if even one thing I say makes the tiniest difference, it doesn't seem like it's all for nothing. I wish you all well and hope your daughter opens up soon. Try to be patient and be prepared when she does start to talk, it could get ugly, either way, it will definitely hurt you, as her parents, to learn whatever it is that has been making her feel this way and "if you had only known," you could've done something about it. If/When that happens, do your best to let it go as quickly as possible. It won't do any good to go over the "what if's" and the "if only's", it is what it is and it can't be changed. So, now you focus on what you can change/what you can do to help your daughter. That was one of the hardest things for my mom to do when I finally let her in and I still struggle with letting things go myself. Ok, I'm really done this time. Take care and God Bless.

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2 9

My daughter is 15 and I have her passwords to everything. I periodically check her emails to make sure there isn't anything from anyone that there shouldn't be. I also installed software on her laptop that emails me updates letting me know what websites she's been to and any keystrokes she's made. It picks up key words and send that to me as well. Best thing I've ever invested in and was recommended to me by a local detective at our police department. At one point, my random "spot checks" on her text messages revealed texts from a boy that I didn't know. When I questioned her about it, she advised that it was a boy that she had met online and lived several states away so she wasn't "worried". In reading those texts, he was talking about meeting up with her. This caused much alarm and I then brought it to the police. They launched an investigation, and after a month or so, advised me that they did confirm that it was a boy that lived several states away and was the age/name that he had stated he was. HOWEVER, if the same circumstances were to arise again, I would do the same thing. There are too many children abducted "through" the internet, and until my "child/teen" is capable of making fully informed and intelligent decisions for herself (and until she's not a so niave teenager), then I have a right to protect her. And unfortunately, in order to protect her nowadays, I have to invade her privacy to a certain extent.

1
5 6

I would be interested in the software you mentioned. Can you let me know the name of it?

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5 22

I think that it depends on the age of your child (sometimes the difference between 13yrs old and 16y is a huge difference in what they need and you, as the parent, feel they need.) Also no one answer is right for all children of the same age. Some children grow up faster, while others tend to love being a child longer. How comfortable do you feel that your child is open and honest? Do you feel that they are a little sneaky? Don't let anyone talk you into snooping when you don't feel it's necessary but also don't let anyone talk you out of checking up on your child if you feel you have a good reason. We have our gut instincts for a reason, listen to it!! Our kids are in a learning stage and they do need us to look out for them, that's our job but the other part to that job is to give them wings and let them fly. As a parent we just have to balance what our kids need as best as possible. Refuse to feel guilty if you have to check up on your child as long as your not doing it to be nosey or just to do it. With my 16 yr old, I let him know that he has to turn over all passwords (we keep them in his safe that I have the combo to) and I have the info should I need it and that if there is a reason I will use them. As long as he is honest in his answers and open I have no need to use them unless my gut instinct flares or there is some reason. I find that he is alot more open with me with what's going on in his life than what I ask and he has even tattled on himself when he has gotten into some trouble, instead of going it alone. Find what works for you. Don't be concerned with being a friend to your child instead be their rock and let them know they can trust you to make the right decision whether you or they like whatever the decision is. Good luck! Parenting is hard but you'll be great!

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31 1

I agree with you totally. Our family trusts each other and respects each other's privacy. But there are circumstances when you might need to find out something. We also have our children's passwords, but we trust each other not to use them unless necessary. I was raised to respect other's privacy, my husband was raised by someone who snooped thru everything. He got into a lot of trouble as a teen, but he also learned to be very sneaky. So we think that it is better to have a good relationship instead of a confrontational one. We think of our family as a team which is so much nicer than "us against them".

15 0

there is no privacy. if they have to hide it from you, there is something going on. privacy is an illusion

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1,238 0

The ideal is to not need to snoop. It's best to recognize that it's normal for teens to need space and privacy, and that if you really want to know what's going on in their lives you should treat them in a respectful way so they will want to talk you. You should treat their friends in a respectful, non-judgemental way and get to know their friends. My feeling is that any relationship is in a bad place when either party feels the need to spy or snoop on the other. Moreover, parents should understand that it is normal for teens to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. You should not be aiming to buffer your teen from ups and downs of life. The older a child is the more detrimental the effects of helicopter parenting.

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4 0

Being a teen myself you people are fucking nuts having your kids passwords damn ur kids must hate you and just because they dont say bad shit about you over the internet or texting it dont mean they arent doing it so i guess almost all over you do not trust ur kids ay.

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alot

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5 0

I let my grandaughter have private time in her room alone if she needs it. However we
make sure she interacts with us the same amount. Her private time usually consists of homework or talking to boyfriend, she does not have a facebook account, she is good kid.Outside of the home I have to know were she is and with who, as privacy cannot be
before safety.

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18 0

In direct answer to your question: no right to privacy whatsoever.

It is my duty as parent to defend my children, and because they are children, they don't know the situations they may get themselves into as well as I do. I will 'allow' them privacy that I think is appropriate for them, that depends on each ones age, maturity and how much I trust them. and because they don't have a 'right' to privacy, I can revoke it at will. For the good of our relationship, I'll be good and fair.

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0 0

I have 5 kids...kindergarten to high school. Our job as parents is to protect our kids...this is more important than any right to privacy.

Parents spend an incredible amount of resources parenting in the “real” world. Thousands and thousands of dollars protecting their kids and thousands and thousands of hours making sure that they are safe and making good choices and basically growing up to the wonderful young adults we all hope our children become. So why is it that some parents are so against protecting and monitoring what their kids do online?

Let’s face it. Parenting has NOT kept up with technology. Hmmm….now that I think of it, parents have never really known as much as they thought they did about what their kids were doing. Remember the 80’s? BUT we have to realize that a whole other world now exists, the online world, where the kids are that much more removed from us…and what we think we know.

Most parents wouldn’t dream of letting their kids go hang out at a party with much older kids. Why? Because they wouldn’t want their kids getting exposed to things they just are not ready for yet. Once your kid’s innocence is lost…you just cannot get it back. But then how come some of these same parents don’t think twice about letting their 12 year old girl set up a Facebook account or video chat in her bedroom with the door shut? Or don’t seem too concerned about letting their kids roam free all over the Internet unsupervised?

Wake up! Hope is not a strategy! Parents need to protect their kids with the same kind of passion and enthusiasm that they do in the real world. The reality is the online world IS the real world for kids now. The line is completely blurred.

Check out www.parentingtodayskids.com for great information about parenting at the intersection of kids and technology!

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1,238 0

I would suggest that your job is not to protect your kids. It is to teach your kids to care for and protect themselves. In the real world and on the internet. Invest when they are young so they are ready to be self asserted teens (teens you don't feel the need to stalk and spy on). The Internet is just a tool. Kids can use it positively or negatively, but like any tool it allows the user to be more efficient at what they do - good or bad. There have always been teens who wanted to hang out with older kids or who were sexually curious at an early age. There have always been teens who wanted a social place to be free from their parents. The internet is a new venue for a lot of stuff that's been going on for generations. And unfortunately, it's a more far reaching venue.... so mistakes can go farther and haunt you for a lot longer. Invest in building a strong relationship with you kids. Be a positive resource for your child, not an Internet sensor. There is lots of good information available for parents of teens pertaining to social media, but recognize that have your child's passwords and monitoring their social media use is not the key to raising a your teen into a confident, socially strong, emotionally sound, successful adult. Most parents wouldn’t dream of letting their kids go hang out at a party with much older kids. Why? Because they wouldn’t want their kids getting exposed to things they just are not ready for yet. Once your kid’s innocence is lost…you just cannot get it back. But then how come some of these same parents don’t think twice about letting their 12 year old girl set up a Facebook account or video chat in her bedroom with the door shut? Or don’t seem too concerned about letting their kids roam free all over the Internet unsupervised? Wake up! Hope is not a strategy! Parents need to protect their kids with the same kind of passion and enthusiasm that they do in the real world. The reality is the online world IS the real world for kids now. The line is completely blurred. Check out www.parentingtodayskids.com for great information about parenting at the intersection of kids and technology!

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2 0

i have a 14 yr old sister. and she doesnt really act like a 14yr old. and it buggs me.because she comes home late at night like 4am.. by the time shes back home. my parents are sleeping and im getting home from work. what should i do to stop this behavior or what should i have my parents do?

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5 9

i have a 14 year old son and is starting to detach himself from me. having been a single mother for 13 yrs and a wife for a year, we were (and still is) very close. however, i noticed that he doesn't share much of his thoughts and observations this past few months. luckily, i work in the school where he is going now (i really planned it to be) and somehow i know things through his teachers (which are also my friends). i know that it would seem like i am going behind his back, but i don't always confront him if what i have heard from other people is not that serious. things like having been bullied im sure to meddle, but if it would be about crushes or petty fights between him and his peers, i let him handle it and self-soothe (so to speak)...last night while having dinner i have noticed he couldn't eat well.he's been at that state since coming home from school though i only though he was just tired. i was surprised to see him leave the dining table and go to the living and cried like a baby. i probed on him to tell me what bothers him but he only said "i don't wanna talk about it"...as a mother,my heart is breaking for him and i long to help him but i was also thinking that maybe it was a good indication that he could handle things on his own and i should step back more often now.it was his first time to tell me those words but i know that saying those words would mean that he could now be in charge and that he is matured too.

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4 11

That is a hard question to answer as everyone faces a different situation with each child. My own parents always wanted to know who, what, when, where and why. I never had a problem with that, although my older sister did. Of course, that was because she was sneaking out at night, etc. With my own children, I always ask those same questions. When they were younger I had parental controls on their tv and internet access. I never let them go to a friends house if I knew the parents weren't home or if I had not met the parents. Their "privacy" extended to the bathroom and their bedroom only. We didn't check our son's phone since he was 18 when he got it but we kept a tight watch on our daughters. Her phone also had a lock on it so that she could only call or receive calls from certain people. Nor could she text. She got her phone at a much earlier age but that was because our son was no longer at home and my hubby and I wanted to make sure she always had a way to reach us (and we could reach her), no matter what. If we discovered something that seemed suspicious, we immediately asked about it. We didn't go snooping. As she got older we allowed her more freedom with her phone, internet, etc. Until a few months ago, I didn't even let my 17 year old daughter go to the mall and "hang out" Were we overly strict with our children in using these guidelines? Possibly, by some standards. But I see no reason why I should not know who, what, when, where and why. This has worked for us. It may not work for someone else. I just feel that with all the bullying (internet, texting, school, etc), all the reports of pedophiles using the internet to hook up with kids, parents have to be vigilant.

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1 0

I have a 15 year old and 13 year old. The 14 year old has no facebook. I have passwords to their email and the 15 year olds FB. I do read their texts and have bloecked people who I thought were inappropriate. I'd rather they hate me than wind up with the wrong people or run away with some old pedophile. They have some friends whose parents have passwords and some who dont. It was well understood before they got phones, emails or FB that this would be the conditions under which they could have those priviledges. Thats what they are priveldges, not rights. I say keep their passwords and check up on them. Look thru their room. Tell them that they need to learn to trust you, their parent, to know whats best for them until they are of legal age to take care of themselves. Parents, we've been there, we were teens once. We know what its like, we know what they will go thru. Our life experience should count in their lives.

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1 0

*!3 year old has no facebook...

2 20

I don't have teenagers yet. My oldest is 12 years old and so far, she has not shown any interest in "keeping secrets". I thank God for that. My three know that if I see any suspicious actions, they will have privileges taken away. Very important, follow through with your intentions. If you say there will be consequences then, by all means, follow through. It's NEVER too early to start righteous discipline, but there is a time that it can be very difficult to instill new ideas in older children. Don't let the reigns loosen, too soon. It will be hard to take them back in...

I am not going to say that I will NEVER have the situation arise, we live in a fallen world and unfortunately, temptation is in their face constantly. All I can do is pray that the fear of the Lord has been impressed in them so much that they think long and hard before taking steps they will regret in the future.

I am a homeschooling mom, and though they are not in a traditional school, they still live in this world and they have been taught not to conform to this world; (Romans 12: 2). In the end, the choice is theirs to decide and know what is right and wrong. As long as they live in my home, they will abide by my rules or there will be consequences...

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14 20

I have a 14yr old son, and I have just recently given him permission for Facebook. He also just got his email back after secretly making a Facebook page. His rules for having them both was that the passwords never get changed and he is only allowed on them on hid dads computer or mine. I still think he is to young for a cell phone and if I get him one, it will not have text messaging on it.

I know it sounds harsh, but I was raised that my mum needed to know where I was and what I was doing all the time, and I raise my kids the same way. I had one scare with him when he was 8yrs old and not coming home from school right away. We had the cops searching for him for 3 hrs. He finally came home in different clothes and found out he was at a friends house. After that I pretty much took his privacy away. When he is 18 and out on his own he will thank me for how hard I was on him. He wants to be a Lawyer in Jag, so I do get tough!

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7 17

It definitely depends on the teenager in question. First, parents have the right to ensure the safety of their children, even if that child feels as if he is all grown up now. Keeping passwords in a safe place, but not abusing the privilege of having them is a must. If you want your children to come to you and trust you then you have to also make sure that you keep your word as well. If you plan on using those passwords then tell them. If you are just keeping them safe in case something happens - explain that as well. A child that is making good grades, communicates well with you, and has been following the rules of the house have earned more privacy. A teenager that has been slipping in grades, hides in their room most of the time, and displays a lack of interest in family or friends may need a little more invasion of privacy just to make sure that you understand that there are no serious problems. A teenager that has bad grades, skips school, has had trouble with authority, and refuses to cooperate has lost all rights to privacy and must work to earn his rights back. The bottom line is that as a parent our job is to help, teach, and keep our children safe. Some children take a little more effort than others, but regardless on the behavior of the teenager, communication is a must. Even if they seem unwilling to communicate they need to know that those channels are always open.

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20 39

I monitor what my son does on the computer by putting blocks on some websites, but allowing others. He does have a Facebook page, but I monitor it too! So does the rest of the family. So far I have not seen anything inappropriate so over time I have learned to trust him, but that doesn't mean I let my guard down completely. He is only 12 and going on 13 so he still very young and learning about life and the evils that lye around us! I try not to over react because I don't want my son to be scared to live, but rather live the way Jesus would teach us and that the internet doesn't have to be an evil place is we just stay safe and do what our parents ask of us. I think it's important as parents to be monitors, but that we don't hover over our children all the time because then they never learn to grow!

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23 30

Well I have had my share of that situation. 3 of them went pretty good so being me I let the slake go alittle with my then 17 yr old. If I would not have changed try to be a cool mom or just for her to like me alittle more I would of know the horrile person she got involved with.His mother was a State worker and told her she could run away at 16 and there was nothing I could do.She told me a school counsilor told her that so I went after the wrong ppl.Well there was nothing I could do. There was a all state alert for her just so we would know she was ok.3 wks I didn't know where she was,didn't know if she was safe..It got out of hand she was on probation and that dumb ass told her she needed to go in for a pee test so she flipped on me and for 3 days she cleaned her system out.She passed and threw it in my face. I begged for help and no one would listen to me,
I know where my daughter is now she is resting in ST,Mary;s Cemetary,She died 28 days before her 18th birthday....
You ppl protect you children and you do a check on the ppl they are seeing.

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13 43

I'm so sorry for your loss.

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