Should you snoop on your teen?
All moms want the best for their children, and teens are venturing out into the world with mom less often at their side than ever. Sometimes curiosity can get the best of us, but is it wrong to snoop on your teen? Do you go through your child's possessions or spy on them in some other manner?
Since the day my 17 year old daughter was born, she has not given me an ounce of privacy. Bursting into the bathroom with some "imagined" emergency or interrupting my outings with friends to rush out and get something for a project due the next day. (That she has known about for a week). I believe I have a right to be involved in her business as well. I was more likely to snoop on her when she was younger but if I feel the need, I will do it now too and she KNOWS it. I have access to all her online sites and I still monitor what she does online. I know her friends and I also gave her a cell phone that takes pictures for a reason. If she is out and I think for a second she isn't where she should be, I ask her to send a picture of herself to me and I typically specify some object to be next to or a specific pose so she couldn't have taken the picture previously. (She never knows what I am going to ask for)
One time when she was about 11 and wanted to go to the dunkin donuts just behind our house with a friend, I told her it was ok but she had to take the route I specified and not the bike path because I didn't feel it was safe. I had a feeling she was going to take the bike path anyway, so I went around the block and was waiting behind the store and watched her disobey me. I then confronted her AT the store and told her to go home and write me a paper on why I should trust her. ( One of her classes was having them write persuasive papers and I thought this would be an ideal punishment and she actually surprised me with her answers)
I do believe that at the age of 18, it is a parent's responsibility to have prepared their child enough that they can take a hands off approach. I mean, when my daughter hits 18, I will let her make her own choices and she will pay her own consequences. I am doing that for the most part right now unless she makes a dangerous choice and then I step in and we discuss it. It's less than 6 months until she is 18 and I feel that she is pretty prepared for the most part.
I believe there is a big difference in "snooping" and protecting. I have always told my daughter that she needs to be open & honest with me. Obviously I know that she will not always do that. That is why I have made sure that she knows that her privacy is limited. I have allowed her to have a cell phone as long as she can be responsible with it. I go through all her messages and she is not allowed to delete any. I go through her laptop computer regularly. I look at the websites she visits, check her histories and look at the chats.
My daughter has been honest with me most of the time, but she is 12 now & thinks that she is smarter than me. :) Fortunately, I do look at her computer & cell phone. I found a Skype account that she did not have permission to have. In doing the searching, I found that she had been chatting with grown men about things neither of them should have been discussing. She also had an email address that she set up without my knowlege and a Facebook account under an "assumed" name. Had I not been looking, I would never have known. It is my job to protect her and in this day of advanced technology it is harder than ever. I take my job of protecting her seriously and I don't care if she gets mad at me for being "over-protective" or "snooping". It is my house, she is my daughter, it is my responsibility!!!
I put desk top shark on my 17 yr old cell, after reading some alarming things on FB, it has a GPS also and u can see messages. i don't care if it seems like an invasion of privacy but teens today think they are adults and are not equip emotionally for the things they are doing!
i think more parents need to scan there child social networks see who they chat with who their are etc! You think your child tells you everything? they dont, they will not tell you if someone is sending them inappropriate pics or they are sexing.. they tell you what u want to hear.
I do not snoop or spy. However, as a parent, I always want to be "in the know" as to what my children are doing or where they are. If I feel suspect something is not right or that they are lying to me... then I may have to do some detective work. Once they know that I am on top of things and that I am being a Good Protective parent (not an over-protective, but just a GOOD parent), a parent that is doing the job a parent is supposed to be doing... they learn to tell me the truth. Sometimes, both they and I have learned to swallow the fact that the truth isn't always pretty...but.. "it is what it is". My family does not hide anything from each other (the good, the bad & the ugly)
I have a 21 year old that we gave him everything..and made all the mistakes with him, .average suburban kid..who got into drug, heavy. My advice be all over them. Never leave them to their own devices in there room, shut off. Don't disreguard rude or mean behavior to you from your teenager..there generally hiding something if they act like that..cuz my 15 yr. old is nothing like that, but the older one always was when he was hiding stuff. The 15 yr. old is respectful, open and I don't hesitate to tell him what I expect of him..always make sure were they are going. That there's a responsible parent at the home there going too. And demand to meet the parents..So many parents these day just drop there kids off with out ever meeting the parent..OMG. You r the parent and make the rules clear and inforce them. So my answer is a big Yes, and let them know your doing it! Put the fear of you in them. Save your self the pain of dealing with a kid on drugs.
Oh yes i will, Proverbs 31 says a wise woman knows what goes on in her household!!!
As a parent I am out for the best interest of my 15 yr old. I don't view snooping as a sign of lack in trust. I don't use snooping as tool to confront issues that I may disagree with, but rather use it to gather info to use for my peace of mind that my child is ok, and dealing with common teen issues. I use it to lead and guide conversation in a way that I may be influential in the right direction. Then I am not being controlling, but also need to give my teen room to make their own decitions in life.
My thought on these issues is this.....
As long as my 17 yr, old son is living in MY house with us, including a younger 8 year old brother, and under MY roof? I have the right to go through whatever I want, whenever I want and the Facebook thing? I have his email address and password and also his facebook password and he knows that should I find anything in his room or on the computer- it can be cancelled and removed at any time. It makes him mad but look, he's not the only one in this house and contributes nothing and as his mother- I have the right to check, ask, go through whatever and whenever I choose and he will just have to get over it.
I don''t call it snooping. In my house I can read anything I want, no bedrooms doors are locked. That's whats wrong we ourt children now days. We give them to much privacy. On a whim I'll tell my kids to log in on the computer, cause I monitor that too. I sit and talk about anything so that they are comfortagble coming to me about anything.
Kids are kids and they are going to try things, but won't no bombs be built in my house and I find myself saying "Why didn't I see that" or "I didn't know". Parents start checking up, reading papers, etc....If your kids get mad, tell them if they want that much privacy, they need there on house. Its not such thing as "get out of my room" in my house. If you're not paying mortgage, you only borrowing "your" room.....Call me harsh but my kids have never talked back to me nor buck the system.
my kids are a little older now, but i always maintained the attitude that if they gave me a reason I had the right. I did not do it as a matter of course because there are certain trust barriers you do need to try to keep in tact. If your kids don't trust you they won't come ot you when it matters. I was up front with my children about this and told them that if I suspected them of someting I would do a search. I have Norton Family on my computers and I only check their usage in depth if one of the warnings goes off. Sometimes if i haven't gotten a warning in a while I will go take a look just to be sure, and oh yes my ids friends send them links and the minute my kids click ad it is a blocked site or category I get an email. Very useful.
Every parent should go through their child's possessions. You can sit around and wait for a teenager to tell you there's a problem or in trouble if you want but Jesus will be here before that happens. I went through backpacks, pockets, phones, closets, drawers and the car (once he started driving). Till this day, my son will tell his friends, he never underestimates my ability to find out things. When I see something I don't like, I speak on it because I do want the best for him and I will not just sit by and wait for a bomb to drop.
Absolutely it is fine to snoop. If I hadn't snooped on my 14-year-old son, things would have gotten very bad for him. We were able to intervene quickly - and though the ride was rough for a time, I have never regretted our actions.
I usually clean my girls (11 & 12) rooms about once a month, while they are at school of course. During this time..... I look under their mattresses and beds, in their drawers while I refold their clothes, and I search in little hidden places while I clean up. I snoop through their diaries, emails, and Facebook's (both of my girls know we have their passwords for these). They are so happy when they come home and see a nice clean room and I've usually gotten all of the info I need. I do this because most children, at this age, are confiding in their friends and not their parents; however, I make a real effort to talk to my children all of the time without the fear of them getting in trouble. They sometimes say there's nothing to talk about and that's fine, but I'm not doing my job as a mother if I'm not snooping!!! If I find something that may be concerning or questionable, this is an excellent opportunity for me to use stories as examples or ask the right questions; they usually will end up talking about everything and more... I think they just don't know that I can be a good resource and a positive support for them.
I have always made it clear to my 13 year old that privacy is a privilege not a right and he needs to earn it. I do look through his room and his computer and he knows I will at anytime. But so far probably about 90% of the time I find that he has been doing something that he has not had permission to do and every time I make it clear to him that these are the reasons he doesn't have the privacy he wants because it continues to disobey and disrespect me and is not honest with me about what is going on. Most recently we had CPS called on us and when going through his webmail for school (he goes to an internet school) I found a reference to an e-mail address he had made without our permission, he has one we know about it and know the password too, but wanted one we wouldn't know to check. In that e-mail account I found things such as lying about his age to create accounts at sites he was too young for, creating social media accounts (he lost his facebook after having inappropriate conversations on it) and sharing personal information with strangers because they claimed to be teenage girls with "cute" pictures but he really has no idea if this is true or not, something he knows better then to do. BUT most alarming was a string of e-mails with his grandmother planning a way for him to runaway and live with her in another state and when she couldn't find a way to transport him there legally decided she would call CPS on us and he told them a bunch of lies about things that happened to him (none of which did). Being able to share this e-mail with the social worker and their plot to get him taken out of the home may have been what helped to determine the case was unsubstantial. I also have a 2 year old and and pregnant now had I not snooped through his e-mails both of those children would have also been taken from me and put into the foster care system since she really only wants the 13 year old (she "can't live without him" and we are horrible terrible parents for moving him to another state)
So in my case it protected my other children and me and my husband from false claims. And made it very clear that my 13 year old isn't just being a "teenager" and will "grow out of it" but needs to get into serious counseling. But it all depends on the child, if you know your teenager is being honest and open with you then you may not need to "snoop". But like I started with privacy is a privilege not a right and needs to be earned, if it's earned GREAT! But that's not always the case.
I have always told my children that their 'Right To Privacy' is mine to give, so if I feel they are not being honest, I will go thru their things. I'm the one who will be held responsible for their behavior until they are 18. So they have always known to expect it, if I have a reason to.
Snoop Mom's! trust me be involved I have a 21 year old daughter and an 18 year old daughter I didn't snoop on the 21 year old and I came to find out she was doing all kinds of things and when she turned 18 she had called my ex (who is NOT allowed to see my kids by court order) and she moved out all because she said I wouldn't give her a cell phone and a car the truth is I couldn't afford it and my ex said he would give it to her if she came to live with him she was 18 and I could do nothing! If I had snooped more I would have know she had been emailing him and talking to him since she was 15 and her bad behaviour was fuled by him telling her to rebel against me! My now 18 year old I snooped all the time yeah she hated it but she stayed out of trouble has a job and an apartment now and we are close she knows now it was all for her own good and my snooping was because I love her BE INVOLVED KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING OR YOU COULD LOOSE THEM There is ALOT of bad out there now BE AWARE!!!
Safety is of the upmost importance in our home. If I am concerned about the safety of any of my children that are living at home, they lose the PRIVILEGE to privacy until safety is no longer a concern. When safety is off the table, anything that I may find out from snooping, cleaning, or simply picking up photos, is used for knowledge and an understanding of where they are at; not to punish or lecture them.
I think it is our responsibility to raise responsible adults and our teenagers, who all think they know everything, don't. I think it's important to keep tabs on them. Do I spy? Yes, and no. I will not go and read private journals but I will go through their room, though that is usually because they took something I need :) We do have an internet "keylogger" program that my husband installed. It sends us daily logs of everything they type with a score for dangerous words that we selected from a list. We have found that it keeps them thinking and we have had to have conversations over somethings, but we caught it early. My kids know about it and know that when they turn 18 it goes away. They accept the boundaries we have built for them and get many other freedoms that other children don't. We don't just tell our children 'NO' we explain why and the effects of the decision in either case. Most of the time, they make the right call.
It depends on if they give you reason to distrust them, but they deserve their privacy as along as they are not engaging in harmful behavior.
My "child" is 16 and started receiving inappropriate photos on his phone from 13-14 year old girls when he was 14.
My friend just lost her 16 year old to suicide, if she would have seen his cell phone it would have shown her what was going on in his life before it was too late and may have saved his life.
Snoop, Snoop, Snoop... then find creative ways to go about bringing what you've uncovered to light without risking losing your snoopability.
You have to be a P.I. these days to know who your children are associating with. With my 19 year old, things were much different. His friends parents were on the same page as I was, they required meeting me and participating in sharing chaparone responsibilities and drivng until they were Jr.'s in H.S. Some parents just don't care these days... they only care that their kids are out of their hair.
My recommendation is to not give texting or media privilages, it may not be your kids that abuse it, it's their friends you need to be worried about.
I wouldn't call it snooping or spying, I would call it parenting. We have 4 children, ages 20, 16, 11, and 9. Our only daughter is the 16 year old. We believe our children until they give us reason not to, usually body language or tone. But like all parents, we have made mistakes as well. I wanted to trust my daughter more than she deserved and now she will be a mom herself in 7 short weeks. Please moms and dads, now what your children are doing and not doing, it can save so much pain and agony for you and for your child.
i would'nt call it snooping more like getting to know her behind the scene. what kind of decision she make who she spend the most time interacting with what state of mine her surrounding peers have and how she veiw life for herself and can she give and receive positive advice. and mostly can i feel confident at the end of my life can she care for herself with the education and words of wisdom she been taught.
as a mum who wants to know it all ..ive randomly read chat logs tc but more because of "pervert pete" than my daughter...you cant be too careful..ive always told her tell me the truth but dont ever lie to me....i might scream shout & rant BUT my god will the full force come at you if you lie to me....mums know or find out far more than their kids ever think they will....as a result of this no matter what has gone on even when friends have said dont say a word...she comes home & says mum you wont like this BUT i have to tell you....as a result of this i dont need to snoop TRUST your kids unless they show they can be trusted....you'll get on a lot better if you give them what you thought you had evry right to demand from your parents...ive raised 2 kids both now late teens NEVER been in trouble with the police 1 has a job the other is doing A levels at school & has special needs...& ive done it on my own...so would i ever snoop NO....my kids dont need me to
I wouldn't class it as snooping, more protecting them, Teenagers especially are easily led and influenced by their peers, and get get into trouble all too quick without realizing the consequences.
We had some trouble with our Son a few years back, and I did go through his room like a dose of salts to find any clues, and try to get to the bottom of why he was acting like he was, which was so out of character for him. Thankfully he has changed and I now have my Son back, and he realizes just how bad he was at the time, and it all boiled down to him being involved with the wrong people, who he doesn't even speak to or see anymore.
Snooping? That is a worldly term thought up by a teen . . . I'm sure. We trust our boys with the understanding that they are pushing their independence. They understand and have been taught that if they have to hide something/anything, then it isn't right. We respect their privacy and they know that at any time, I (or their dad)may be in their rooms. Kids are inventive, exploratory . . . wanting to push their independence. I am honest with the boys about what bad choices can do. We show them living examples (some have been relatives). Better choices make better living. If they make bad choices, we are here to stand by them while They learn from the consequences. We do NOT clean up their mistakes.
My son is also a suburban kid who has everything. Up until now, I never had to worry. He spent alot of time at home and his friends used to always come here so I never had to worry about what they were doing. But now at age 15 he is just now venturing out into the real world and doing more things away from home and wanting to hang around his friends more including girls. I have never snooped in the past but am finding myself wanting to more and more. I typically do not pop up where he is and I never check his cell phone but I do make it a point to have him tell me where he will be and I call him every couple of hours. I also make it a point to drop him and his friends off and pick them up when I can. But I have to confess that I did recently get into his facebook account and after reading some of his personal messages with a girl who is supposed to only be a friend have realized there is more with this girl than what he is telling me. I have not and will not confront him about it but I will definitely be keeping a closer eye out when she is around. With that being said, I will probably snoop a little more just to make sure he is not getting into any trouble. Up until now, he was a good boy who spent alot of time at home so I never had to worry. I know what I was doing at 15 so I want to make sure he doesn't make the same mistakes. And I hope that I have raised him well enough to make good choices at least most of the time.
Openness and honesty in any relationship is key. TALK to your kids early on and they will learn how to communicate later on.
My children and I have a good relationship. I feel like we can talk about anything. I have tried to give advice when only sought, but being a parent it's hard to not give unsolicited advice-especially when you have "been there, done that!" It's also hard not to play "private investigator" when it comes to what they do when I am not around or when on the computer. My children know I love them and I will do anything to keep them safe. Yes, I am aware of their online activities and messaging/emails. Yes, I do (when searching for laundry or missing dishes) encounter personal things and take a peek. But I don't read diaries unless left open, but I am not beyond unfolding a piece of notebook paper that was passed in class with conversation about something obviously not related to the algebra assignment. I look in the backpacks and satchels. I study what is on and in the desk. *I'm looking for dishes, you know?* If I see that my child has been conversing on controversial issues or talking about things I'd rather her not...Do I say anything? Well, it depends. If my child is being verbally disrespectful or hateful, yes. If they are giving advice, as long as it's good advice, no. I make a point to somehow bring up things I feel are issues in casual conversation. I want her to know that I care what goes on in her relationships with her friends. I do snoop on facebook. I have even gone so far as posting on her wall under her name when she was grounded once to announce she was grounded and would be taking a break from facebook. . I was serious about the punishment. I know it had to embarrass her, but she is MY child. She lives under my roof, I am responsible for her upbringing, and I will not allow her to be disrespectful or shame herself or me, for that matter.
I really feel if you develop a good, open and honest relationship with your child early on, the teen years will be as bumpy as they should be, given hormones and all, but I don't think it should be that bad. If your child knows you "know" who they are with and what they possibly are doing, why would they feel the need to hide? It's all about communication, respect and love. If you don't show love, your kids won't know it. They won't know how to show love and respect back, either.
I think I like you people :)
Just calling it "snooping" puts a negative spin on it, but you didn't fall for that. I especially like the poster that called it 'not snooping but responsible parenting'. How about calling it being appropriately aware and informed of what is going on in your teens life? Based on what I hear from my teen, there are a whole lot of parents that need to open their eyes and see what is going on with their teens (especially regarding drug and alcohol use).
Truthfully, I don't do a lot of checking as my son is a bit of a goody two shoes who makes remarks looking down on the drug and alcohol abuse he hears about and he is very open with me about who is doing what. I am lucky. When I gave permission (yes, permission) for my 16 yo to open a fb acct several years ago the terms were that I was a fb friend (I didn't know then how you could hide almost everything from a friend) and that while he had his own pw, I could ask him to sign in at any time and I would check over the acct. As he leaves the family computer with his fb open from time to time, I do use the chance to peruse his fb.
My children at not teens. My son is 9 and my daughter is 5. Privacy, in our house, is a privilege, not a right. To expect privacy, they have to follow the house rules and give me no reason to suspect that they are hiding broken toys, bad test scores or anything else that they aren't supposed to. Since they are so young, I'm certain that their desire for privacy will change as they get older, as well as their expectations, but privacy will still have to be earned. Otherwise, they should expect me to immerse myself in their lives. That being said, as a teen, I had little to no supervision, neither did my older brother. I was smoking cigarettes at 10, smoking a pack a day at 12 and doing drugs at 14. I was dealing with really heavy depression and ran away at 17. I ended up pregnant at 19, still dealing with depression and was in a relationship with someone who was beating me and filling my house with stolen goods at 22. Fortunately, I turned things around. My older brother was doing drugs at 12, an alcoholic by 14 and I'm not sure when he started smoking, but it's been a long time. He lost his license in a DUI at 16, got it back at 18, lost it 2 weeks later for his second DUI, he's been to jail multiple times, in multiple states for various reasons. He is now in his 30's, still doesn't have a license and is working on turning his life around. Because of my past I have to say, please snoop! Please. Pay attention to what your kids are doing, they may resent for a while, but when they become adults, they will understand the difference between having involved parents and parents that couldn't be bothered.
Absolutely! Periodically check book bags and pockets. Computers and phones too. Better you find things and then have a frank and open discussion with your child, then turning a blind eye and allowing trouble to build. Between my husband and myself, we have 7 children, now all grown, we have always checked up on them. We were lucky, no big surprises but we have found info that allowed us to have some very good discussions that helped then in late years.
I have shared with my 17 year old son that I may intermittently check up on him. That means going through fb page and texts on phone and his room. But as a matter of practice he has my 100% trust until he proves otherwise. I've shared he will likely make mistakes. My job is to prevent the big ones and coach him through the little ones. It is the "group" behavior that I find him making poor decisions - so I limit those opportunities and when he does want to do something in a group an adult must be there.
It is important that they know we are watching, invested and caring. I think they learn to build trust and gain personal confidence at the pace that's comfortable to them. I've seen kids with laissez faire parents, and I'm not sure they've developed age appropriate skills and behavior.
I totally believe in snooping, no matter what age. Especially if they are still living at home. I have 4 children, 2 girls & 2 boys. My girls are 19 & 18, my boys are 10 & 5. Myoldest daughter has always been my challenge (until my youngest was born, now I have 2). Her junior year of high school is when it started. Ironically, that's when she starting driving & we got her her own car, so IF she had an accident, my husband & I were still able to get to work. She knew she got one car, & one car only, if she wrecked it or didn't take care of it, that was it, she would be walking. But having her own car created some problems I never imagined my children would be in. She started skipping school. She would go for the first 2 hours or so, but then leave at lunch time. She made friends with the wrong kids. My biggest tactical ws her cell phone. I told her each hour she skipped, shed have her cell phone restricted. I put parental controls on it & set 10 numbers/people she could text & call, & believe you me, they were not the people she wanted to talk to. The pro lem continued into her senior year & even into her first year of college. So I cancelled her cell phone. Told her shed have to get her own plan & do it herself, I wasn't paying for her to have a cell phone, acplace to live, eat, drink & have no responsibility. So dropped out of college after the first year, this should have been her second, but she failed to many classes & lost her pell grants & I told her I wasn't paying for any more classes. She would have to pay for them herself to get her GPA back up to reinstate her financial aid. She decided not to go back, but regretted it terribly. She listened, watched & heard all her friends talk about college & she is now enrolled at Vatterot vocational college. Not what I had in mind, & not what she wants to major in, but she finally realized when you make the wrong choices, sometimes you have to take 2 steps back before you can move forward. She will attend Vatterot for about 2 years, leave with an associates degree in IT (information technology) & will transfer only a handful of credits she'll receive there to Oklahoma University to major in Meterology. I still snoop, ask questions & make her mad by giving my opinion & advice, but she is slowly (very slowly) realizing that "Mom" isn't as dumb as she once thought.
In the words of Phineas of Phineas and Ferb: " Yes. Yes , I do "
Yes, it is our job to know what our kids are doing.. Going thru purses or rooms is a bit over the edge unless you have something going on. If you feeling something is wrong or notice a change in behavior than by all means go thru the stuff.. It is our job as parents to provide the basic needs plus help them to become productive members of society. That being said we must have the most accurate information about them to help them with whatever they are going thru. No doubt we love our kids and hope that they are doing what they should. But they are kids and they are learning and it is our job to teach them the correct way to handle life's obstacles.
I believe it is ok to check up on wht ur
kids are doing every now and then. A check here and there
could prove to be the safeguard from a lot of things tht
kids get into. If I hadn't ease-dropped on a conversation my
daughter was having earlier this year, she could have wound
missing as did one of her friends. Thank God the young lady
was found safe and sound, but had I not had the impulse to
listen in on the conversation, my daughter could have wound up
in the same predicament. So, now I may listen if I feel the need
and i will check her text messages just to make sure and I think
it's okay to do.
Yes I do- I think it is better to just double check than to not know- My daugther is 13 and we do talk- but i know that there is somethings that she is not ready to share- and thats ok- i continue to ask questions- i get her friends invovled and let them know as well- i am here to talk and laugh.
But to always be up on One- I feel better-
i believe in monitoring computer sites and phone time. My 15 year old has been caught staying up all night texting. also we caught her in a lie by monitoring facebook. so its very important to keep an eye on them.
I have always looked through my children's rooms, backpacks and cell phones. I don't consider it snooping. I don't hide and do it when they are not around, I have always done it right in front of them. I don't look through their stuff just for the fun of it. I do it to be sure that I am completely aware of everything they are involved in and that they are safe.
I have 4 kids. 3 girls and one boy. I never snooped on my older two because we always had fairly open relationships. Has it come back to bite me? Yes, without a doubt but that is on me. I also feel that it has taught them things too. Now, my younger two, yes I do snoop on them. My youngest daughter is 17 almost 18 but she is also bi polar which means she is prone to dangerous behavior because her brain doesn't process things the same way. My bigger problem is though that she is almost 18 and there is really very little I can do concerning her behavior. She knows that as she is living under our roof there are certain things we expect and that is what she gives us but only the bare minimum. She tells me all the time that as soon as she turns 18 she is moving out and while both her father and I know she is no where near ready for that there is not a whole lot we can do but be here for her when she falls.
If my daughter ever gave me a reason to snoop on her I would. But she has never given her dad or I a reason to distrust her judgement.