How much privacy do you give your child?

Miranda - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 86 moms have responded )

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My daughter Siena is 12. She complains that she has no privacy, thats true she doesn't. While she lives under my roof and I pay the bills clothe her and feed her she must abide to my rules. That means that I have access to all of her things, I will routinely once a week do a diary and cellphone check. I will also look into every corner of her room and leave no stone unturned. She has limited use of the family computer and her cellphone. She is not allowed to write rants as this is damaging to a childs brain. She complains that I am too strict.



How much privacy does your child have?



Frankly where my daughters are concerned they do not have any privacy. They get privacy when they have their own home and are out of my house.



In your opinion, is this too harsh?

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Miranda - posted on 06/09/2013

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I googled this topic and I find this! Honestly, you ALL should be ashamed of yourselves. It doesn't matter what age we are! Why do you think we try to grow up?!? It's to get away from mothers like THIS! I'm 13 and I do have some privacy, but not as much as I like. I'm waiting till I can go to college and get away from MY family. There is no privacy. You have it, why can't we? "Oh it's because you're young." B***SHIT! I'm responsible, I'm a straight a' student, I don't do anything wrong at all. The things that you people do these days. One thing that I know is when I have a child is that I sure won't be raising mine like you do. PRIVACY! We don't go barging and rifling through your stuff, flipping through any book that we find. The excuses of "You live in my house and you should abide my rules" isn't going to cut it anymore, if it that's what it takes to get privacy I'm sure more than half of the kids in the U.S will move out and get a job if it means that they can have privacy. We don't tell our parents anything, because we don't TRUST you! When you start trusting us then will trust you, but if you don't make that first step than you shouldn't expect anything from us. I'm DISGUSTED. You say that we don't act like adults, but from what you all do I would say that all of you are far much worse than mere toddlers. You say that you are adults than start ACTING like one!

Jodi - posted on 09/11/2012

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I'm sorry, but I think you are too harsh and you are invading her privacy. If you can't trust her with her cell phone, she shouldn't have it. Her diary should be sacred. Every person who writes a diary has a right to know that it won't be read by others. They are her private thoughts. She is entitled to write rants if she chooses. how the heck is that damaging to a child's brain? Everyone feels the needs, sometime, to express how they feel, and she should feel free to do that in her diary.



And to be honest, I don't even enter my son's room without knocking and being invited, and I certainly don't search it. That's just rude IMO. UNLESS I had good reason to not trust him. Which I don't. If I though he was on drugs or was smoking, I might have cause to do this, but right now, we have a trusting relationship, and I don't feel the need to.



You obviously don't trust your daughter in the least. I think THAT is what you should work on.



And just for the record, the world isn't so different at all. I had a diary when I grew up, and I ranted there. It was my private sanctuary where I was able to vent. Even as an adult, I have places I vent. Heck, even you are venting here about your daughter!! Don't you feel just a little hypocritical?

Anna - posted on 01/17/2013

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My mother also nosed around in my private journal when I was 12. She made me feel like I couldn't even have a private outlet of self-expression. She needed to know everything I was thinking and feeling. Her constant surveillance made adolescence a nightmare for me. By high school I stopped making facial expressions at home. I did not ever, EVER talk about my day, good or bad. I never brought friends over or indicated that I might even have any. They were all saved in my phone by last name to protect their gender. She still found ways to dig into my personal life, but the harder she pulled, the further I pushed. 

I am now 24. She doesn't understand why we don't have a closer relationship, and I don't care enough to explain why not. I'm always "unfortunately working late, can't make it." 

There's more than the phone and room inspections, of course, but I won't get into those stories here. Don't suffocate your daughter. If you tell her she'll have privacy once she's old enough to leave the nest, she'll book the earliest one-way flight out. Soon she'll always be "much too busy, ma" too.  

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/11/2012

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Even my mother left my journal alone. That is her only place that she can write any and all of her feelings. If you don't let her write a rant once in awhile, then how is she to expell her anger in a way that will not injure others, or hurt their feelings? That IS an invasion of her privacy, as is entering her room without permission.



Here's my views:



my 14 yo knows that I reserve the right to check his phone messages at any time, without warning. I pay for the phone, and the minutes, so he doesn't have privacy in that regard. (Which is a good thing, because I have caught inappropriate texts that could have been interpreted as sexual harassment, had the young lady's parents pushed the issue, which they didn't, being very close friends of the family) Now, do I ever actually do it? Rarely. The knowledge that I CAN is what keeps him honest, and aboveboard.



He also has to give me his passwords to FB, and email to check for inappropriate content there. Most employers check public FB pages, and I don't want him stupidly posting something at 14 that he'll regret during a job search at 21. Again, my computer, my electricity, my internet, so those are the rules. And, again, the knowledge that I could, at any time, have him show me his accounts keeps him acting correctly.



I don't enter his room without knocking, but I've told him that, if I suspect illegal activity, he will have his room searched, and will be subject to drug testing. (in all honesty, he's a teenage boy, and the less time I actually have to be in his room the better, or I'd better wear a respirator...LOL...the odors that a teenage boy can emit are noxious!) Neither of my kids are into smoking, stealing, drugs, or illicit activity. The 14 YO participates in sports that require he stay clean, so no need to test on my part. (The other is 18, therefore adult)



I do require that the 18 yo contribute to the household, since he's out of school and has a job. He's required to pay a pittance as "room and board" each month. Not to exceed $150 a month, depending on his use of electricity. His privacy is his own, now that he's an adult. He doesn't seem too warped by having the rules that I outlined above, however, and very cheerfully handed his phone to me voluntarily, or showed me his internet accounts without being asked. He's now a responsible adult, and I'm proud of him. I have confidence his brother will do just as well, but I'm not loosening the reins any just yet.



Short answer? You are just a tad too harsh, and your daughter has a point.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2012

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Just one question, Miranda, were you a perfect child? Did you ever make a mistake?



No one is perfect. ALL kids are going to "sneak off and try" something. Be thankful it was cigarettes, and not drugs. Granted, inappropriate conversation with an older boy that she's never met is a definite no go situation, and her computer/cell phone access should be restricted. However, by invading her diary, you are pushing the limits of acceptable, in my opinion.



But, I'm assuming that you were the perfect child, and remain the perfect adult, never making a poor decision, never making a mistake. Would I be correct in that assumption?



Also, you've never addressed your comment about "rants are damaging to a child's brain"...when asked why you held that opinion, you chose to ignore it. I'm curious as to why you hold that particular opinion, myself.

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86 Comments

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Katherine - posted on 03/25/2013

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As a mother of a teenage daughter, I can say there's a difference between being reasonable and overbearing. I don't have her facebook password, I never read her text messages (It'd almost be like mission impossible to even be able to touch her phone since she always has it with her), and if she has a diary, I wouldn't look through it. The main reason I never snoop is I'll find something I'd never want to hear, most parents that snoop do, whether it's from one swear word to naked pictures. I've taught my daughter not to shame herself and do that to her body, I've also taught her not to bully other people because it just reflects on how little of a person she really is. I trust her enough to let her lock her bedroom door, have her own laptop, cellphone, diary, and facebook. If she did something to break my trust, then she'd lose her privileges. Enough said.

Niloofar - posted on 01/18/2013

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i do not think you are wrong as a mother, as you must give her some manner that she may teach her children in the future, you will see one day she will thank you for whatever you did to her, stick to it, good luck

Phina - posted on 01/18/2013

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I agree with you no privacy is allowed while a child is under your roof. They should obey your rules......

Sheena - posted on 10/28/2012

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Sorry Stephanie, I would suggest you never say never!! You could give them all the information about anything you want, but when they are in the situation when you aren't around, they don't always make the decision you expect them to make. Having three children you find that you use the same teachings and they choose diferent decisions, also due to their individual personalities. Peer pressure could be very difficult for some children. I feel you could trust them until they show you they can't be trusted in certain situations. I have a 25year old female and a 16year old female,and a 14 year old boy, the generation gap is so different and it's scary. Many of the topics, lessons etc, that I have to talk about and teach my last two, wasn't even a thought in my mind when my oldest was a teenager and they are only 9 and 10 years apart.

At the end of the day, I feel no matter what situation arises, the important part is how you help them to deal with it.

Stephanie - posted on 10/28/2012

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I think you need to give them more space, kids need room to grow, and explore new things. With you always checking her diary and cellphone, she is unlikely to explore new things. I give my kids all the space they need, I know that they would never do drugs. But, if you think that she might do drugs, then it would be good just to give her a little bit more space, and only check her diary and phone once a month.

Sheena - posted on 10/28/2012

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think privacy should be limited, especially today with the technology we have. My children were only allowed to go on the computer with permission and we could see what they are doing and we have all their passwords to keep an eye on them. This doesn't mean they don't have accounts we don't know about.Complete privacy will be a benefit to look for when they move out on their own.

Nomi - posted on 10/27/2012

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Stacey James you made some great points there, and I agree with what you said,



I'm worried if you don't give your daughter a bit of space, trust, and respect, your daughter will leave your house the first chance she gets, as it looks like if you carry on the way you are with her, she will rebel even more, this time it was cigg's and boys, next time could be drugs,,!!



She might even try to 'run away' ?

Megan - posted on 10/26/2012

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Its not harsh but you have to understand she 12 and i have 5 kids so i know they want some freedom. I have triples that are 13 and twins that are 12. I kind just give them there privacy because at that age a lot is going on and sometimes it hard for them to tell like parents. They just need time to think. But i do check there cellphone once a while. Usaully its when i think there something going on that i need to know. But for me its harder bc i'm a single mom. I will do say i don't agree on checking diary's and cellphone a week then looking throw her room. Diarys are something personal, kids have daury so they can right what there thinking, that something i find is there personal stuff and its something i shouldn't be looking throw. Cellphones i agree. Checking her room maybe is something i don't agree with. Yes she 12 and you lives in your roof. Maybe your being to harsh. She not going to be 12 forever so enjoy it bc once they get older it will maybe be hard and she be leaving for college one day. I look as for now i will help my kid but they are going to make decison own there own or they won't surive at 18.

Molly - posted on 10/25/2012

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Holy shit. Okay, okay. I'm 19 year old and my mom never did the certain things you ever did. I have a sister who is 12 years old and well first thing first you have no right to look into her journal at ALL. That is personal stuff. Plus she can always delete her text messages. This is the twenty first century, its very different i bet when you were a kid its not that safe anymore. But you are WAY OF THE LINE to be honest. She is 12 she is not going out drinking, smoking weed or having sex with anybody. You can't just do that. My mom pulls the move on my sister by looking over her kissing her on the forehead to see what she is possibly doing. Look you need to trust your kid. You can't just go looking through her phone and journal and pointing out each and everything that she shouldn't text. There will come to a point where when she gets older and not trust you. You can't do that to your kid. She should be able (if she has a laptop) to close her bedroom door and be on the computer. You have to trust little things. Not look through all her text messages. You are way to strict. I think you should just lay off her a little bit. You are her mother i do understand but you can't do that. Trust me be in her shoes and if your mother did that all the time how would you feel? How would you act? I hope i could help, i'm not a mother i just feel that it's a little to harsh on your child.

Barbara - posted on 10/23/2012

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Siena is 12 years old and should be able to keep her diary without you looking through it. She is only venting or talking about thoughts of her daily life. I was glad to hear that she has a family computer and not one upstairs in her room. Keep an eye on the computer where it concerns her but let her have the diary to herself. Cell phone seems young for a 12 year old unless she needs it for emergency I do not think a 12 year old needs to have a cell phone on a daily basis to talk to friends or text message. You are strict but with the Ambler alerts you are smart in keeping your child close to you.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/22/2012

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Jodi, as a mother of two teenage boys I have to ask what is up with that smell.... LOL They are worse than wet dogs and I have three of those. Lucky for me both of my boys keep their rooms fairly neats so I do not have to enter often. :)

Elizabeth - posted on 10/21/2012

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My boys are 14 and 15 and they know that if I want to go into their room, well I do pay the bills. I don't put their clothes away often but when I do, I am in the drawers and have never heard a complaint. LOL I monitor their facebook and cell phone, but beings that is not private anyway I do not think that counts. I personally draw the line at reading a journal/diary unless I was sure something was wrong, really wrong, not just mad at me. Kids need guidence but they need the illusion of privacy, I have always felt it was up to us figure out how to make that happen. Like when he comes in from being out of our sight (he will be 16 in January and stays after school almost everyday) I hug him when he comes in and I make him sit and tell me what he did, who did he see ... He thinks I missed him and am nosey, but I am giving him the smell test too. He is into sports so I hope he would never smoke but I still sniff test for it and drinking. LOL

Taylor - posted on 10/20/2012

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I think you are being too harsh also. Yes, she does live under your roof and you pay for everything but you NEED to have some sort of trust in her. I believe cell phone checks and checking her internet history on occasion is totally OK but searching her room and her diary goes too far. A girl at any age needs to have SOME PLACE to truly have her feelings out there. I believe if you continue with this behavior you will push your daughter into doing worse and worse things as she gets older.

Megan - posted on 10/19/2012

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I let him think he had more than what he has. I have pass codes to iPods and he doesn't know them. He can hang out with his buddies in the neighborhood and knows his boundaries. When he gets home we talk about what went on and if he says I want to be alone in my room I ask what are you going to do? Play station ok! I will go check but I just ask if he needs anything. I actually asked him last night if I hound him he told me no but his brother invades his privacy not me!!!

Lisa - posted on 10/19/2012

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I do not think that you are too harsh. I think you are doing an excellent job. I belive that a child, tween, or teen as long as they are still a minor, have no such thing as privacy. Especially in this generation where alot of the parents are not around or not getting involved in what their kids are doing.



I am the same way that you are - My teen boys have no privacy as far as computer, cell phones and social networking sites is concerned.

Laura - posted on 10/19/2012

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I believe that by not giving her a healthy outlet to let off steam, you are teaching her to bottle her emotions. When people bottle or suppress their emotions, they end up erupting like a volcano. Which can be very, very dangerous.

Megan - posted on 10/18/2012

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We all were teenage girls once!! We all had attitudes. We didn't have access to Internet and cell phones like children do these days. As a teenager their hormones are insane!!! Yes check the phone and watch the Internet there are predators out there who prey on teens. I was allowed a. Diary that was mine only. My boys are allowed to be in their rooms and I don't bother them they hang out with boys around our neighborhood and I pretend I don't know what they are up to

But I do!!! You have to be step ahead of them!!! I talk to my kids and ask questions and just this morning my oldest came to me and said "after school can we talk? I am going through some changes I feel and I need answers" of course son he is 10 and in 5 th grade!!! Our kids grow and

As parents we need to let them do that let them feel they have privacy when they don't. Face it they will sneak around!!! My mother had me when she was 16 because her mother was like you so be careful!!

Hollie - posted on 10/18/2012

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i give my daughter privacy until she gives me a reason not to.when i caught her lying to me and sneaking around behind my back she lost it. then her bedroom door comes off the hinges, her phone got turned off, and all of her online accounts get monitored. I have all of her passwords and they get checked daily. including emails.

Heathre - posted on 10/16/2012

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I only check the phone and private stuff when I am worried that something is up. It is better for you mentally not to be constantly checking into their stuff, but don't feel guilty if you think you need to—they are a minor for whom you are responsible!

Hm - posted on 10/15/2012

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I think it is toi harsh to read her diary but appropriate to monitor her cell phone and computer use. I have to also leave no stone unturned in my stepdaughter's room because she exhibits hiarding behaviours and I keep a tight ship.

Andrea - posted on 10/15/2012

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My Step Daughter Is 15 And When She Wants Privacy She Can Go To HEr Room, And When She Had Her Phone We Would Check Her Phone NIghtly For The Simple Fact She Had Boys Sending Her Unappropriate Photos, And He Also was Sexually Active, But To Me Privacy Would be The Room, We Do Have Access to All Her Things because We AS Her Father And I Pay All The Bills And Cloth Her And Feed Her.

Pam - posted on 10/14/2012

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I truly believe that children are lacking parents like you. I do all the same things as you with my 12 year old...apart from reading her diary. I think EVERY person on earth is entitled to air their feelings in private, as holding on to feelings can later lead to big mental health issues. Although, airing these feelings or bad names, or swearing and "ranting" on social sites is totally unacceptable. Kids are raw and harsh these days and they need to have a strong guidance from their parents. We even use privacy as a punishment in our house. If She breaks our trust, we take off her door. I think you need to keep up with what you are doing and take comfort in knowing that your children will grow to be better people because of it.

Jazmyn - posted on 10/12/2012

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the stricter parents are the sneakier the kids will be its as simple as that u tell them not to do this and don't do that and they will do it

Yasmine - posted on 10/10/2012

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Look, to be honest, I am saying from personal experience more so, as I am young and my daughter is too young for me to have these problems. But one thing I have learnt is, if you award children with honesty they will be honest more often, you cannot stop anyone from doing anything at all ... all you can do is raise awareness of why it is bad for them, what could happen and so forth. No matter how much you find out what she has done or anything else there is nothing you can physically do to prevent her from doing so unless you lock her in her room or some crazy stuff like that.



But basically what I'm trying to say is, award her for being honest, and let her know what is right and what is wrong and why the bad stuff is bad and how it can affect her. Let her know of internet safety and talking to people she does not know and what can happen.



Don't tell someone not to do something children are rebellious sometimes and saying no will drive them more to do so, I believe what you are probably doing is probably driving her more to become rebellious. I was never rebellious because my mum listened to me and was understanding, when I started smoking at 12 it was not my mums fault, I was honest with her about it after a while I was awarded for telling the truth but I was also warned to why I shouldn't smoke why it is bad for me and so forth and because of this I know that I can go to my mum about anything and she will be understanding and supportive in helping me, the thing with my mum is she also understands that she cannot physically stop me from doing anything.

Angela - posted on 10/10/2012

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There have been a few threads on here about teenagers and mobile phones and the parents' "right" to look into the phone etc .... As I explained in my previous post, my own kids bought their own mobile phones with their own money and they maintained those phones on "Pay-As-You-Go" (that's what we British call the prepaid tariff) out of their own pockets. I paid for none of it - and as such have never claimed any right to look into those phones. At the time my own phone was also prepaid so we were all pretty equal. I knew I could reach my kids on their phones at any time - even if they had zero credit - as incoming calls and texts could still be received.



My kids are adults now anyway - I'm 54.



In my own teenage years there were NO mobile phones. But from quite a young age, we all did exactly what the kids are now doing electronically. Instead of texting, we had written notes. We wrote notes to each other - and sometimes we'd do it in school during lessons and get into trouble. Occasionally someone would send an anonymous message. A short note on a candy wrapper or a bit of scrap paper costs nothing. You don't need an expensive piece of electronic equipment to do it. The notes could be simply sharing information, they could be bitching about other people, it could be bullying or rudeness towards the recipient. We also used to write proper letters as well, pop them into proper envelopes and pass them to one another at the start of the day. Fancy notecards were never used. Just like texting, these letters & notes could be innocent, useful, mischievous, inappropriate, nasty and usually, (however you used the note form of messaging), a lot of fun. Bullying might occasionally arise through someone sending a nasty note, but usually being shunned and not getting any notes would be how you were bullied. Everyone could do it (the note-writing) - and it cost nothing, but when it comes to texting though, I daresay not everyone has a mobile phone.



There is nothing new under the sun. Truly!!



The one massive difference between exchanging notes and texting was that your parents didn't get to find out. You wrote your notes and sent them and you received notes from others. You didn't keep them! Even if a schoolteacher confiscated your note, 90% of the time he/she didn't read it.



I personally believe teenagers should go back to the old note-writing custom. It would cut a lot of crap with intrusive older people!



By the way, Miranda - do you open your daughter's letters?

Masallah - posted on 10/09/2012

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Honestly I don't think thats too harsh.. Not that I have kids that age but when I was 12 my parents were not harsh at all.. they let me do everything. and I made A LOT of mistakes.. now that I am 23 I wouldn't say i turned out bad.. i don't do drugs, or lie or steal. But maybe i wouldn't have made as many mistakes as I did growing up (hanging with the wrong crowd, dating the wrong people, etc)

Radna - posted on 10/09/2012

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Hi Miranda ,



We got an almost 12 y old daughter too ( and an 18y old and 7 y old and two boys age 22 and 16 :) and tbh ,yes i think you're too harsh.

True she lives under your roof , true she must abide to your rules but i don't think it's fair for her not to have any privacy .



Some things I think you're right about ...Our 12y will get her phone but it will be limited and yes checked.Computer ? she has her own Ipad with access to it till she goes to bed and no such thing as Facebook or any of that kind for her .She's ok with that I just explained to her the dangers of internet and had her watch several movies about bullying , predators etc ....We all want to protect our kids and therefor think to forbid them is the right way but IMHO I think we need to educate them ,you simply can't always protect them .



Now the diary ? I think that's sacred , be happy she has a way to express herself and write of the feelings for herself . It's amazing how healing writing can be so I think you should respect that because to me it's like wanting to control her feelings and thoughts .



You know as parents we are here to guide our kids , not to control them....and I think by controlling all she does and giving her no privacy you're not helping in letting her grow up into a independent ,secure woman .Just think about that your spouse would control ALL you do ....trust is in every relationship needed ...to trust and be trusted...maybe you can try to get there little step by little step . Also , yes they will make mistakes , yes they will do things we don't like ....but didn't we all ?? it's all part of growing up ....Don't make them afraid to come to you when they messed up or afraid to talk to you if something happened because if you don't give hem trust ....don't expect it in return .

Rasheeda - posted on 10/08/2012

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Enough to get dressed and un dressed. And I give enough space to make them feel like I am giving them privacy, but I snoop and thats the only way you will find out what they are not telling you. It may not be needed all the time. You know your child, but a 12yr old does not need that much privacy. This has worked fine for me and I let my kids know that whatever is in this house is my business and what ever you do is too, whether they like it or not. I have a 18, 16, 6,and 3yr old.

Barbara - posted on 10/06/2012

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You should have shared the smoking thing in your original post. That's why you're getting all these responses....



but Yes, I believe this is too harsh. Put yourself in her shoes. If I knew my mother was reading everything in my diary and cellphone, I would lie through my teeth, and delete all my cellphone activity. Girls are absolutely emotional and writing in a diary/journal should be something she can do without the threat of having her thoughts invaded.



Your daughter will be much more open to you if you give her the privacy she deserves. If you're in her face 24/7 she'll make sure to keep you out and that will only cause a lot of hardships for your relationship now, and when she's an adult. This will also affect her own parenting skills.



You can always check with her teacher(s) to see if she is exhibiting any behaviors that should be of concern. If there is, then you can step in. Until then, leave her alone.



So what if she rants? She's entitled to her own thoughts. You can't tell me that every thought in your head is pure. So what if she says mean things about family members? As long as she is respectful to their faces. There are plenty of times that I've thought things about family members that I wouldn't say out loud.



My daughter is almost 20 and she and I talk about anything and everything because we can trust and respect each other. Not once did I invade her privacy, even though she knew their was always the chance that I would/could. She started dating at 14, BUT we knew the (17yo) boy, and his family and they were never alone. They were not allowed car dates and they could go out during the day time. Night time dates had to be with a group. My daughter is still a virgin (she's proud of it too), and she's never tried smoking, drugs, or alcohol. She has more respect for her body because of the open communication that we have. Her 23 year old brother also has that same privacy and respect for us, and if you don't ever let them have their privacy, you are stunting their growth.



There's still rules we put in place, such as: No boys in her bedroom, ever. We had to meet her friends before she went out with them, and we had to have their cell numbers too. There were other rules too, but none so harsh that impeded her growth.



I don't search her room but I do go in there, when she's in there. The ONLY time I go in there when she's not home is to pick up the towels that I'm washing, or to get the soda cans out of her room so we don't get ants. Other than that, I trust her.



Maybe its time to sit down face-to-face and find out why she felt she had to be sneaky?

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Wow! My daughter is now 16 I treat her with respect and as an young adult. She is in advanced classes, still a virgin, goes to church etc......I think if I had "accused her of being wrong" then she would have done something to prove me right!!! I had really good kids so maybe I don't know? You didn't describe her as someone in trouble so I don't really understand. I wanted to edit my daughter has her own computer and cellphone. I've never been given a single reason to check anything.

Becky - posted on 10/03/2012

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"My daughter does not have her privileges any longer...no phone, iPod, limited tv viewing or access to computer unless I'm right there."



Quoting Lori there. I don't think there is a mother on here that doesn't agree with some sort of requirements when it comes to electronical things. My older 2 have facebook. My husband and I have their passwords and we check them everyday. These are all privileges and we, as parents, have the right to take them away. The thing that is bothering me is the fact that she read her daughter's diary and searched through her room. Side note, I have searched my children's rooms, but that's only because they were looking for something. The only time I would even remotely consider reading my child's diary, or search every nook and crany of their room, is if I thought they were in immediate danger. 12 is such a touchy rough age. What the op is doing is actually causing more harm than good. The trust issue goes both ways.

Ariana - posted on 10/03/2012

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Rants aren't a way for her to give into anger it's a way for her to express her anger. You're basically telling her her real opinions and thoughts don't matter. Unless she's posting angry rants on facebook or something writing in a journal if she's upset is actually a very healthy way to express her feelings.



It's understandable that you are worried about your daughter but having a 'diary check' is extremely weird. I mean it's not really a diary if you're snooping through it then is it?

Nancy - posted on 10/03/2012

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Honestly, from being a kid I got in trouble a lot because I had a lot of privacy so let them have their Facebook, texts and whatnot and let her be happy

Ariana - posted on 09/24/2012

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I think children need more privacy then they get.



That being said even if you disagree you should NEVER read her diary. A diary isn't really a diary if you're constantly checking it is it? Everyone deserves to have a private spot to put their feelings, and it is way to harsh for you to look through it.



I think limiting use of the family computer and cell phone is the right way to do it.



The thing is if she is being responsible, isn't getting into trouble in or outside of school, is acting respectfully it may be time to loosen the apronstrings. You're checking her phone and nothings coming up, maybe it's time to start doing an every other week check instead of once a week.



If your daughter is being responsible so far you may want to talk to her and say that she's acting responsibly and you feel she's ready for a little more freedom. This freedom comes because she's being responsible, and if she stays responsible she can keep this freedom. If she starts acting irresponsibly (doesn't tell you where she really is, lies to you or w/e) then she loses these privilages.



It's better to give her a little more freedom then have her completely rebel to get some space away from you. It's natural for your daughter to want her own space and to seperate. If you give her the space she'll feel closer to you then if she has to force you away in some dramatic fashion later on. Trust me, it might not be this year or the next but she WILL push back and if you don't start trusting her a bit more she'll push back hard.



Just my thoughts.

Jennifer - posted on 09/24/2012

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I see why you are worried about your daughter. You are right...it is a different world but the pressure that she is giving into sounds like the same things that we faced when we were kids just with technology added to the mix. This day and age can only be used as a reason for so long before the truth about the issue needs to be addressed. It sounds to me that your daughter is angry about something. have you asked her what it is? Who does she trust enough to open up her emotions? My daughter will be 11 in December. We talk about everything under the sun. She is going through changes and get emotional. She cant explian why but I know its hormones. Yesterday we sat together with the computer and read " what to expect during puberty" If it seems silly, well, it wasnt. She has been feeling anxious and sad she has been going through changes and didnt know why she was feling so out of balance. finding the simple root of things sometimes can be the shortest distance between point A & B.

Your daughter is twelve. The world is changing for her daily. Shes probably excited and scared. She needs a person she can talk to without judgement...a soft place to fall, She needs a comfort. As a mom I have decided to be that for my daughter from the beginning because I remember the lonely feelings I had as a pre teen. Before I go on all day, I would just like to say sit back and take a breath. Reposition yourself and talk with your little girl. Ask her how you can be there for her. Dont be afraid to say that you were wrong in some areas and admit your fears and weeknesses and this might help her feel more comfortable coming to you with hers. She will eventually open up. You are cheating by reading her diary. You can chose to be the one she runs to when she needs comfort or the one she runs from because she is angry that you are not seeing her and what she is going through. Its hard to be a kid. It really is and they need respect, love, comfort and understanding from us as mothers to be prepared every day to face the pressure they feel when they are out of our care.



BTW- My daughter does have a phone and uses the computer. just last night i told her that I need all of her pass codes. I said If I try to get into your phone and i cant you will lose the phone for the day. She asked why and I said because I love you and I want you to think about what happens on the phone and your computer. If its something you think I might be upset with if i see it then you as a responsible young lady need to make your own decision not to allow it on your phone or your site. I trust you and I know you will make good decisions so it shouldnt be an issue. We are just staying open with eachother. She said OK mom. gave me a kiss and went to bed

Jennifer - posted on 09/24/2012

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Miranda- I am wondering where the need for the inspections come from. Has your daughter done something that has made you feel that the only way to access her life and thoughts is now through inspection and reading her diary?

Lori - posted on 09/24/2012

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I can totally relate.My daughter has done things to violate my trust as well..where do we release some to let them try to earn our trust again? I let go some & she pushes it to make me wonder why did I loosen up? My daughter does not have her privileges any longer...no phone, iPod, limited tv viewing or access to computer unless I'm right there. It's sad & very frustrating! Best of luck & keep praying for your daughter.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/22/2012

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I am not one to pull punches Joy, what she is doing is wrong point blank. If this women was treated this way when she was young, she needs to take a minute and remember what a huge invasion of privacy this is.

Annie - posted on 09/22/2012

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I've been answering teen email questions for 15 years and I have heard from plenty of girls like your daughter. Typically they say "My mom does let me do anything!! I HATE THIS!" Their frustration often leads to desperate acts of rebellion.



As tweens grow toward young adulthood, they need more privacy just as plants need water and light. Without opportunities to use their judgement on their own (without Mom hovering over their shoulder) they can not learn to navigate. Will they make mistakes? Of course. And that's one of the ways in which they learn what is a good choice and what isn't.



I know your intentions are good. You love your daughter and all you want is to keep her "safe," but she need breathing room. By delving into her diary (where she ought to feel safe to pour out her heart and deepest thoughts and dreams) you are, I fear, encouraging her to go underground-i.e., create a "fake" diary for your consumption while her "real" heart and mind, reside elsewhere. If you want her to be open with you, this isn't the way to encourage that. You might also be unwittingly fanning the flames of defiance and rebellion just to "show you" that she CAN have a life of her own. Because she is "complaining" now, at age 12, and you don't seem to be understanding the personal need she has for privacy and boundaries, how do you think she'll respond when she's 13 or 15 or 17?

Sanchero - posted on 09/21/2012

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Yes, in my opinion it is too harsh. Yes Miranda, this is your house but it's also your daughters house, too. If you suspect illegal (criminal) activity then yes leave no stone unturn but until then be a parent, be a life coach & not a police /correction officer... History has shown us over & over again that tyranny does not work but cooperation and shared responsibility does. Your daughters should have some say on the house rules, family activities, etc. However their diary, house phone calls, sibling conversations, bedroom, shower and personal quiet time they should have privacy. Let them rant all they want on paper /verbal /diary or else the wrong person may hear & guide them the wrong way. It's important to start developing a respectful, trusting, & honest relationship now before the dreadful teenage years begin (2 more yrs?). Start thinking what's the lesser of 2 evils? Cigarrettes or marihuana, alcohol or opiates, unprotected sex or condoms, pregnancy or contraceptives, friends that come to family functions whom you get to meet or people on the internet whom may not be whom they claim to be, getting in a car w/ a drunk driver friend or calling you to pick them up at 2 or 3am?...etc. etc.. Oh Miranda issues of dire consequences are coming in the years ahead. Prepare yourself, Reconcile, & Develop a trusting loving transparent relationship w/your family as best you can. Everyone makes mistakes, acknowledge it, apologyze (teach daughters d same) and move on... Good Luck.

Sherri - posted on 09/20/2012

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So wondering if the OP is going to come back. Truly wondering if anything we have all said has changed her position.

Julie - posted on 09/20/2012

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If you do not give her some trust and show you trust her you will never get the respect you are demanding... You are far too harsh! treat her with the respect that you expect back from her.. Checking her diary is a bad thing! wild rants while writing are good for letting off steam.... Show her a little faith or you will reap what you sow....and regret it...

Erica - posted on 09/20/2012

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Okay while i understand the phone thing considering she has been in contact with an older boy (though if she can't be trusted with one why does she have it?)- the diary and the prison-cell like checks are way too excessive.

Her diary is a place too express her feelings and thoughts unhindered by what people will think of her- not a place for people to go snooping- and i'm amazed at your daughters restraint i would've honestly left home to go an aunts/uncles/sisters/ANYBODY ELSES HOUSE if my mother was caught reading my diary... and for all you know she has a 'real diary' stashed at a friends house or really well hidden off property.

And ranting is damaging to a childs brain? then how is half the world even coherent? By that Insane Troll Logic i would at least be brain dead considering how many rants and vents i wrote down during my teen years. Writing down a rant on a peice of paper saved me many many many times from doing it in person- and honestly a couple of days later i would re-read the rant/vent and realise it was stupid and overreacting... something you dont realise about words spoken aloud until your well into adulthood.

And the room checks? i didnt realise being a parent meant being a warden- should i apply for a job at a prison or correctional facility? way too excessive for someone who's worst crime is a ciggarette... if it was marijuana or ice etc thats a completely different story all together... All your doing is reinforcing the child beliefs that she cant come to you because you'd overreact or lecture her beyond the point of reason...

So do i think you're being too harsh? HELL YES I DO.... and to some point so do you or you wouldnt be doubting yourself enough to post this on a forum

User - posted on 09/19/2012

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Sorry i didn't read them all, i just glanced up at that one and my intention wasn't to single anyone out in a negative way, i am also straight to the point but it seemed like people were laughing at the lady asking us for our opinions and i don't like that, I should have read the rest but im too busy running around after my little one. If she doesn't like all of our advice that is us allllll saying she is wrong then OVER AND OUT from me :)) Good luck Miranda.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/19/2012

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Joy, I got the feeling that she wasn't reaching out for help, since she basically stated (a few posts later) that she didn't care, she was going to keep on as she started.



Little Miss is blunt, to the point, and holds nothing back. Injustice infuriates her, and the rest of us, she's just a little more open about sharing her opinion.



I agree with her opinion wholeheartedly, by the way. I'm also wondering why you didn't single out Angela Barker, who (I loved her post) was quite brutally direct and to the point, and also another poster that I agree wholeheartedly with.

User - posted on 09/19/2012

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Be gentle "little miss cant be wrong' because we are trying to help Miranda not to beat her into remission. Remember she is reaching out for help here. :)

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