Parents out there- do you ever spy on your teenager?

United States
May 18, 2009 5:48pm CST
I have a thirteen year old and having already raised teens and remembering being one, I know that they don't tell you everything. especially with the dangers of myspace and cellphone use, it is a different world than it used to be. do you ever check their history on the computer or look at their myspace page or even listen to their phone conversations? do you feel guilty or do you think that it is a right as their parent to know what they are doing? is it an invasion of their privacy to do these things? or is it a good idea because sometimes teens don't know what they might be getting themselves into?
5 responses
@saw2207 (1359)
• United States
9 Jun 09
NuttyMomma . . I wouldnt call it spying but I certainly did my share of "watching" . . the way I did it was I came up with a few phantom aliases . . I had a facebook persona and I had a myspace and I had an aol screen name! One day she finally caught on to me .. But yes I think we as parents need to monitor and watch out what they are doing any we can!
• United States
10 Jun 09
yes, maybe calling it spying implies a lack of trust. there isn't a lack of trust it is more of an issue of kids being naive and even though they are growing up in a world where the Internet is more familiar to them then to their parents or grandparents, it is not a safe environment. some kids are too innocent and believe what people on the internet tell them. it is so easy to trick someone but they do not think about that.
@saw2207 (1359)
• United States
10 Jun 09
Trust Teenagers that is an oxymoron . .isnt it. Call it spying cause yes that is what it is. But when you work full time and you come home and you see something out of place or missing. . its just your gut telling you something just isnt right. . . and you ask you 15 year old the whos, whats and wheres and get little if any response .. then . . yes you take any step (within reason) to get to the bottom of things. Interesting to tell you . . i found out about a party that was at my house thru my motherly spying techniques and not only did i find out about it . I saw the evidence in pictures! And you want to know what .. . in 10 years she and I are going to laugh about that incidence . . . No harm in our kids knowing we will go to very far lengths to make sure they are safe and on the right path . .smetimes at the moment they hate it. .. but when they close there eyes to go to bed or when they are far away at school .. they know we did it out of love &hearts
@Jezebella (1446)
• United States
19 May 09
When I was younger my mom never spied on my brother and I. If she had a suspesion about anything that could hurt us or hurt others then yea she will come into our room or whatever. But she gave us our space and our privacy; we knew we could ocme and talk to her when we had a problem.
• United States
19 May 09
sounds like you had a good mom. it was easier then. with the internet and cellphones it is hard to keep tabs on your kids. sometimes you need to.
• United States
18 May 09
It's an invasion. How would you feel if they went through all of your stuff like that? You can't say it's different cause it's not. If they're going to make a mistake, let them make a mistake. You can't save them from everything cause they won't learn from it then.
• United States
18 May 09
So it is an invation of a child's privacy to make sure they are not viewing adult content on the computer. I have to say that there is a big difference between what an adult does and what a child does. Research has shown that humans are not fully capable of higher order thinking until the mid 20's, that means that teens cannot always make the decision that would mean living instead of dieing. I agree that we cannot save them from everything but I also feel like if you as a parent are vigilent and catch some of the major mistakes then your children will live to make the minor stupid mistakes that they can learn from.
@lampar (7591)
• United States
9 Jun 09
You got good intention from your statement, so instead of saying you are spying on your child, i will put it as close monitoring of your child online activities, it is better to be sure what your teen is doing and act properly while online, then feeling sorry after bad thing happen to her, time has change so much, internet is not any much safer now compare to walking on deserted street alone at night, so i will say a concern mother like you has good idea in protecting your child regardless of what others think of your action, after all, only you can protect them and had the resources to do so, not any other persons.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
29 May 09
boy oh boy can i relate to your situation! I have a 16 year old girl and a 13 year old boy right now. When my daughter was 13 I began asking myself those very same questions. Yes, I did snoop. Absolutely. Did I feel guilty? Sometimes. Is it an invasion of their privacy? Sure. Should we do it anyway? Hell Yes. Just don't get caught. lol And if you find out anything that you need to address, try to be discreet (or sneaky about it). Just fall back on the ol' "mom's have eyes in the back of their heads" line or the ol' "mom's intuition" story. If you tell them straight up that you found something out by snooping, then they will start hiding their stuff more. We've had this thing going on for years now. Of course, now she knows that I check up on her. But she's older now, so I'm really letting her have a lot more freedom now (relatively speaking). the problem was that when she was 13 she wanted the freedom of an 18 year old. It wasn't gonna happen. Now she's 16 and I give her the freedom of a 16 year old. Good luck. :-)