There are much better ways to communicate with your child.
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If you feel like you have reached the point where you're struggling to maintain a relationship with your kid, as I mentioned before, the situation will only get worse. But let's put it this way: say you do, sooner or later, get to invade your kid's phone privacy. What next? You prevent them from seeing their friends, get mad at them, yell, set stressful consequences, and then what? Nothing happens. Your kid is only going to want to rebel, and will probably end up doing things that are much worse than what they've been doing, or continue to find every possibility to see their friends again.
The extremes you're putting on them will only cause extreme behaviour. As a teenager, for the parents that are reading this, the information given above may seem exaggerated and naive. It's not. I am positive that many other teenagers and even parents disagree with the idea of parents reading their kid's private messages. Parent-child trust is one of the most important things you can have with your child, don't sacrifice it because you want to see who he or she is texting.
It completely breaks any trust they might have had with you. If you think something is going on, treat them like you would treat anyone else and talk to them. There really is nothing 2. The trust has already been broken I am sure there are exceptions, but in any of these situations reading their messages will only create a further gap in your relationship. Parents who snoop on their kids phones and in their rooms and diaries will quickly ruin their relationship with their kids. I'm curious how teens and adults will respond to this: I discovered messages where my kid's friends were texting her their homework answers to her.
When we got the phone it was with the understanding that parents would have access to their phone, but I've never confronted her with anything I've found on it before, and as far as she is concerned I've not been monitoring it. Now I need to confront her. I'm 15 years old and i have trust issues just because my mom read through my phone. I'm not a bad kid. But i don't trust anyone with my phone She says its for my "safety" and i have never believed that.
Parents Guide on How to Monitor Your Child's Text Messages - iPhone
I understand that most parents are worried about there child's safety online or offline as they should. But spying on your child's personal messages is not only wrong but will completely destroy all the trust they have with you. All parents should have strong relationships with there children. It is extremely important for a child's development. If you are going to be monitoring their messages at the very least let them know that you are doing this. Us kids are watched and kept safe by our parents until we are Everyone needs there privacy. I understand why parents do this.
In fact my parents helped me through a difficult situation because they read my texts and recognized the situation before I did. But I do have to say it can get quite suffocating. They have a way to read my texts while I have my phone. I hate that we as kids don't get the privacy we deserve! My phone get's to look through by my mom all the time. But i'm a kid. But I agree with some of it. Sad but true. Ya ik same my too she break my trust. From my personal point of view, I don't think that it is acceptable to monitor your child's phone, computer, tablet or any other device they may have.
Having access to accounts and passwords they use to talk to their friends in a private way isn't fair to them. I understand wanting your child to have a straight path in life and making sure they're not talking to the wrong people, but in monitoring them so closely you only feed the urge to be more secretive and better guarded with their personal life. When you don't monitor your children's activities so close, you're showing them you trust them.
My parents never did this and I'm so thankful for it. As many parents of teens talking theres has to be trust but trust goes two way trusting your kid to do the right thing and your kid trusting you to give them privacy. If trust goes two way and is strong enough your child might be more trusting to tell you about their personal life. Your teens are going to find out when you search their devices which will make them lose trust in you therefore getting around your checks losing you trust and when there is no trust you relationship is ruined.
It's really all about the circumstances. If it's a phone that I paid for doesn't matter if the parent is paying for our phone plan and electricity , then they shouldn't have to be snooping through our phones, and even if you use the phone plan and electricity as an excuse, then the parent can easily cancel the child's plan, and they'd still be able to do a lot of the things they still do, only now it's restricted.
If your parents paid for your phone, then they do have a right, because it's not really yours since they're paying for all of it. Also if you're really insecure about the things your parents might see, it's probably better to not have it on your phone, but have whatever it is talked about in person with friends, where you're parents won't know.
It all comes down to who owns the phone, trust, and what information that you let yourself get revealed. Yes I may only be thirteen but I have a personal life too. I only disagree because I feel like it's ruining my relationship with my mom. My dad doesn't read thro them I know that my parents trust me and only want to help me. But I feel like I can't trust my mom when she reads through my texts without me having a choice. When she does that I feel like I can't have personal conversations with my friends and they won't share with me if they know my mom is reading their every word.
It's not that easy. No, there's nothing bad going on, it's just the fact that I feel like she doesn't trust me or thinks I can't handle whatever drama is going on. Yes I realize that she was once a teen too but today we also deal with the same problems plus modern day stupid stuff. They just don't get it. Im sure when you were a teenager you didn't want your parents to know every single detail of your life. Please respond and tell me why it's ok for my mom to do this. As far as we know our parents most likely tell their close friends everything about our texts. They don't give us a reason to trust them if they don't trust us.
I would understand if your teen was doing something bad. But a lot of us aren't. My mom took my phone away because once I got mad and texted my friend about her and she got mad even though I KNOW she text about me. Honestly, I don't think it is OK to read your child's messages. It is invading their privacy, or is it not? Parents really can't expect their children to talk to them about everything, especially through their teenage years.
Some children or teens may be embarrassed having their parents go through their phone. I feel that if kids have to agree to certain conditions of having a phone, shouldn't parents give their kids a little privacy in return? The tighter a child or teens parents are, the more they will rebel. No, I'm not insisting you give your child freedom and everything, just give them privacy! Just like ghosty said, if you feel the need to invade their privacy don't let them have a phon eat all! Here are my thoughts: my parents have been reading my text messages for some time now, and it is frustrating and rather embarrassing.
Teens who are commenting on this blog: You have to stop thinking of your devices as your own personal diary. Keep your texts surface and informational or at the very least, keep it appropriate. If you really want privacy, do what your parents did: Talk to your friends on the phone or in person. I know that's not what people do these days but for every text or IM you send, ask yourself: "Would I want my parents to see this? Technology comes with a price.
I feel for you all that so much of your lives is wrapped up in a digital world and I understand the pressure you feel. Part of your parents' fears are that because of your not fully developed prefrontal cortex, you're going to make impulsive choices--sometimes bad choices and many of you do not fully comprehend the permanence of what goes on the internet. One drawback to the phone is that your parents can hear you ever if you do it in your room they can hear you.
Short answer: No. If you don't trust your kid enough to let them keep their messages private, don't give them a phone at all. Long Answer: I get the perspective of the parent- you have a child, and you want that child to be safe and not go down the wrong path. But personally, I feel that monitoring software or having access to passwords is too much.
When you impose such intense surveillance methods upon your child, the child feels like their parents are watching their every move and just becomes more mistrusting of their parents and meticulous at hiding things personal experience - the saying "strict parents make sneaky kids" is based in fact. It also just feels like a method to avoid the effort of fostering a trusting relationship with the child- why talk about what they might be going through and hear it from them when you can just stick your nose in all their private conversations?
I don't think it's unreasonable for parents to follow their kids on Facebook, Instagram, etc, or to be able to demand the child to provide access to their phones and social media accounts to check up on especially when the parent suspects that something is amiss. But the child should always be included as a part of the conversation, and should be treated as a human being as opposed to a problem. We all felt that way when we were teens, and please remember that your parents were teens once, too.
The BIG difference is depending on parents' age we didn't have the digital world as it is now, so all this is new to us as well. They are reacting by doing what they think is best to protect their child. In most cases, I'm sure it has nothing to do with not trusting on controlling their child. It's more out of concern and because they just aren't sure what else to do. I have a 14yr old that I'm going through this.
She is the oldest, so learning how to handle this is new to her dad and I. I've put a parental monitoring app on her phone. I told her I was doing this and why. Somehow, with phone update, this app lost "permissions" and I wasn't aware of it for a little while we were starting to loosen the "hold" if you please" and she took advantage of that and did things she was aware of that were wrong and abused her privilege; and that's what it is to have a cel phone; a PRIVILEGE.
It's not a right or a necessity or an entitlement or even a reward. It's means of communication, proper communication. In any case, most parents would have taken the phone and be done with it. However, we do believe in 3-strikes. This was 2. Her phone was returned after a week and after the monitoring app was updated and fixed so that it wouldn't lose permissions, etc.
Parenting these days is SO HARD, not only because of the digital world we live in but because parents are afraid of being disciplined for disciplining their children; damn near everything we do these days is abuse. Ask your folks, I bet they were both yelled at and and maybe even spanked maybe worse!
They're fine and not blaming their parents for any adult "issues" they have right? These days, if you yell at your kid it's verbal abuse, if you spank them it's physical abuse, if you monitor their phone or anything like that it's mental abuse. And forgive me, I know mental health is a REAL thing, but in the 21st century it seems to be spreading like wildfire and some kids even use it as an excuse. There's so much emphasis put on mental health that I think our kids are mistaking regular sadness for depression and think they need to go on meds.
Or they cut themselves because they want to feel physical pain rather than emotions. Kids these days just don't seem to want to learn to with their problems or how to cope. They won't talk to their parents even if there is a great relationship, so how are the parents to know anything is wrong; how do we help if we don't know? When I was a teenager, if a boy broke up with me I didn't go and cut myself up. I cried, lived with the heartache and moved on. I had friends that I hung out with. We didn't have computers or phones to go online and vent to perfect strangers and hide behind a screen.
We learned to deal with it. It's a sad reality that the digital world is making our kids anti-social in person and isolated from the outside world. So, in short or long , parents have every right to monitor their child's usage. Not only for their safety but so that they don't become overly dependent on looking at a screen to make friends or communicate or talk about any problems they might have. It's for their mental health as well. I agree with every word you said.
Especially with the part about mistaking normal saddness, guilt,empathy, with depression, mental health issues and self hatred.
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And leading to self injury and and even suicide. Kids don't understand that the events that lead up to these "negative" feelings, are a normal part of growing up. They help you learn what to do, and what not to do, and help you gain empathy. And when a parent points out or disciplines a child for disrespect, or other disobedience, and the child feels these feelings, it's not a parent who is causing these feelings, and this is NOT abusing a child, or instigating them.
The way the word has become, is causing our children to grow up entitled, and emotionally immature. And many of the comments in this post, show evidence of this. But it's not their fault though. It is the change of society in many ways! Thank you! I even get good grades. I am sixteen and my mom has read through my diary and texts in separate occasions.
Especially since anytime something she hears or something happened and it does affect me she still chooses to leave me out of it. While I understand the other side of the argument, I disagree. Unless you have cause for concern e. This whole issue is the reason I live with my friend now. My parents found out I was gay through my texts to my then girlfriend and kicked me out. You can't expect them to trust you if you don't trust them. Untrusting relationships don't make good kids- It makes good liars. I don't think they should.
I got a messaging app so my parents wouldn't read my text messages. I was mad. I can't tell them how I feel about this bc I'm afraid of what they'll do. I have a 15 year old daughter. She received her 1st cell phone in 3rd grade. So I need to do whatever it takes to make sure she is safe. So you know, I made a whole account just to say I feel bad for your daughter. I feel bad because she is being suffocated by you. Granted, I am not a parent. Regardless, giving your daughter zero room to breathe will only make you lose her trust.
Trust is a two-way street, you have to give to get. She should trust that her parents respect her. Your ambition of protecting is isolating her, to think you can protect her from everything. I beat she have dummy accounts and deletes text message frequently. Oh and children human beings deserve their privacy, it isn't something that needs to be earned.
Respect your child and their boundaries. Yes, they are allowed to have them even if they live in your home, eat your food, pay zero rent, and are minors. Do better Farrell. Our mom knows them and she is only 12 and still thinks boys have cooties WHY do my parents read her text messages?!
My mum reads all my messages and logs into my social media account to look at my online activity and my friends. I never really had the courage to ask her to stop after being shot down. I was 11 years old, and she said that most if not all parents did the same, and remained bitter for the rest of the day. I had phrased it as politely as I could but it wasn't great being reprimanded. I really hate it when she's upset because I'd get criticised and cry sensitive whoops and she'd get more upset it return.
So I dare not ask again? But now I've gotten used to it, though I feel sad when I see my friends posting things of their own free will. For instance I'm technically not allowed to go online during exam periods but I do and I can't text of anything of the sort. So if I see my friends' pictures of them going out together etc. I didn't have a phone until I was It wasn't technically my phone; it was shared between my parents and I I'm an only child.
We mostly bought it for emergencies only, so it barely had any texts on it, but I wasn't allowed to text my friends anyway. I did have a Twitter account that I had made a couple years earlier, so I downloaded the Twitter app and texted my friends through that. I didn't think it would be a problem, but it ended up creating a couple of them. I was talking to one of my friends about me being lesbian, and I hadn't come out to my parents because I didn't think they would accept it. One day I came home from school and my parents said they wanted to talk to me, and then proceeded to tell me that they had read my messages and found out I was lesbian.
They ended up being supportive of me, so it wasn't a problem, and I couldn't ask for more understanding parents. I asked them nicely not to read my messages, because I think I'm a fairly good kid who knows how to stay safe online. My mom agreed, and told me she thought I had a right to privacy, and she told me she would stop reading my messages.
Fast forward a couple years. I was talking to my best friend about them being LGBT. I was on my laptop at the time, and what I didn't know was that my mom was in the other room, reading every single one of our messages, and thus finding out my friend was LGBT.
Neither of us had a chance to come out ourselves. Yes, my mom is accepting and supportive of both of us, but what if she wasn't? This is why you should not read your kids' messages, and you should absolutely not tell them you aren't going to and then do it anyway. The only time you should ever read your kids' texts is when you have a very, very good reason to believe they're doing something illegal or dangerous. I do understand the whole safety and protection thing, but little do you parents know that over protecting and over controlling your child is the reason they begin to do things they aren't suppose to.
I am 15 and I've grown exhausted with the whole story of i'm doing this to protect you. I am the best I can possibly be, I was actually offered a scholarship just yesterday and my father couldn't even say a congratulations, also just found out today that I have spy cameras in my house, i don't know where but i found the boxes in which they came in. After all I have no energy to do good things and be good in school if I won't be congratulated for it, my parents always find something to complain about but never really tell me how proud they are.
That is what your kid wants fom you, your recognistion, respect and trust. We are your children yes, but we also are humans. We aren't your property, so no snooping through your kids phone isn't ok. You will eventually push them away. Especially if your parents are paying for your phone, they have the right to look at it. They are responsible for you and they do it to keep you safe - not to ruin your life deliberately.
I'm not a really a bad kid.
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But when my parents searched my phone the first few times, it made me break down into tears. I've lived a few places over the years, and I don't really like talking over the phone, so text messaging is the only way I talk to a lot of my friends. I use foul language, I admit, so that was in a lot of my messages. But I also told my friends I was bisexual. When my mother informed me of them reading my messages, it went like this,"Caitlin, your father read your messages.
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You mentioned something about your sexuality I tell my friends everything, and it is private. I understand that since they are paying for it, it's technically theirs. But this really messed up my relashionship with my parents. I've been drifting away from them for about a year now. Reading your child's messages multiple times, especially if they've never done anything in the past, ruins the bond. But as many people will tell you, stict parents create sneaky children.
I'm not telling you not to read their messages, but please don't go indepth. Maybe do a once over. You still need to consider you child's feelings, even if they only are, just a child. I have read my kids text messages when they were younger - until they got wise to the fact and password protected everything on their phones. Not a huge deal - because they knew that anytime I asked for the phone for inspection, they had to unlock it and hand it over.
When they were younger - preteen ages - not an issue. Since we didn't find anything out of the ordinary, they gained a level of trust and the inspections were less frequent as time went on. I won't go into details but you get the jist of it. Long story short - my son was the one charged with felony assault via text message - and not a danged thing happened to the bully who had been harassing him for 2 years.
The moral of the story is that parents need to be aware of a what is and is not acceptable to send via text message. I've drilled into my kids heads that if it isn't something they could say to their grandparents face-to-face, don't say it all and b know what your state laws are concerning threats, stalking, bullying, cyber-related or not to protect your children. Have a frank discussion with them about what the consequences could be if they do x, y, or z so that they know and understand that even something said flippantly in the heat of the moment can have serious consequences and long-reaching effects to their future down the line.
A lot of the comments written below were submitted by children, who have a lot less life experience than their parents. With technology constantly changing, parenting also must change. Due to the constant access kids have to each other, parents need to be vigilant in their monitoring of texts and social media. I'm sure no parent has ever regretted acting on something they found that concerned them on their child's phone. As user Everett C. Most of the children responding think this is an issue of "trust" with their parents.
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Trusting a pre-teen or teenager to know what's right for themselves is like saying a car can diagnose and fix itself when it breaks down. Well, my parents weren't crazy and now that I am a parent of teenagers I realize how wrong I was. If trust is the issue for the children responding maybe they don't trust their parents enough to understand that monitoring texts and social media is something that very good parents do. As long as I'm paying the bill I will check my children's phones and I don't care if they like it or not.
Either I check the phone or they don't have one. As a parent, you just told the whole virtual world that you lack respect for boundaries. More importantly it seems like you don't kids grow as a person because you shelter them from making mistakes. That is a real problem. Your kids most likely detest you. This IS an issue of trust because clearly, you have one. You dont even give them room to learn or explore the internet and i hope your kids find a way out of your execrable hell hole. Damn Heather, I bet your children resent you. Maybe try respecting your children idk. How about the girl who jumped to her death after being bullied over text and social media?
How about the parents who find out their kid is using because of an overdose and a trip to the hospital? What about the kids planning to shoot up their school? Check the phone. Check their book bags. Be parents. No teen on here is going to like it. Too bad. I feel this is something I need to cover.
My parents are the sweetest parents one could come across BUT they are the kind who feel that they need to know what's going on in my life. I understand completely. You, as an adult or a child, probably came across the same kind of question: Are they spying on me? Just as you adults can practice self-control, we can too.
Unless you're my cousin or a rare few. Recently, she was found watching a K drama at night. It's ok, it's fine, it isn't too severe.
They've suddenly gotten interested in my habits, favourite shows and friends. It's wrong to PRY on them, but it isn't to ask and be a little creepy once in a while. As a matter of a fact, we're closer than before! I found our few similar interests and introduced them to my life. They found nothing wrong with my interests and were back to normal. Maybe that's what you should do.
If they are being suspicious with their phone, just ask. They'll come and tell you eventually. The truth always comes out in the end anyways. The question is incorrect. Think about this: If you pay the phone bill with your name on it and they eat your food, live in your house, drive your vehicles, sleep in your bed, use your electricity, drink or use your water, use your money to go places or buy things, watch your tv with your service provider, play in your yard, participate in the extracurricular activities at school you pay for, you get the idea.
All of this with the full-time job you or maybe even both parents work to provide all these things and so much more. You as a parent if this is your situation should not even be asking such a question. Kids at school know that the text book or tablets they use are school property and are subject to review for content. Yes, even your lunch break can be subject to review. Doing this is being a concerned parent especially with how the world is today.
It has nothing to do with trust or treating anyone with disrespect. It is a privilege, not a right. I know most of the comments on this post are from young people. If you think it is unfair, move out, get a job, completely sever your financial ties with your parents and join the real adult world and suddenly a few read text messages don't seem so bad do they.
Your child probably hates you. Just saying, you really are the epitome of controlling parents. You are absolutely right!
I love every word you wrote, if only those children responding could understand Too many parents don't monitor or even set expectations for phones, it will eventually backfire when they are expected to comply in the adult world. No, unless your child is particularly defiant and known for participating in illegal activities or sneaking out, do them a favor and do not read their texts. Please, we are begging you to show some trust in us and we are begging you to treat us like we are human and not some inferior species. My parents not only read my messages, but go through my social media, photos, and search history.
I am 17 years old and, while I am expected to act like an adult and forced to care for my five siblings whenever they need me to, I am treated like a toddler and constantly subjected to them going through my phone and personal belongings. Here is a list of some apps that will help protect your cover as you track your teens' online comings and goings:. Its main selling point is that you can monitor multiple things with it -- who they call, what they text, which apps they use, the number of contacts, GPS location, etc.
And according to SpyParent's founder Sedgrid Lewis , "it works. The Spy Bubble is another jack-of-all-spying-trades, also suitable for monitoring the phone of your suspected cheating spouse. Its site does offer some cautionary, if frightening, state-of-the-world information you might find useful. They will ask. Everyone does that. Yes, everyone does that and about eight percent of those experience harassment due to photoshop effects on their photos. The worst bullying of this sort is seen by the girls, especially because female reputation is one of the most fragile things in the world.
Want "OK, you can play with your phone for an hour" to really mean just 60 minutes? This app will shut down and lock the phone when you tell it to. Mobicip isn't so much a tracker app as one that restores a bit of control over your teen's online life. The high school level blocks content that is adult, sexual, or involves weapons and violence. Good luck with your kid not using a friend's phone.
For parents of new drivers and parents of teens with friends who have had their licenses for 20 minutes, MamaBear will let you know the speed of the vehicle your teen is traveling in. Just don't text them to slow down, OK? Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The Spy Bubble. The Phone Sheriff. Also on HuffPost:. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus. Ann Brenoff.
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