Sunday, June 14, 2009

Privacy and Kids: How Much Should a Parent Give Them?

I am at a stage in my life right now, where I need to be concerned about the rights of privacy I give my children. So far, limits and rules are being abided by, so I can't complain. With all the Internet predators, and texting games, I do wonder if I should be poking around a bit more.
I have no question that parents should be extremely concerned about the social activities of their child, and I do promote strict "snooping" and parental controls. However, looking at your child's/teens life and activities as a whole is important. Ask yourself the questions.......Do I know who my kid is hanging out with? Do I know these friends personally, or are they just "names" my kid throws out when I ask them? Do they have unlimited Internet and cell phone texting privileges? Any significant changes in their behavior, i.e., to outgoing, more withdrawn? How are their grades in school? Most importantly, how is your communication process with your kids? If your child is comfortable being open and honest, then your off to a great start. If there are some difficulties in this area of your life, I recommend you start looking into opening up with your kids. Read specific books on this subject if you have to, go to a counselor,....whatever you need to do to have a more open relationship with your kids, DO IT!

Have an intimate day!


  1. When reading this topic, there is one particular story that keeps playing in my mind. It occured 2 years ago. At the time, I was a single dad raising my 3 children by myself. My oldest was 16 and had gone to a basketball game. He called me after the game and said he was going to a pizza place with some friends. For some reason, the small voice was telling me that he wasn't being honest so I drove down to the pizza place to check on him. Long story short, I caught him in a lie. He wasn't at the pizza place. He was at an after game party. Ultimately, I was much less disturbed about the party than I was about the lies. When I got him home, I asked him if there was any other deception he wanted to come clean with before I got his entire texting history from our cell provider. Now let me just say at this point that this threat seemed like a good idea at the time. The problem is that you need to be prepared to hear what your child may tell you when you pull out such a big gun. About halfway through his confessions, I remember thinking "Can I put the lid back on this can of worms?" In retrospect, my actions were very hypocritical. I used a lie to get information from my son because I was angry at him for lying. Fairly ironic now that I think about it.

    So I guess my thought is I am a firm believer in snooping and poking into our children's business. However, it's critical we don't send the wrong message. We can't violate the very values we are trying to instill as we strive to stay up to speed on our children's lives.

  2. I don't have children but my sister has a son and daughter and I've often had a hand in helping to raise them. It's tough to figure out where to put the boundaries are when they become teenagers. Thanks for the post. It's given me lots of food for thought.