I have very candid conversations with my children which is how I found out that they exhibit characteristics and display behaviors that they don't necessarily want me to see. Let's face, they're just little people so just like we protect them from the darker side of us as their parents, they also protect us from a side we may not want to see. With a teenage girl on my hands and a pre-teen boy coming up right behind her I'm starting to feel less and less clued in on certain things. When I used to reach for my daughter's phone I never got the push back that I get now and I know it's because she has things that she doesn't want me to see. We're not talking naked Facebook pictures or something shameful on Instagram, she simply is having conversations with friends that wouldn't be pleasing to my eye. So what does this mean? As a 15-year-old young woman does she deserve a certain level of privacy when it comes to her life and electronic devices? Nope, not really, at least not in my opinion.
I have a law-abiding scholar on my hands that really doesn't give me any problem whatsoever but I still look in her phone from time to time to keep a pulse on what's going on with her. I don't seek her phone out or go behind her back to go snooping but if she happens to leave it laying on the car seat while she runs in the store, I take my liberties and seize the moment. When she returns somehow she knows that her device has been compromised but I'm always honest and admit that I perused a few text conversations in her absence. She's never upset which is a good sign to me that so far there's nothing too inappropriate going on that I couldn't handle. I haven't escalated to looking in her room for drugs and alcohol, we're not there yet (I hope). I would suggest marking your liquor bottles just to test the waters and see if your teen may be taking a little off the top when no one is watching. It's ok to trust your teenager but when all else fails, remember the things you were doing at their age, it helps to keep it all in perspective.
MommyNoire readers: Do you spy on your kids? If so, how regularly? If not, what are you waiting for?!
Words: Sid Powell