Teens and Privacy
Select any title to view the full question and replies.
Do/Would you read your child's texts?– Dec 26, 2018(12 replies)
I recently had a huge to-do with my family about reading our kids' texts. They have flip phone only so no instagram, etc. They text, of course. I have always maintained that children have no right to expect privacy and that parents have a responsibility to know what is going on in their lives whether kids decide to talk or not. My daughter (13) still shares all, but my son (15) is silent about anything but what's on UTube today. He usually deletes his texts anyway, but once in a while he leaves his phone unattended by accident. They are both good kids with OK grades and no serious drama. They and my husband feel strongly that reading texts breaks trust and makes them less likely to open up. They think texts should only be read if there are "warning signs" that something is going on that needs adult intervention. I think that is often too late.
What do you think?Dec 26, 2018
Discovered a fake ID in son's wallet– Dec 8, 2016(9 replies)
I'm wondering how people have handled high school kids getting fake id. I find myself in the horns of a dilemma because, for no reason, I looked in my son's wallet and saw that he had a fake id tucked in behind his driver's license. My partner and i have been discussing how to handle this (and he checked computer browser history and found a series of searches for things related and a big cash withdrawal from his bank account which normally barely gets touched), and he decided to basically offer amnesty and not accuse our son directly or make him feel the need to lie. He told him all the reasons we were upset about hearing word that lots of kids have fake id's and that if he had one he could give it over to us, no questions asked, but that if we found out from others that he had one, we were taking his real driver's license, not giving him access to our cars, and taking him off insurance. Total backfire in that the son has not given them to us and is basically calling our bluff. Part of the dilemma is the privacy issue of looking in his wallet, the browser etc, but I am of the mind that he's in our household and unless it is a private journal, things like a wallet are fair game. I assume that just about all high school seniors with the means are doing this, it's so easy to get them online and with cash (and apparently, they often send 2 for the price so that if one gets confiscated there's a backup) but I'm hesitant to bring it up with his friends parents for fear that it gets back to my son that I was stirring things up. Any thoughts about this?Dec 8, 2016
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Pre-teen's extreme modesty: privacy or poor body image?March 2004
Hi, My ten and a half year old daughter started her period a few months ago. She has some breast development and body hair. She refuses to discuss wearing a bra, doesn't want me to talk to her AT ALL about her periods, and won't let me wash her hair/be in the room when she changes clothing, etc.
I'm feeling bewildered and a little concerned. Is this in the normal range of preteen/teen modesty, or should I be worried about a poor body image? I think that she wishes that all this ''maturity'' wasn't happening to her yet. a concerned mom
Teen's Privacy vs. What I Need to KnowMay 2004
Re: What are these tiny baggies I found in my son's bag?
This newsletter is more helpful than anything out there to us parents raising teens! I learn things that I otherwise wouldn't know or even want to know about and feel better prepared to deal with them or avoid them. This is the same approach I take to finding out about my kid's life, issue or potential problems. I actively seek out information that I might not want to know even if it means snooping. Yes I will even read my daughter's IM messages and interestingly enough even though I often confront her about her messages ( ''I was high on double dose of Midol cramps medicine today'') she continually leaves those IMs on the open computer screen as if she wants me to read them. Others might dissagree but I feel it is my responsibility to know what my kids have under their beds or in their closets or in their computers. If the parents of those two Columbine boys snooped around their closets maybe they wouldn't be able to stockpile their weapons and kills so many innocent kids. Maybe by finding marijuana baggies one can prevent a kid to become a dealer or a user or save a girl's life by discovering she is taking large doses of Tylenol. Better safe than sorry, better a snoop than a naive, clueless parent. Snooping Mom
In response to the email from Rebecca to the mom who found suspicious baggies in her son's backpack while he is far away at college: I disagree. I feel that when our children go away to college, the boundaries around these possessions change a bit. THis young man is far away at college. He is an adult. He has moved out, and does not live there now. It is not the same. He is only using this room to store stuff. Many parents redo and reuse their kids' rooms and things when they are away. That's the least parents can do when they are paying for their college. If this was something intimate and personal, he would have taken it with him. It is not snooping, it's seeing what has been left in your house and using what is sitting there unused. Their rooms and their stuff are not shrines when they leave. Anonymous