Every parent has a right to know what their children are doing and who they’re hanging out with. When your children grow into their tweens and teens you have to be careful not to violate their privacy and trust while still keeping track of what they’re up to.
It’s okay to snoop on your kids if you’re doing it in the right way and for good reasons. You don’t want to violate their privacy to the point where they shut down completely from you. There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing everything which goes the same for snooping.
We can all say we’re guilty of going through our kids backpack, pants pockets and even their drawers in their room. We do it out of love and safety concerns but they see it as us not trusting them.
Being a Spy
When your kids were younger they we’re afraid to tell you every second of their day. Once they hit tweens and teens year you’re lucky if you can get a few words form them. Most will say “nothing” when as what’s new in their life. This is normal for kids that age. Remember you’re the parent and they are the child. You can’t force them to speak about their personal life to you but you can stay ahead of the game and be an undercover snoop if that makes you feel safer about your children. Here are some tips to break through to your kids while keeping their trust.
It’s a general rule of thumb that you shouldn’t go through their phone unless they are in serious trouble. Some parents will agree and some will disagree. Our generation has come a long way since we were kids and had one phone in the kitchen we all shared. Now parents have to worry about texts, emails, social media sites and internet browsing. There are ways you can stay on top of your kid’s cell phone without being over protective.
“When you snoop, focus only on looking for danger,” says Abrams. “If it seems like normal teenage talk, just stop reading and forget about it” says Kay Abrams, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Kensington, Maryland.
No one likes someone to go through their room if there is no trouble to be found. If your child isn’t acting out or you can’t see anything out of the ordinary at first glance it’s best to keep their privacy in their room. If your child is skipping school and acting out then go ahead and go through their room to see if you can find anything to justify their behaviors. Or if they are having strange eating habits and you worry they might be suffering from an eating disorder then go ahead and search their belongings. Other than that no one likes to feel like the police are throwing their room apart.
Too Much Information
You may want to know everything second about their lives but that’s just never going to happen. You have to tell yourself to trust your child and give them the tools to make the right decisions.
You also don’t want to share too much information with your child about your adult life. This can make them feel overwhelmed and confused. Children shouldn’t have the burden of your issues and they won’t know how to handle it. Examples would be if you told your child that you and your husband are fighting or you two are having money issues.
Try to establish a healthy ground for communication and honesty with your child. Set guidelines they must follow if they don’t want to be snooped on.