Spying on the kids - responsible parenting or paranoid distrust?
Obviously, from the children's point of view it's an unforgivable offence. But let's try to walk in parents' shoes. They have to choose very often between confidence and inclination to protect their children. Here we have some their opinions and stories.
M.M. Denny (mother of 3 boys):
"I trust my children. But, they are just children, and as such, they can only make decisions from an inexperienced point of view. Sometimes they may need unsolicited advice, and the only way you can support your child is if you know when the help is needed. (...)
By spying on your Children in their life without you, it is possible to get a glimpse of their "friend" personality. Do they seem happy? How do they act in a group? Do you know all the kids your child is hanging out with? Do you know their parents?
Overall, while spying on your children may sound a little paranoid, it is nothing new. Our parents checked our pockets for paper notes, listened in on phone calls, and read our diaries. Spying isn't a violation of privacy; privacy is something that is garnered with maturation. Be honest, you're not really spying on your child, you're protecting them they need it most. When they think they don't need it."
Kenneth Ratajczak (father of 3 children):.
"I think a parent should not spy on their children. Nothing good can come of it. All that the child will get from this is that you do not trust them and that they have no rights to freedom or free choice. All you do is show that you do not and will not trust them. You show no respect for them as a person and what they do in their own time. I think you should "supervise" your children. It's OK to know where they are going, who their friends are and that they are not in harms way. That is your job as a parent. It is showing that you trust them, but will check in from time to time. I believe that trust and respect factor goes a lot further in their development than micro-managing."
"Please don't be so naive to think your child is goody goody and tells you everything they don't. I thought my daughter was doing good telling me where she was going who she was with. Until one time I let her sleep over her friends house and go roller-skating. The next day she let it slip
that she was using some hair products that were new I know the friend that she was sleeping over is a tom boy and wouldn't t have these products so I ask her where she had slept come to find out she had told her friends parents that I had said it was okay if they slept over someone else's house. She never called me or anything she just went and did this. Anything could have happened anything."
"I was working for a small software company, and just by chance one day a colleague happened to speak to me about keystroke monitoring software. I resolved to install some of this software. I downloaded something called family key logger and while my children were away at school I installed it on
both of their computers.
For a few days I sat back and let my little program do its work. Then one day after they had left, I went into their rooms to see what the keystroke logger had found. I went into my daughters room first. I turned on her computer, found the program, and opened the text file. There were a lot of online conversations. I thought I knew my daughter well, but suffice to say that I didn't even know her. I found out that she had been pregnant and had an abortion all without my knowledge. My confidence as a parent vanished as I read her words. Her friends heard all her real troubles while she smiled at me innocently and told me nothing. I wan
dered into my sons room in a daze and started his computer. Turns out he sells weed and takes prescription pain killers. I thought we were still best buddies and told each other everything. I had been feeling a little guilty before I installed the software, guilty for invading the innocent world of my little children with my suspicions and curiosity, but now I just felt numb. Turns out my kids trusted me even less than I trusted them.
This is a hard story to share, but I think that it is important. If I had never thought to s
py on my children, at least I would have the illusion of a happy family life. Some people insist that they want to know the truth about things, but as someone who has found out more than he ever wanted to know, I can assure you that spying on your teenagers is not worth the heartache. I cannot even confront my kids with what I know because I found out through trickery. The wall of silence in my home is growing higher and thicker. My days of happy ignorance are at an end thanks to the evils of modern surveillance technology."
How to spy on your kid? (some parents' advices)
You can for example:
- check his/her cellphone (messages, numbers)
- install computer program which will show you all that your child has been typing.
- listen at the door
- be friend with all his/her friends on Facebook, MySpace etc.
- rifle his/her room
- read diaries
- put a little cameraWhat do you think about spying on the kids? Is it permissive? Could you give some examples of situations which justify it?