Monday, 23 November 2009

Big Father is watching!
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 incli
nation 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."

Kimberly Ware:

"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."

Phil Illson:

"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 camera

    What do you think about spying on the kids? Is it permissive? Could you give some examples of situations which justify it?


  1. Parents just can't protect and spy on their children to the rest of their lives. I understand that they want their kids to live happily but if they don't make mistakes, they won't know how to solve their problems in the future life. Confidence is very important in every relationship. I know that sometimes such spying is very useful but in my opinion it's so much better to make our kids trust us. If they do so, they'll tell us their problems without spying on and cheating.

  2. I share Monika's opinion. I think, parent's should't spy their children because it infringe on their privacy. They had better bring up their children in a appriopriate way instead of reading their diaries or putting a camera. In my opinion, parents shouldn't forbid their children but teach them how to handle problems.

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  4. I think spying children is a great disagreement. It causes lack of trust between the generations. What's more, kids can lose their sense of privacy. It isn't the best solution. We don't want to have in the near future sick totalitarian country like in Orwell's "1984", do we?

  5. I absolutely agree with you, it's shocking for me that some of parents don’t see anything wrong about spying their children! I can’t imagine that my mother or father would be able to read my private notes and mails or check my phone. I understand that parents worry about their children, especially when they are small, but much better way to protect them is to talk with them honestly, ask about their problems and try to always understand them, but never hide a little camera in their backpacks and spy! How can children trust their parents and tell them about their troubles if they feel that they aren’t treated as partners but as puppets?

  6. I also agree, that spying children by parents is absolutely bad idea. Of course, some people, as we can see in this presentation, find it useful, but... Let's imagine the situation: you're a parent and you discovered, e. g. using hidden camera or checking personal things, serious problem of your son or daughter - like in Phil's story. What can you do with this knowledge? Say: oh, honey, I know about everything? Rather no. You can't use it to help your child, but, for logical reasons, your contact with him/her is getting worse and worse.
    I think, that checking children using such methods isn't a solution. Sometimes good talking and observation of behaviour wuold give better results.

  7. In my opinion parents sometimes need device which can be use some like GPS. But I think should use this equipment for young children. Older children should be a biger feedom. I understand that parents would that his children are safety but we can't protect children by all his life! It isn't possible! In my opinion sometimes parents have a paranoid for his children and sometimes behaviour of parents is gross for this reason.

  8. I also agree with you. Parents shouldn't spy their children. It's obvious that children sometimes make mistakes, but that mistakes usually have positive influence on their children in future. I'm especially shocked by Phil Illson's statement. Behaviour of his children is mainly his and his wife shame, I think. If parents don't talk with children about the most important things in life, how can they require that children will share with them their problems?

  9. This post brought this presentation to my mind:

    Learning from mistakes is one of the key things of what youth if for. And the thought in older child's head of parents not trusting you and buying you a collar can be pretty devastating for a family relationships.

  10. It`s a difficult question because as a child we wouldn`t like being observed and under control all the time. On the other hand, as a parent, we want to know what our children are doing, where they are outside home etc. Finally I would agree with this trend but not regarding to me;p

  11. Parents really don't need staf like GPS or hidden camera to spy their children. Their is a lot of old fashioned way to check what kid is doing. When people don't have children they couldn't imagine that they will spy their children in the future. But love is control and prevention, so this behaviour is parent's privilege.

  12. All children need love and affection, to be kept safe and given limits on how they act, to be warm, fed, clothed and to have the opportunity to learn.
    If parents feel confident and positive sure your children are more likely to feel that way, too.
    True is that parent can not controll children ( web cam, GPS, check his/her cellphone (messages, numbers)
    Confidence...Confidence....Confidence...a lot of talk and explanations - and not spying !

  13. I think that try spying children is something ridiculous. Parents must trust their kids - it's something natural - because they're parents!! Maybe it's important to check what your's children do when they're kids, but teenegers must have some freedom. Using spy computer programs - wrong idea, because most of young people know much better how to use computer to hide their virtual steps. to sum up, I totally agree with Keneth Ratajczak

  14. I think that spying on kids is very controversial matter. If I were i young child I wouldn't to be spied by my mother, but I would probably have a different opinion if I were a mother. I believe that children and parent should trust themselves. It's the most imoprtan issue. Additionally spying is a kind of care but I think it's showing in an inappropriate way.
    In my opinio parents should talk with children about all dangers wich they can meet outside home and show how they can protect themselves from them.

  15. In my opinion kids are the same humans as adult people - all of them should have privacy. I think that the best way to be not worry about our children is talking with them and trying to not neglect them. The main thing in relation parents- kids is trust. Spying destroy it and offer an natural, strange unpleasantly situation.

  16. I think that spying your own children is not a good idea. The relation between parents and children should base on mutual respect and trust. My parents were always giving me much freedom and believed me in everything. I didn't cause them trouble and no spying was needed. When I'll have kids I'll trust them and I'll leave them their privacy.

  17. I also agree with you. Spying your own children is not a reasonable.
    I think our times have specific requirements and doing something in diffrent ways is uncomfortable for parents and makes a lot of problems connected with education of children and preparing them for life in society. It's difficult so parents and children should work and trust together.

  18. I think that spying children is a really bad idea. Everykids have their secrets and don't want to share with it to their parents. Besides that spying children is to break their privacy. I think that sometimes it's not that we want to know where they are just for their safety but because we are curious where they are going..and off course if thet say where they are going it's true.

  19. Spying isn't something ridiculous.
    Putting a little camera or installing a computer programe which will show you all that your child has been typing - it's extremity. But in general some kind of parents' inquisitiveness is necessary, especially when their children are younger.
    It's simple-minded to think that taking care of children's education is based on heart-to-heart talk and hearty confidence only.

  20. I just can't imagine a situation when a parent is spying on a child. I think it is a bit paranoid. I understand the will of parents to protect their children and so on but in my opinion, parent who is spying just lacks trust toward his own child. I agree that parents should know where and what their kids are doing. However methods showed in this presentation are going to far and are just offence on child's privacy.

  21. In my opinion spying anybody is bad. Parents should talk with childrens, when they aren't sure something, don't spying! It cause only misunderstandings and lack of trust. It is also a brake of "Convention of Childrens Laws" (or something like that, I don't know english title, it's my translation). This convention say, that childrens have a law to private and noone can for eg. read their dairy or mails.
    Only if childrens are in dangerous parents can brake this rule.

  22. TO my mind spying on anyone unthinkable. As it was said in the text you are showing by it your lack of trust to other person. I know these are only children and we have to protect but I think it's manageable to control what your children are doing without spying on them. The most important thing is how much time you spend with them and how deeply you will ingrain moral values in them, that is why even the best spying kit won't help you to raise you children for decent people.

  23. In my opinion children are naturally stupid and evil. Children shouldn't be trusted by parents or anybody else. Most of young people would disagree with me because they don't have kids on their own. Trust me children have strange, bad and evil ideas of harming themselves or something else. Full control is the only solution.

  24. I think when a child is small espionage children is desirable, because it is a level of security. But when a child is in junior school this is foolishness, because it will be rebel and either don't take the phone to school or they will disable it. Besides this it affect the privacy that a child at this age a very reserves.

  25. Maybe it's to save children. But really?
    When our child is attacked by somebody, we are so far that help him/her. When attack professionalist, transmitter will be turn out by his.
    At least, child also need the privacy...

  26. I believe that the excessive concern of parents for their children turns into psychosis. I understand that everyone wants to know what their kid is doing to prevent a child from danger but it comes a time when you have to trust them. If we want our children's will deal with in the future, we must teach them responsibility

  27. i'm not a parent yet but coming back to my childhood I don't remember being controlled by my parents too much. They weren't spies. Of course we should know important things about our children but we shouldn't know everything.They should have some privacy and we should trust them. Spying is not a good idea for me.