What’s Your Snooping Policy – Over the Top or Totally Not?

What’s Your Snooping Policy – Over the Top or Totally Not?

Featured Articles Parenting Help Parenting Help Parenting Teens Parenting Tips   A couple of my colleagues have written about this very topic because it is one very sensitive to all parties involved… from both parents, their kids, and friends.

There’s basically two schools of thought:

  1. To snoop and be heavily involved or suspicious of your kids
  2. To trust the way you raised them and only dig deeper in the face of evidence

My two colleagues are mothers themselves and have outlined their views in this article Trust a Parent’s Cop Out and this article Responsible Mom vs Cool Mom

I would say they tend more toward the first line of thinking but I’ll leave you to judge that for yourself.

Admittedly, my views on this topic are colored by my own experiences and the way my parents raised me. To deny that has an influence would only be an insult to you.

As you can probably tell my parents chose philosophy 2 as their method of parenting me.

I was given a pretty strict upbringing when I was very young and even into elementary school having gone to a Christian private school.

So I guess my parents were confident in this upbringing and trusted me based on my past behavior.

Of course, they had the talk with me about the “birds and bees”, as well as the drugs and alcohol talk. While they didn’t condone drug use or underage drinking they said if I fell to the temptation under no circumstances was I to drive.

Even if it was 3 a.m. on a weekday morning I was to call them to come pick me up and no punishment would result from getting the ride. This was of course assuming I had told them I was going to be out at this party. Had I snuck out I’m sure it would have been a different story.

They never came into my room without my permission (to my knowledge) and always respected my boundaries never snooping in my online world either.

Now I know they treat my little sisters a bit differently and more protectively.

I have no idea whether this is just parental instinct or whether there’s something more going on that parents feel the need to protect their female offspring more than their male offspring.

Either way I was greatly appreciative of their stance on this issue and wholeheartedly agreed with it.

If I were to put myself in the place of a parent and imagine I had a child of my own I would suggest a hybrid of the two schools of thought.

I would suggest excellent strictness and boundaries when they are very young because that will imprint on them in a lasting way. You probably already know the things we experience during our very early childhood have the most lasting impressions on us.

Then once they get into the teen years I recommend more of a tact of trust unless and except in the face of evidence to the contrary.

If you happen upon some evidence of drug use or alcohol consumption I certainly agree you should deal with it in the way you see fit.

But no snooping in your kids lives, digitally or in the off-line world unless it’s provoked and justified by evidence. You’re not here to be your kids friend but you’re also not here to ruin their lives either.

So mutual trust on both sides is the course best traveled. For you kids out there definitely be up front with your parents and tell them the places you’re going.

When you’re caught in a lie that’s evidence for them to snoop further in your life and take on a more active role than you’d like for them to play.

Now for you parents that means staying out of their room and trusting the way you raised them that they’re being good kids and not getting into drug or alcohol problems.

I realize this means you have to trust yourself and your own parenting skills which could be scary for you. Just get over that fear because I’m sure you did a good job.

Also, it means not hacking into their Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Apple iTunes accounts.

You hate a stalker as much as the next person and nobody likes a snoop.

Finally, for kids out there who may be reading this get better passwords on your accounts. This will provide far more protection for you from bad influences and potential predators by securing your accounts.

Don’t make passwords obvious like your birthday, your Social Security number, your first to last name, or any of the other most common passwords.

I’m sure you’ve seen the movie Hackers and you know the five most common passwords are God, sex, love, password and first or last names.

By having stronger passwords this will give your parents greater peace of mind that people they don’t want viewing your profiles will be barred from doing so. And of course have your privacy settings at a level you and your parents can agree upon.

In any negotiation the more upfront and transparent every party is the more trust and smoother the negotiation goes. And a better result is achieved for all.

I hope this has struck a chord with you and welcome your comments about your own trust philosophy and the level of trust you place in your kids (and therefore your own parenting skills).

Let me know what your policies are with your kids. Or just your general thoughts in the comments section.

Author: Billy the kid

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