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Is It Okay to Spy On Your Kids??? (Page 1)

yeah. the tv one got me thinking about this. like, if your teenager had a computer in their room, would it be okay to have one of those (what are they called?) keystroke log (?) on it so you can check on what they're up to? i would consider it i guess but i'm not sure. on the one hand you hear all of the horror stories about predators on the internet and on the other hand you want your kids to learn responsibility and trust. i've heard of things like hidden cameras in cars and gps trackers and things like that for keeping track of your teen. i can see the logic in them to a certain extent, that you would be able to find them if they were in trouble or getting into trouble. but at the same time, at what point do you just let them go to fend for themselves?
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replied July 8th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I am a victim of this.

Absolutely. Not.

I will never "spy" on my child. I'll observe them during the activities, as opposed to ignoring them, having them get in trouble and then sneaking around to discover it later and get pissed they didn't tell me about it. That's so stupid.

If I'd been properly observed (observed... at all?) when I surfed the net as a young teen, we never would have gotten hacked into. The creep knew out phone number so we had to change it.

Secondly, my mother and father spied on my livejournal when I was in college, which I found to be completely inappropriate. They didn't tell their parents every thing, why should I tell them? I had to change journals twice and post everything "friends only" and specially hide my friends page. Still, they know the address of my ex's LJ so they could spy on him whenever they wanted to. I know the issue of "free-use" on the internet is complicated, and I told the ex to post friends only... but he never did, and my parents read things I honestly don't think they should have. Things they never would have known about before the age of computers.

My mother once even read a page in my real paper journal, and got pissed at me because I'd written in it how angry I was at her. Well duh, that's what a journal is for. What else did she expect to find in there!?

Obviously, don't let your child hole up in their room. Have an open door policy. Not an official rule... but sort of a rule so that people can communicate through the house.

Talk to your child a lot. Pay close attention to them. If they seem down or depressed, talk to them. Press the issue if the child has the personality that can handle it. Get to the bottom of things. Don't have secrets. Always remind them that they can come to you about anything, no matter what. That you'll always love them even if they did something wrong.

If you have to resort to spying, you are a bad parent. Your child deserves some privacy; they deserve a place they can go to get away from you, their siblings, the dog, the world. But, they also need your arms to be a trusting place. They shouldn't feel like they need to become an expert at hiding things to keep them away from you.

I hid a lot more from my parents the moment they started spying on me, and that was really bad. It ended up collapsing over this summer. There were other factors, but part of it was that I felt I had to hide things from my parents.
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replied July 8th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
Re: Is It Okay to Spy On Your Kids???
kaerbear wrote:
yeah. the tv one got me thinking about this. like, if your teenager had a computer in their room, would it be okay to have one of those (what are they called?) keystroke log (?) on it so you can check on what they're up to?


Im not sure about the original question, I havent given it much thought.

Just wanted to say, I wont be letting my child have a computer in his bedroom ever. It will be in the family room where we can see what exactly hes doing.

Morgan
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replied July 8th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Re: Is It Okay to Spy On Your Kids???
sick_mama17 wrote:
kaerbear wrote:
yeah. the tv one got me thinking about this. like, if your teenager had a computer in their room, would it be okay to have one of those (what are they called?) keystroke log (?) on it so you can check on what they're up to?


Im not sure about the original question, I havent given it much thought.

Just wanted to say, I wont be letting my child have a computer in his bedroom ever. It will be in the family room where we can see what exactly hes doing.

Morgan


Bingo. Smile Same for my house when I have a kid.
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replied July 8th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Oy, all I can think of is when my mother cleaned my room "for me" when I was at camp during the summer, and then ripped my head off for 1. even having a diary 2. with a lock and 3. writing in it. Then I was grounded forever (and beaten, I might add) for complaining about how abusive she was. Then, the diary was burned while I was emotionally brought down. Then, she "threatened" to send me to a school counselor because of how disturbed I was for "making up" all that stuff.

Okay, anyways, sorry, that question brought that back in me. Flashback!

Anyways, I think when/if I get around to having children, I will first figure out what my mother would do, and then do the exact opposite!!!

I think kids need privacy... to a degree. If you start noticing other issues (like grades slipping, changing friends) it's pertinent to start getting nosy.
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replied July 8th, 2007
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i think it should be a privledge thing, if they "earn" your trust then maybe let them have a step up and have a tv in their room, you can't hide them from everything, they're going to watch dirty things sometime or another (well usually) and it doesnt make them bad people, theyre human. but with the gps thing, i think i'd only go to that extent if i knew i had an irresponsible child. if i knew i couldnt trust my kid then i would do things differently, like take the tv out, take away the computer, ect. then and only then do i think it's okay to spy, i wouldnt want my mom spying on me, but then again, im pretty responsible and my mom knows she can trust me.
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replied July 8th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
when you spy on your kids and the catch you it makes them loose their trust in you
i dont think its right
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replied July 8th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i would like to think i will have an open relationship wih my kids where they would come and tell me stuff. i will spy if they give me a reason to spy.
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replied July 8th, 2007
Experienced User
i don't think i'll spy... i think i may check up on my future teen/s but i don't think i'll make a habit of it unless it is completely neccessary, like my son was caught trying to meet some one from the net, or was using the net to help cheat on test and all that other jazz... you know?... but i really doubt i'll make a habit out of it
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replied July 8th, 2007
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the only reason i've ever given my mom not to trust me was the day her and i left for maine so that i could meet tommy for the first time. i lied and told her that he used to live here and that i knew him in person and that he moved away when his parents got a divorce (it's true, but he never lived here) so she took me thinking i knew him, let me be alone with him for hours ect, and then i wrote her a letter and told her i met him off of the internet, 5 minutes before we were supposed to go out to dinner with him and his mom.


jesus how did i ever pull that off. i feel bad for doing it now, although i don't regret it. i just cant believe my mom didn't kill me, i don't know what i would have done if i was her lol it illed me to hear her say that she couldn't trust me anymore and that i ruined it though.
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replied July 8th, 2007
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I won't spy on my children in the sense of hacking the computer or reading their journals. But I will enforce rules, such as: you can't go out unless I know the people you're with and their parents and I have a phone number. You can use the internet on the family computer (in the living area) only if one of us is home.

I'm going to try to be accessable to my child. Truth means a lot to my husband and I - we don't tolerate lies with each other, and we're going to try to teach .Alyvia (and our future children) that telling the truth is okay, even if you've been bad. I want to build that kind of trust with my child where she feels okay coming to me with things and doesn't feel like .I'll judge her harshly or punish her. That might not work out the way I hope, but it's what .I'm aiming for, anyway.
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replied July 8th, 2007
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If i have a reason to spy on my child then I will. I will talk to him first and confront him about the issues I have. If he still acts shady then I will take matters into my own hands. I will never just go into his room and just read his diary or snoop around though. That is a trust issue. However, the house is mine and he is only living there because I pay rent, so technically he should not have things in my house that are not allowed.
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replied July 8th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i will snoop and spy.
every time i was caught for doing something bad it was because my mother snooped and found out. if i had gotten away with it, who knows where id be today. my brother had a drug problem. my parents snooped and found a note from his friend.. this is how they found out and helped him with his problem.
id love to think my daughter will come to me with everything, but she wont just like i didnt.
you know how i found out my ex husband had had unprotected sex with another female and had gotten her pregnant... i snooped and found an email from her. he would of never told me. judge me if youd like but i have no problem with doing this and will continue to while raising my daughter.

the difference is, i know when to make an issue of things and when not to make an issue of things.
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replied July 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i plan to be active enough in my childs life that i will never have reasons to resort to spying.

i know for a fact it is very damaging. i can forgive my mother for lots of things. i can not forgive her for violating my basic privacy. the damage is irreparable, and if it came down to one factor why we can't ever be "friends" that would be it. it's dehumanizing, and very disrespectful. not only did my mother read my journals, but i got in hell for what was written in there. for "bad talking" her. i think a mature parent would be able to deal with their child having unpleasant feelings towards them (which is bound to happen at some point, all kids say "i hate my parents). writing is a very healthy way to deal with emotions, i was punished for trying to deal with my emotions towards my mother. it's like i had no right to vent and express anything that might reflect badly on her. by removing my privacy she deprived me of my emotional outlet. these things are things that are so permanently marked on my character, things that will always be in the way when i try to reconnect with my mother. i was physically punished for having negative feelings towards an abusive mother.

i realize not all parents will do the spying in this way, and react so irrationally to the things the spying yields but it's not the beatings i am unable to forgive, it's the invasion of my privacy that i am so bitter about. i am as bitter about it as if it happened yesterday.

i would basically consider this mental rape. private thoughts i did not give consent to be penetrated. it is one of the most violated feelings in the world.

computers will be in family rooms, with parental controls. same with televisions. i will call parents of friends to make sure my child is where they say they are. i will even show up places they say they are to make sure they are there if i have any reason to be suspicious of lying. i will be active in their lives, i will not let them slip far enough away that there is a chance i am unaware of drug use, depression, or any other serious problems they might be facing (maybe this is naive on my part). i will not let it get far enough to ever require a last resort such as spying. i will never make the step over to invading my childs basic privacy (such as a journal).
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replied July 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
If I suspected something I would question them about it. Going in and snooping for no reason is disrespectful. I will go in there rooms whenever I want though.
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replied July 13th, 2007
Experienced User
no you shouldn't spy..i think spying would just cause the kid to be more secretive about their life...my parents know where I go and when i go, i'm so bad at lying they'd be able to tell if something was up lol...I think they've finally gotten to the point (since i've been in college 2 years) to where what I do is my decision..they've done what they can and leave it to me to make my own mistakes...course, they keep me in line still you know Wink
i think a good parent should be involved but not extremely nosey or snoopy
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replied July 20th, 2007
Yes people, spy on your kids... There's thousands of reasons to do so, and not enough parents are. Many parents, not all, are so badly misinformed. Don't believe me? Get on nexopia.com (especially the nexopia sex forums) or myspace.com or tagged.com and you'll find all the reasons you need. you've got kids on these sites posing sexually, showing off as much as they can for the camera. Once these pix are posted, they are public property and can be used by anyone for any purpose.

Kids, both boys and girls, are getting approached sexually online everyday, and i'm willing to bet that every young girl on nex has been approached at one time or another. If you don't know what your kids are up to, it's time to find out.

Not only that, their activities online can get you nailed by a viral infection, this leads to information loss and hacking... Think about what personal information is on your computer? I've lost count of the number of parents i've called to tell them why they have to change their banking passwords asap, dragged them out of bed and read off their bank card numbers and passwords cause of a trojan. I could have personally logged into their online banking and stole their money, but now that I had it, you can be sure someone online has it.

Spying on what your kids are doing is not just for their safety and well being, it's their activities that are going to be detrimental to yours.
Remember, if you as a parent don't know any better, how can you expect your kids to know better?
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replied July 20th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Look, spying VS actually giving a damn and keeping everything out in the open are two very, very different things. If you spy, that means you do not trust your child. If they are doing something on the computer, ASK them about it. Make them show you. Join yourself, see what it's about.
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replied July 21st, 2007
Eiri, i've been in alot of forums and you don't know me from moses but I really expect more from a moderator in their postings... Once a mod posts like you just did, others are usually hesitant to carry on with the thread. sorry if I touched a nerve...

Would it make a difference if I told you i'm an advocate for the online safety of kids? Would it matter if I told you i'm a specialist in corporate internet security and make a good living at it? Would it matter if I told you i've tracked hackers and had them arrested? would it matter if I said I attend every internet safety meeting I can find? not to learn but to educate others? Maybe, maybe not...

The big thing i've learned over the years is that many websites and safety meetings are showing the same information, the simple do this and don't do that, but the reasoning behind it is more important. Many of the meetings I've attended showed 10 year old stats and regurgitated the same old same old. Parents are shocked when I start pitching questions that these people can't answer. It's time to take the kid gloves off...

If this is the only information available to parents, then what's the end result??? It's not the parents fault is it?

I've also spent alot of time talking to teens about what they do online, it's no secret. Try to explain why they shouldn't do what they do and do you know the most common answer I get? It's none of your business or the best one, i'm a teen, i'm not supposed to care.

It's funny how many kids learn very fast to escape their parents view, to do things behind their backs... Many schools do not monitor or they aren't doing a good enough job of blocking sites, libraries and friends houses are another place to do what they want... I love to see kids and teens challenged, they'll usually find a way around things Smile Little engineers and don't even realize it.

as for reading diaries? No, I don't believe parents should. Every child and teen needs some level of privacy. The fact of the matter is that many teens don't use an actual diary anymore, they have blogs. Blogs that the whole world can see, about how little johnny at 14 was out on friday night smoking, toking, drinking and getting himself a BJ and it's all there in black and white. All it takes is a little searching. and anyone can read it except for mom and dad Sad Heaven forbid they find it...

Anyhow, that's enough... take care and stay safe.
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replied July 21st, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
i agree that the parent should give a darn and keep things out in the open, but teenagers are teenagers. i guess for me the internet is a whole unknown quantity and could be a way for predators to enter your home without your knowledge in spite of efforts to keep an open relationship with your teen. i am not lulled into thinking that by the time my child is a teenager that i will be the only influence in their life. you can't be with your kid all the time and you don't know what they are getting into when you aren't looking. i'm not advocating reading diaries or trying to follow their every move to 'catch them in the act'. i totally believe in communication first and an open door policy so that they can come to me with whatever they need to talk about. BUT i would also be worried about their safety. i guess maybe i don't completely trust my own ability to be the kind of parent that a kid will come to no matter what because i remember being a teen myself and a big part of that was doing the opposite of what i thought my mother would want. from the age of 13 to 17 i was doing everything in my power to assert control over my own life and being a right idiot in the process at times. i thank my lucky stars i came out of it relatively unscathed. so, as a parent, things like this are conflicting for me. and all i'm talking about is a random, once in a while check up on what they are doing online. i guess there is a fine line between wanting to keep them safe and turning into big brother.
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