Brutally Honest: Is it OK to spy on your kids?

If you’re a parent, it’s only natural that you’d want to watch over your kids and know what they’re doing and know if they’re safe. In this day and age, who can blame you. But is this really effective?

 

Whether you think spying on your kids is acceptable in today’s digital age or a breach of trust seems to really depend on how you define “spying” in the first place.

In conversations over email with parents across the country, it’s clear that people have dramatically different views about the definition and whether it’s an appropriate behavior to help keep children safe.
“I don’t call it spying. I call it parenting,” said Amanda Rodriguez, a mom of three boys in Frederick, Maryland, which is pretty much how I feel as well.
Rodriguez says her sons know she will have the passwords to all their social media and email accounts until they’re 18 and that she regularly reads the texts of her oldest son, who’s now 13.
“I’m not sitting around listening on the other handset when he’s on the phone or wearing a disguise to the school dance, but … were I to become suspicious about his actions or fearful of his safety, I would totally get out my fake mustache and crash a dance,” said Rodriguez, founder of the blog Dude Mom.
John Furjanic, who has a 7-year-old daughter, says spying may sound bad, but it can save a child’s life.
“When Elsa was an infant, I spied on her all the time. She had no choice in the matter. We even had a baby monitor,” said Furjanic. “As children get older, the risks they will run into grow.”
On the other side are parents such as Lori Day, an educational psychologist and mom of a daughter in graduate school, who considers spying “an invasion of privacy and a violation of trust.”
“I think spying on kids is wrong,” said Day, author of “Her Next Chapter,” a book about mother-daughter book clubs. “It’s a good way of sabotaging your relationship with your child if you get caught.”
That is along the lines of what happened to another mom, who didn’t want to give her name for fear of throwing her own …
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