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Reading your child's text messages, emails, facebook messages, etc

My husband and I believe that until they are a certain age then it is completely fine to do this in order to see what they are discussing with their friends. To keep up with their life to see how they are interacting with others. To make sure they are not saying or doing anything they should not be doing. While doing this we came across something on our 10 year old son's text messages that was not appropriate for a 10 year old to be discussing.(The textcame from his 12yr old girlfriend. My husband called his ex-wife (the mother of the 10 yr old) and told him about this. She got mad saying we were invading her son's privacy. Keep in mind, we pay for the cell phone. But we thought the information was very important being he lives with his mom (who is bestfriends and next door neighbors with the 12yr girlfriend's mom). The ex was not concerned about what the text said at all and blew it off like it was nothing, but trst me it was something. She just got very angry about us looking at the text messages and invading her son's privacy.

Anyways, my question is....... Do you think a parent has the right to read this kind of information or do you think it is invading the child's privacy? What is your opinion and why?

Answer Question

Asked by jojobeans429 at 4:43 PM on Feb. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 4 (55 Credits)
Answers (31)
  • yes the parents have a right. it is called being a responsible parent. prevention is better than cure.

    Answer by gwen20 at 4:45 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I agree with you. It's fine to check on your kids. I think you should definitely talk to your son about it, and why you feel it's inappropriate.

    Answer by KeithsGirl721 at 4:46 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • i think you have every right at his age, and being the payer of the bill. if she doesn't want his texts read, she needs to get him a phone and pay for completely responsible! being that she's friends with the girl's mom, she may have been aware of something already and hadn't handled it, and is embarassed that her irresponsibility was found out. who knows?
    either way, i'm with you. i'd do it again, for sure.

    Answer by dullscissors at 4:47 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • They have every right at that age, back when mine were teens there was no facebook or social sites, so I resorted to snooping elsewhere, you bet! I would only do it though when I knew something was happening and they would not tell me what.

    Answer by older at 4:47 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I think to a certain age it is alright. Once they get to 15-17 yrs old depending on maturity it IS invading privacy. At 10 though they still need alot of guidance and parenting. I try and give them their space as teens though because by around 10-12 they should be old enough to do basic stuff for themselves and by 14-16 they should be able to manage their lives to some extent.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:48 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I DO understand the whole invasion of privacy thing...BUT, at 10 years old, kids shouldn't be saying and doing things that need to be hidden from an adult (parents).

    You are paying the phone bill, your children - step or not - are your responsibility.

    I completely think it is ok to monitor these things.

    Answer by cheekycherub at 4:49 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • If you do start reading their texts, emails and facebook messages, they will just delete the ones they dont want you to see. Simple as that. If you give them trust and maybe ask what their friends are up to and what going on with their lives, kids are more likely to be honest with you if you keep the bands of communication, trust, and honesty open. Or they will find a way for you not to find out what is going on.

    And, honestly, 10 is a little young to be dating, especially a 12 yo. Most likely the reason for whatever going on in the text is because there are no boundaries about girls and dating.

    Answer by leksismommy at 4:49 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • No I don't think they have the right, I think they have a duty to read them.

    I really don't think that who pays for the phone has anything to do with anything.

    Answer by onethentwins at 4:49 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I say you have a right. They are using your money to have the cell phone, internet, etc and in most circumstances live under your roof.

    And actually I think meooma said it best! :)

    Answer by Memigen at 4:53 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Dont get them a cell phone if you feel they cant be trusted to the point of having to read their conversations

    Answer by leksismommy at 4:53 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

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