At times, spying is not wrong but you should know when to spy on your kids.
The relationship between parents and child is one of the most beautiful relationships in the world. As parents, we love them unconditionally and are protective about them. We keep an eye on them to make sure they are on the right path in life and to ensure that they are safe. However, at times doing certain things to ensure our kid’s safety is considered spying on our kids. In fact, what matters is how you define “spying”. Some call it an inappropriate behaviour and for some, it is a way to protect their kids from any harm.
With the right intent, we often spy on our kids and it shouldn’t be called spying but “parenting” but we also need to know that our kids also need privacy and more important is how much privacy and when needed is it ok to violate it.
Well, the amount of privacy given to our adolescent kids should be directly proportional to the amount of responsibility and honesty they show. Our kids have their life and when they grow boundaries also start growing which is a very natural part of the parents—child relationship. It is important for them to have privacy. It is ok to be concerned about their things, but it is not ok to literally spy on them for everything. If your child is trustworthy, honest and responsible, then there is no need for you to get into that Sherlock Holmes mode. Give your kids that respect. If you spy unnecessarily on your kids, then the message that you are giving them is “I don’t trust you”.
It is a natural desire of teenagers to have their own private life which necessarily does not mean that they are going to get into something wrong. Yes, there are dangers but we as parents need to handle this issue of privacy with our children carefully, wisely and patiently.
Have a candid discussion with your kids about the kind of behaviour they should have and your intent to sometimes invade their privacy. Tell them that they are most welcome to use the technology but it should be with the sort of set of rules and expectations that you have for table manners or bedtimes in your family.
At times, spying is not wrong but you should know when to spy on your kids. For instance, you discover something weird about your child like using drugs or drinking or getting involved in some risky activity, you have all the right, rather responsibility to violate the privacy of your child to protect him.
Sit and talk to your children and make them realize that privacy is a privilege, not a right. What goes on in their room, who they talk to, with, what’s in their cupboard etc. are the privileges you as a parent has given them and they must respect and value it. Make it clear to your children that if they violate the honesty and trust, then you will surely keep an eye on them more carefully. They will have to pay the price of being untrustworthy. Make them understand that losing someone’s trust in life is a big thing.
So, there is no universal answer to whether you should spy or not on your kids. For heaven’s sake give them privacy and if needed without hesitation violate the privacy and save them.