Can your teen shut you out of her room, claiming privacy? While certain elements of your teen's life certainly are private, her room isn't really one of them. It's your house, and it's perfectly appropriate for you go in and out of her room occasionally daily or weekly. What if she's left candy bars on the floor and now has mice? These are issues you need to know about.
As a teen, I was very manipulative, secretive, and while I was mature — I thought I was an adult and could do adult Teenage privacy needed. Turning things around is a tactic kids use to put parents on the defensive. Where is the line between stalking teenagers and making sure they are safe as they undergo the universal Sex positions for woman of beginning Tdenage stake out a life of their own? How Teenage privacy needed Raise a Happy, Healthy Teenager. Then society and psychology feeds it by telling them that they deserve it. As Carol sees it, a responsible parent should know when to loosen the leash when it comes to privacy and when to tighten it. If you suspect that Teenaye teen is hiding something, you may need to investigate. They also want to be thought of privact mature, responsible, and independent.
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But, before we get to the subject of spying on your child, I want to talk a little about our kids and their need for privacy as they grow.
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- As teens get older, they begin facing big challenges, like learning what kind of person they are, where they fit in, and what they want to do in life.
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But, before we get to the subject of spying on your child, I want to talk a little about our kids and their need for privacy as they grow. When a child is little, there is virtually no separation. Think about it, children are typically held by their parents or caregivers for substantial portions of the day. But, as a child develops and gets older, a natural and healthy separation begins.
The day comes when your child goes to the bathroom and closes the door because he wants privacy, and he gets embarrassed if someone walks in. This separation is a natural part of human relationships, and as teens get older, the lines of separation begin to form and become clearer.
Adolescents need to separate and individuate. What that means is that they want to have a life of their own, and adolescence is really about preparing them for that.
You should know that part of that process includes forming boundaries. To put it simply, boundaries are where your child ends and you begin. They should have a room where they can go and just close the door. If you have a teenager who is responsible, respects her curfew, is where and with whom she said she would be and is generally trustworthy and honest, then I suggest you stay out of her room.
And I think you should tell her that, too. You can say something like:. I have no reason not to trust you. In short, your lack of interference in her personal space is a direct result of her actions.
We want to raise a young adult who can make independent decisions and who can have a life of their own. Part of having a life of their own is having a space of their own. The word is just too overused in our culture. Instead of talking about rights, I prefer talking about responsibility, accountability, and obligations. One empty beer can is sufficient reason. If you find alcohol or drugs or pills, I think you have to start looking around, because your responsibility is to try to protect your child from himself.
And in order to accomplish that, you need knowledge. Remember, knowledge is power. The power you get when your eyes finally open and you see something clearly. Your responsibility is to be upfront and clear. If he hides it outside of the house, he hides it outside of the house. The phone plan is probably in your name and you probably bought the electronic devices.
In general, I think parents should be checking up on their child after a major infraction—and giving them effective consequences —as an obligation and a responsibility. Turning things around is a tactic kids use to put parents on the defensive. They create an argument as a diversion to avoid taking responsibility for their actions or behavior. Below are a few tactics kids use in this situation and how parents should respond to ensure the discussion stays on track. Instead, the parent should calmly say something like this:.
The problem is not spying. The problem is the rolling papers you have in your drawer. If you want to yell or scream, go yell or scream someplace else. Go sit down, take a walk, go have a cup of tea. And then come back, talk about it, and explain the consequences for their actions.
Tell your child:. The issue is that your child had an empty beer can under his bed. Holding him accountable is not spying. You know the rules in this house.
There are no drugs and alcohol allowed, both in the house and for your own personal use. If you spy on your child without cause and find something incriminating, I think you have to sit down and say:. I went into your room without your knowledge and I looked around. But while I was in there, I found some cough syrup bottles.
And I want an answer as to how they got there and why they are in my house. And turn around and leave. But also, the issue at hand has to be dealt with. Some things are just that important. But ask yourself this: once you take the door off, how are you going to let him earn it back?
If your child wants to earn back your trust and his privacy so that you no longer have to spy on him, that can be discussed at a later date. Just tell your child:. And yes, that might mean going through their drawers or closet or looking through their phone. People get fired from their jobs when they violate the rules and can no longer be trusted.
Trust is not something that can be taken lightly, both inside your home and out. You must log in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Create one for free! Responses to questions posted on EmpoweringParents.
We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. We value your opinions and encourage you to add your comments to this discussion. We ask that you refrain from discussing topics of a political or religious nature.
Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to respond to every question posted on our website. Having had severe behavioral problems himself as a child, he was inspired to focus on behavioral management professionally. Together with his wife, Janet Lehman, he developed an approach to managing children and teens that challenges them to solve their own problems without hiding behind disrespectful, obnoxious or abusive behavior.
Empowering Parents now brings this insightful and impactful program directly to homes around the globe. Does your child exhibit angry outbursts , such as tantrums, lashing out, punching walls, and throwing things? Do you struggle with disrespect or verbal abuse from your child? Has your child been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder ODD? Or does your child exhibit a consistent and severe pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance, and vindictiveness toward you or other authority figures?
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The key is knowing what you absolutely have to know as a parent and the things you can allow your teen to keep private. Parents you need to pop the bubble, cut the cord, their grown up already. Its annoying how much they dont know, they dont even listen! At least they care about us. Search Search this site:. Consequently, you must find a way to balance their need for privacy and your need to ensure their safety and security.
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A daughter who always felt comfortable changing clothes in front of her mother may no longer want to disrobe with her in the room.
She also may lock her bedroom door or the bathroom door to ensure that her privacy is respected. This is a normal part of growing up and not a reason for concern. This is especially true if they need guidance about romantic relationships or the physiological changes they're experiencing. As their parent, strive to strike a balance between knowing what your teen is doing, trusting your teen to have some private matters, and knowing when to step in.
Overall, just trust your instincts. If you and your teen are battling over their need for privacy, there are probably trust issues at the root. Teens either feel like their parents don't trust them or that they expect teens to behave like school-age children. If you suspect that your teen is hiding something, you may need to investigate. While it is important to give teens the space they crave, keep in mind that teens are not always ready to deal with the adult world alone.
They still need you. It is not uncommon for teens to make quick decisions; and they do not always think through the consequences of their choices.
As a result, teens still need your advice and support. Consequently, you must find a way to balance their need for privacy and your need to ensure their safety and security. One way to determine where those boundaries exist, is to ask yourself what you really need to know and what you do not need to know. For instance, you need to know where your teen is going, who they are going to be with, and when they will be home.
But you do not need to know what they discussed with their friends. Of course, some teens are willing to share this information, but if your teen is not willing to share much about their night, don't be too alarmed and don't demand it. The key is knowing what you absolutely have to know as a parent and the things you can allow your teen to keep private.
Of course, the best way to determine how much privacy and freedom your teen is ready for is to gauge how responsible they are with their obligations. In other words, do they get to school on time, do their homework, respect their curfew, and complete their chores? If they are able to complete these things without a lot of nagging from you, you can probably loosen the reins a little bit. Overall, there should be a direct link between the amount of responsibility and honesty that kids have shown and the amount of privacy they are allowed to have.
And, if your teen messes up or violates your trust, allowing them a little less privacy for a period of time is a logical consequence. A teen's need for privacy on social media is similar to their need for privacy IRL. As a parent, it is your responsibility to mentor and guide them to make sure they know what behavior is safe and appropriate. You should also role-model appropriate social media use by not posting photos and information about your teen on your own feeds without their permission.
When it comes to their social media use, teens need to earn your trust just like other privileges. There are times when it is absolutely appropriate to snoop on your teen. Your job as a parent is to keep your kids safe. These types of things are red flags that something harmful is happening in their lives.
Nevertheless, parents should not spy on their kids or snoop through their phone in order to find out about minor situations like a fight with a friend. Instead, reserve your snooping for times when your teen's behavior has changed dramatically. For instance, if you notice signs of depression , issues with sleep, or unexplained marks or bruises on their body, it is time to take action.
Other red flags include losing interest in hobbies, becoming withdrawn, stopping socializing, or showing signs of drug or alcohol use. What they do not need, however, is complete freedom and privacy. Johannesburg counselling psychologist Karin Steyn sees this often in her practice.
Children need boundaries to feel cared for and secure. Messing with their mess. Earning trust. Trust is always earned, says Steyn. Later she found references to suicide in his diary. He was worried. Your attitude is crucial.
I respect that you are your own person, but I need to tell you why I feel differently. If yours is open enough for them to feel able to come and talk to you about anything, and you keep working at that relationship, showing a genuine interest in them and their friends, likes and dislikes, many problems will simply not arise or will be dealt with before they amount to anything.
A right to snoop? If, however, in spite of your best attempts to speak to your teen, they remain withdrawn and uncommunicative, and there are other warning signs, you have not only the right but the responsibility to intrude on their space, says Durban counselling psychologist Akashni Maharaj. This can strengthen rather than destroy your relationship. Exploding in anger and telling teens you forbid them to do things is invariably futile.
Rising sexuality and social expectations of how they should handle this are behind much teen angst and experimentation behind closed doors. So many of the issues around guilt and sexuality that we see in adults stem from teen experiences like that. They need to be able to do things without fear of being judged or condemned. But when it comes to having friends of the opposite sex behind closed doors, be guided by your own values, and again make these clear, she says.
The net effect. The biggest sexual danger behind closed teen doors today, however, comes from online sex sites and social networking — even if teens are not actively looking for it. If necessary, restrict them to a phone without internet access. This gives an ideal opportunity for having healthy discussions about sensitive and potentially dangerous issues they may become privy to.
You can even make your membership of social networking sites like MXit a proviso of their joining.
Privacy, trust & monitoring: teenagers | Raising Children Network
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock. Remember, kids are a work-in-progress, so you will need to be alert for behavior that indicates a need for you to step back in with greater supervision.
For example, if they are staying out beyond curfew with a new group of friends, their plans are often sketchy, and their grades have dropped precipitously, you may want to ask your child directly about his behavior and any illegal drug or alcohol usage. You may need to then follow up by looking in his room for signs of substance abuse paraphernalia.
Yes, you are invading his privacy but the goal in this situation is keep him safe and on a healthy track. Remember, you must uphold your end of the bargain if this is going to be effective. The agreement will lose its value if your teen starts to see you as untrustworthy. A major area of concern for parents is keeping their children safe with the ever-changing technology.
The best time to start establishing rules for technology usage is when your child receives his first personal device. Middle school years are a common time for a child to receive a cell phone, though particularly responsible children who have shown good judgment and been reliable in the past may be able to handle a device sooner.
Also, if your children are active in school or community organizations and need to let you know when they are ready to be picked up, or if they are walking home alone, you may want them to have a phone at a younger age. At the same time, explain that there are things he can do to earn greater privileges. This should be something he can accomplish in the near future, ideally within two weeks, and ought to be associated with a specific reward. For example, if he finishes his homework before he uses the device for entertainment purposes, he will be allowed to use the device for an additional time each day.
Other potential rewards you can offer over time include:. He may not be happy that you had looked at his phone, but a bad attitude is preferable to overlooking a potentially dangerous situation. Remember that the privacy issue is one that you will have to re-visit as your children grow and mature. And be sure that you follow through so your children have no doubt that you will be watching out for them and their best interests, even if that offends their sense of autonomy.
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