On my show this week we talked about this article, "4 Reasons You Should Never Spy on Your Kids" and I disagree on so many levels. Here we go!
1. We reveal (and reinforce) our fears by spying.
First of all, this article makes it sound like we should be telling our kids that we are spying on them. I will be monitoring my kids' lives and they may or may not know it. I don't think it will make them feel insecure or weak. I think it will help them realize that their parents care about them, are watching them, and they better behave and make good choices or we will know about it. I do think that the majority of spying is to make us as parents feel better about our kids' safety and what is going on in their lives. Yes, raising a child in this world is freakin terrifying, and if "spying" on them is going to ease my fears a little bit then you better believe I'll be doing it.
2. We’re creating problems, not preventing them.
I do agree that I probably don't need to know every aspect of their lives and frankly I probably won't want to read every stupid text message that gets sent out and try to interpret every random emoji that goes across the cyber world. But asking me when my child is entitled to a private life? Um...when they move out of my house and are on their own. I don't think any kid is "entitled" to anything as a teenager. Coming from someone who kept a lot of secrets from my parents- it would have been better for both of us if they had known a little bit more. Don't try to tell me it's my responsibility to give them their privacy. It's actually my responsibility to teach them right from wrong and keep them safe and kind and good people.
3. We owe our children privacy.
First- WHY?? Why do we owe them privacy?? Yes I agree they need to make their own mistakes and be able to make their own choices, but making mistakes is not the same as having privacy. Am I supposed to sit back as my daughter turns into a cyber bully or my son starts to sext his girlfriend? Really? No comment from the parent department? Thanks but no thanks. If my children start to do those things, then it's my job as a mother to talk to them about it and THEN they can make their choices. But them making their own decisions doesn't mean I check out as a mother and "respect their space". Of course letting your children choose the way they want to live their life is important, but as a parent it is MY JOB to monitor their actions, their friends, their school work and their choices.
4. We lose their trust.
I don't really care if my kids trust me. I'm their mother. I've spent my life raising them, teaching them and loving them. It's more important to have my children know that I love them and have them be able to count on me to ask questions and be involved in their lives than for them to trust me. I hope they trust me to always have their best interest in mind, and to keep our conversations private within the home. I hope they come to realize that "mom is always watching"- maybe then they will be a little kinder and keep their clothes on.