Where to draw lines with your teens and privacy

How much freedom i have to give for my 13 year old daughter - ZenParent

“Privacy” – The word that your baby whose diaper you changed yesterday is throwing at you today, making you dumbstruck for a moment. Surely what reasons could they possibly need privacy for? You could react one way and say “If you have nothing to hide, then why do you need privacy!”. Unfortunately, life does not work out that way. For example, would you like to give your friend your email password? After all, you have nothing to hide?

Teenagers are in a reflective phase where they need some space to figure out who they are. They withdraw at this stage of life. Your child is riding that delicate cusp between childhood and adulthood and it can be difficult both for him and for us to figure out exactly how much freedom and privacy we should give him.

Here are my personal guidelines:

to protect teen from cyber bullying its mandatory to know her personal mail id - ZenParent

1. Passwords: Any password on any device will be known to me until 18 years of age (is what I have told her- but she is only 13 now). Some people may find this harsh. I never check her email, but I need her to know that I can if I want to. I have seen too many instances of cyber bullying and junk to shy away from this one.

mom can read daughter's diary to know whether she is mentally depressed or not  - ZenParent

2. Diary: I will not read her diary. Every person needs a vent. Even as an adult we all from time to time need a person to offload our mental pressures and definitely the tumultuous teen years requires some steam to be let off. I believe that reading a diary is an invasion of privacy. But that being said, if your child is completely not communicating with you and is only writing in a diary, it is ok to take a look because many parents of suicidal teens have found diary notes which showed severe depression and suicidal thoughts expressed by the child. As a parent, take an ethical call- are you just reading it for entertainment? Or are you seriously concerned about the mental well-being of your child who is showing signs of not being ok?

3. Closed Doors: I would not be comfortable with my child having her bedroom door closed all the time and definitely not if she/he has access to the internet. I talk about this in the future because it has not yet happened. She closes the door only for changing or when I ask her to because she needs some quiet time to study and the rest of the house is disrupting her. But if closed doors became default mode whenever she is in the house, I would be concerned. As much as we do not want to imagine those scenarios, substance abuses have to be kept in mind when dealing with teenagers.

mom should know about teen daughter social network friends - teen Privacy

4. Friend on Social Network: I am on the fence about this one. While a part of me thinks that I need to be her friend to make sure she is safe, another part of me is not sure I want to be part of that teen world with their silly pouting selfies and mindless comments. I am not friends with my own mom on Facebook, so why should I be friends with my daughter?

Ideally, my dream would be to have the kind of relationship with my children, where they come to me with the big stuff before they get into trouble. I don’t need to know every single detail of their lives. However, I want to know the big things. A big part of it would be to earn their trust and respect and reciprocate the same. No amount of snooping or denial of privacy would ever be of any use if your child has made up her/his own mind to deceive you. The key is to consistently give them positive messages which would make them reach out to you.

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