"Should parents read their daughter's texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.
I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”
Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.
Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.
It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.
It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.
Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:
Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.
Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.
Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.
Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”
TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:
- You do not respect their rights as an individual.
- You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
- You probably haven’t been listening to them.
Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.
Part of me is really excited to see that the original post got 200 notes because holy crap 200 notes, and part of me is really saddened that something so negative has resonated with so many people.
"I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me "
“’You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?’”
I found these quotes particularly interesting. OP’s mother refused to listen when she tried to talk about her depression, but snooped through her things to see if she was depressed.
It’s amazing to me that parents need to be told something that I GUARANTEE they experienced themselves. This is something that predates text messaging. You search your child’s room for drugs, and they will find a better hiding place for anything they may be worried about you finding - even if it’s as innocuous as candy. You try to snoop on their phone conversations with their boyfriend, and they will 1) Find a different way to communicate with him, and 2) Never communicate with YOU about their boyfriend.
My parents doing this shit to me didn’t make me stop doing it and didn’t make me respect them any more. All it did was make me better at sneaking around.
my mom was not perfect. she’s open and honest with me and we can talk about it, how her disabilities and mine together with our low income impacted how she raised me, what all she could have done better, in what ways she failed me
but she taught some of the core tenets of my values system through actually showing me the respect she wanted me to show others, and the most important thing she ever did for me is that she respected my privacy, and when i needed to talk, she listened.
listen to kids. if you as a parent, or an educator, or anyone who is responsible for kids - if you don’t respect a child’s privacy or bodily autonomy, you will damage their understanding of their rights to both, and of the rights of others.
children instinctively turn to the major adult figures in their lives for support. don’t poison that. they will talk to you of their own accord, but only if they can trust you to actually listen.
The US Government:We're not going to make it federally mandatory for people to get paid a wage they can actually live off of
The US Government:If people want to make a living, they'll just have to work 16+ hours a day
The US Government:And if their kids end up disenfranchised because of a lack of parental involvement, well that's not our problem
The US Government:In fact, what is our problem is creating a system that will funnel these disenfranchised youth into our prison system so they can work for corporations (that promise us money) for damn near free
The US Government:If they don't want to fall victim to this system, then they can seek higher education
The US Government:Except such an education will be inaccessible to most disenfranchised people and skewed in favor of the financially stable
The US Government:And we're not going to make intervention programs like sex education and conflict resolution federally mandatory, because that's the parent's job
The US Government:The parent who is working 16 hours a day
friendly reminder that!! self diagnosis is just as good as a professional diagnosis and saying that it isnt is classist and ableist uwu
I have cancer. Your post gave me cancer. That is my self diagnosis and will be sending you the million dollar medical bills shortly.
This is a shirt being worn by one of our editors at Adult Swim, Phil. It was created about a decade ago for Adult Swim employees only. It has been misconstrued as being “anti anime,” by some people. Here’s the story: back in the early days of AdultSwim.com’s message boards, there was a vocal minority of posters who passionately hated Adult Swim’s action block, which consisted of several anime shows (some of which were initially slated for Toonami). Our bump writers pulled the phrase “cuz anime is the s uck” from a poster complaining about anime on Adult Swim and ran it as a bump. We chose to make it a t-shirt as a comment on the illiteracy of L33T speak, and internet trolling in general. We wore the shirts as a badge of honor- WE LOVE ANIME, and always will. Adult Swim has been on the air since 2001, and we’ve had a commitment to anime that entire time. We still do. Cus anime is the s uck. ;)
My wife Holly built a full body costume of Blathers, then went around Comic-Con giving fossils to people (includes some familiar faces). I filmed the entire thing and it was adorable. Holly’s been working really hard on her YouTube channel and it makes me super proud to be seeing her do so! Share this one around guys :)
please watch this