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How can i read my teens texts

Rather than bring parents and children closer, invading privacy like reading diaries tends to drive parents and children apart. Because most of what parents know about their adolescents' daily lives come from the kids themselves, that is even bad news for monitoring. When adolescents disclose less, their parents are kept in the dark. Even when they snoop. These two phrases have been used interchangeably in the literature, leading to what we think is a real confusion into what we're really talking about when we talk about 'privacy invasion'. For example, parents protect their children's safety, they socialize them to fill adult roles, they teach them social codes.

Parental rules that do that - set curfews, forbid stealing and swearing, requiring school attendance, eating properly, setting bedtimes - are usually considered 'legitimate' by both parents and children. Some domains are considered outside the legitimate domain of parental authority. For example, choosing friends or requiring participation in particular extracurricular activities is often considered outside that legitimate sphere.

Some issues are dicey. Is forbidding a child to spend time with a friend the parent considers problematic a safety issue legitimate or a personal issue not legitimate? Telling parents when they have tests, where they are going with friends, when they'll be home are routine information requests.

Routine disclosure of such information is necessary for parents to protect the safety and well-being of their child. Self-disclosure, on the other hand, is sharing information not necessary for the parent to do their job. It's something the child has chosen to do. It is more than I need to know to keep you safe to know all the details of what my child and his friend talked about. I'd love to know, but it's none of my business unless he chooses to tell me.

Requiring self disclosure seems a violation of the child's personal integrity because they are the ones who should be controlling those privacy boundaries. Parents and their children disagree - often and sometimes angrily - about what is routine and what is not. For instance, a parent might rightly believe that their child is suicidal or being abused.

5 Texts You Should NEVER Send (if you like someone)!! TEEN EDITION

In their role as protector, they might feel justified in violating the privacy barriers their child has erected. In such cases, snooping might be necessary to protect the child. A less dramatic example is one I often use about my own parenting. One of my sons had been attacked in our small rural community.

His attackers were people he knew and also local. He wanted to visit his girlfriend, wanted to ride his bike, and swore he'd be home by midnight. When he hadn't appeared by 2AM and didn't answer his phone I was honestly frightened. And I violated his privacy - I went online and into his phone records, found his girlfriend's number, and called her. Yes he was still there. Yes he was pissed - but not really.

Because he knew that my violation was motivated by fear , which legitimized the invasion in his eyes.

And he had also broken our agreement - he was way past curfew at a period when he knew this would scare me. Research says that distinction is important. Longitudinal work by Bobby Laird and his colleagues show that when parents monitor good kids intrusively, it does more harm than good. But when the child has already been getting in trouble, it can be protective.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Because there's a tradeoff between protecting a child who really needs it and intruding on one who doesn't. Nancy Darling, Ph. The amygdala processes emotions and gives meaning to pain. The desktop metaphor made it easier for people to learn complex computer tasks. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help.

When Texting Your Teen, Follow These Four (Not So) Simple Rules

Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Does Hunger Make You Selfish? Just Relax. The Secret Life of Geeks. Nancy Darling Ph. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn. About the Author. But, I can tell you what I found was surprising. Mildly offensive things My point: My teen was not without fault but also didn't even pick up on some of the things contained in the thread and the way they came across.

Context is lost.

10 Secret Text Codes Teens Use [Must Read for ALL Parents]

The expression is void. Reading between the lines, the emojis, the innuendos. We discussed why certain things were not OK to write or say to others, let alone to send out into the Worldwide Web where they will live forever. We explained how situations like this could affect a future job, relationship, etc. We reiterated that even being on the "receiving end" of some things makes you guilty by association.

But, the trickier pickle was what to do with this info once I had knowledge of what was contained in this series of texts.


  • When Texting Your Teen, Follow These Four (Not So) Simple Rules.
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The thing is, it is your child. And it is mine, too. Most teens are clueless trying to navigate the high-speed tech world they have at their fingertips. Half the time they do not even think a millisecond about what they say and do Are there safety precautions you can put into place?

Teens & Texting: What Parents Need to Know

At the end of the day, even if you limit or take away screen time, adopt a no-privacy policy, forbid specific social media and other apps, and even implement Ninja-like strategies, the digital medium is part of their world. And also if a child has limited access, I guarantee you one of their friends does not. The whole thing moves at lightning speed. So, I nervously reached out to a few of the other parents. Without judgment, I let them know what I read so they could have the information and because I care.


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  4. Is Reading Your Teen’s Texts #Intrusive Or Wise Parenting? — Paige Clingenpeel LMHC.
  5. 'Teen Safe' app lets parents keep track of their kids texts and posts;
  6. Surprisingly, it was well received. They just need accountability, to be better educated about this stuff, to be monitored, to be parented. Teens need parents who say certain things are not OK. Parenting today is different than any other time in the history of ever. No other generation dealt with their children having access to so much at their fingertips on a device that fits in the palm of their hands. We are all doing the best we can with literally nowhere to turn for advice from those who came before us. I can't say to my Mom, "How did you do it?

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