It’s important for parents to give children privacy. Respecting their space sets an example for them to respect yours. But at the same time it’s also important for parents to know what is going on in their children’s lives. Balancing their right to privacy with your right to know is sometimes difficult to do. Keeping in mind that it is your responsibility to keep your children safe and well, you may have to do some ‘spying’ sometime.
Privacy is one of the best things that you can give to your children and it does not mean to leave him alone all the time but so much that he begins to enjoy in his own space otherwise spying can have negative results in the future so it is better you try one of these solutions in his childhood itself.
Years ago the most invasive thing a parent could do was to read their kids diary. Oh, for the good old days! With internet access within almost every child’s home the possibilities of your child getting involved in a dangerous situation are clear. Immaturity and bad judgment are a part of being a child. And there are more than enough people out in cyberspace who know this and will take advantage of their naivety. Keep the computer out of their room and in a communal space in the house. Watching what your child does on the internet is essential. Call it spying, call it parenting. It’s a must in today’s world of cybercrime.
If your child is lucky enough to have their own room around the time they reach junior high they may begin closing their door and telling you to stay out. They may even lock it. Most of the time they are just trying to exert their autonomy and are beginning to exert their desire to separate from you. But children should have to earn that privilege. Kids with good grades and no problems in school who you feel you can trust would qualify. If your child is known to lie, gets in trouble in school or gives you other reason to not trust them then the door stays unlocked and you go in. And with any child, if you have a sense that something is wrong go into their room. If you can, go in with them. But if for some reason you can’t then go in alone.
By the time your child is in high school they will really make an issue of this. Privacy is a big part of growing up. But you would be foolish to believe your child is the one child who would never be tempted to use drugs and alcohol. Peer pressure is tremendous at this age. Wanting to be a part and fit into a group is part of the behavior and socialization expectation of this age group. Sometimes they do things that surprise you. But if you feel you need to search a room or a car doing it with your child would be the best way to go.
Here’s the most important thing. Know your child. Spend time with them, talk to them and make sure they talk to you. The closer you are the faster you will know when something isn’t right. Get answers that satisfy you or dig deeper no matter what it takes. Hopefully you won’t have to spy. Your child will welcome you into their lives, their rooms and their cars. But if not the bottom line to this is it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe and healthy and you must do whatever you feel you need to do to accomplish that.