Thursday, June 25, 2015

Parents and Privacy on tumblr made this post:
"So my dad took away my laptop because I wouldn’t give him the password. I wasn’t even allowed to type it in, he demanded to know the password to my personal computer because he thinks I’m “ doing things I’m not supposed to do. ” My sister is not, and never has been, held to the same standard when it came to passwords on her own phone etc. But my parents always suspect me of being “up to something” and will randomly ask to use my computer/ know the password, and when I say no, they get mad at me. In the past, they have taken away my devices and looked through them, which cased me a lot of anxiety and is part of the reason I don’t like it when people use my computer or go through the camera roll on my phone. Even as I type this, I’m being asked what I’m doing. If you think parents demanding to know the passwords to their child’s personal devices is a breach of privacy please reblog"
I can understand wanting to know what your child is doing, or who they're talking to, or wanting to know what's going on in their life. Trust me, if I ever get to be a mother, I'm going to be such a paranoid and protective mother because I am aware of all the bad things that can happen to a child. Every teen, or at least most teens, have a computer that holds, basically, their life. Do you want to know what may be on there? Probably, and that's fine, that you care enough or are concerned enough to give enough of a shit that you want to see or go through their computer to know things, but seriously? If they're hiding things from you, or they just plain feel like their computer is something they can turn to rather than you, you're doing something wrong, not them. You should probably be building up trust and making sure they can confide in you. Demanding things from them and saying things like the following doesn't help:
"As a parent, you don’t get privacy until you are on your own. My house, my rules, my money, my decision. Don’t like it? Too bad. I am the parent here. I’m not your friend. I’m your father."
That's all fine and well, but let's be real, everyone needs privacy. If you don't give your kid privacy, or let them have their own things instead of constantly breathing down their neck and shoving your nose into every little part of their life, you're creating this resentment that they'll have toward you for a very long time and when they do get the chance to be on their own, there's a chance you might never see them again. They need privacy so they can have time for themselves, to relax, to figure things out. They need space to grow. Being a parent does not mean you are suddenly the owner or ruler of a person. Being a parent means you have created a life, that, let me remind you, did not ask to be created, and are now responsible for raising it to be a good, smart, and kind individual that can go out into the world when it's finally ready, and survive.  If you really did a good job, then they probably have nothing to hide and there should be no reason for you to be demanding passwords to their phones or computers so you can snoop through all their stuff like they're hiding drugs from you. There's being protective and wanting to know things, and then there's being controlling and smothering your child.

As for your house? That's great, as a infant, child, pre-teen, teenager, they are not yet able to have their own house. They didn't ask for yours, though. Your rules? That's fantastic, but don't be a strict asshole who let's them do nothing unless it suits your fancy. If you don't like it, but they do, they'll probably find a way to do it without you knowing or just plain go against you regardless if you go about "your rules" the wrong way. Wouldn't it be better to have them trust you with everything they do so you can guide them on how to be happy and safe so they can still have freedom without getting into trouble?
Your money, sure, but once the object you buy with your money gets put in their hands, because you gave it to them, it's theirs. That's like your kid using their own money to buy you some really amazing, expensive present, but then you do something they don't like so they take it away. You would be livid if they did that and taking something from the other person really doesn't solve anything anyway. You don't get to decide everything for them just because you gave life to them. They didn't ask for you to give them life, so don't hold that over their head like they're obligated to do everything your way just because you did them some huge "favor" they didn't even ask for.
That's like when a guy is seeing a girl and he does all these fantastically nice things for her without her even asking him to, but then he expects her to have sex with him to repay the favors she didn't even ask for.

If the "I'm your parent so I can do as I damn well please" argument were a legit reason for anything you do, then there'd be no issue with parents abusing their kids.
More often than not, that's usually just something a lot of parents say to get away with how they act towards their kids, even if they're complete and total assholes who aren't good at handling kids or teens and have no business being parents in the first place.

As for the friend thing, yeah, there's absolutely times where you need to be a stern parent and reiterate your role in their life, like if they hurt someone or they do something really awful that they weren't supposed to do and they knew they weren't supposed to do it, but they still did it so they should be properly punished by a parent or guardian, and then there are times where they really just need you to be a friend and be there for them when nobody else is. Everyone needs at least one friend to lean on sometimes and part of being a parent is showing your kids and letting them know that, despite your role in their life as the parent, you are also their friend and will be there for them when they truly need it. If they can't trust you, of course they'll hide stuff from you, even if it's stuff that is hurting them.

Kids aren't there to live up to your every demand and expectation. You need to work with them, not fight with them.

"Trust and respect are earned, not just given" is a two way street.
I’m all for protecting your kids. But when you’re not teaching them personal autonomy, risk management (other than not wanting to make daddy mad), and are reinforcing the idea that they aren’t capable of making decisions for themselves (but then you just expect them to get their life together and all figured out when or by the time they're 18), you’re just setting them up for failure.

However, if you do have a system set up where you monitor your child so that you're aware of what's going on in their life, that's great if it's something that works for you and your family. It really only crosses a line if they have absolutely no freedom to be their own person and the system infringes on them having any rights at all. It's really how you go about monitoring them and protecting them that's important. And if you suspect your child of something yet have no legit cause and no proof, don't just act on it and start freaking out and going through every thing they own. If you truly, honestly, suspect your kid of something, talk to them about it. Open up about your concern and why you think this or that and just talk to them about it. Teach them about things that are bad, how to be prepared, what they can do to stay safe, what kind of people to be aware of and avoid, etc.
Talking is important. Communication matters.

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