Reading your teens text messages

A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and prowled around my daughter’s bedroom trying to find her cell phone. The plan was to read her text messages. I suspected a relationship was brewing with a boy and I wanted to get past the vague answers she was giving me. After 1o minutes of stumbling around and nearly waking her up, I gave up.

Not a proud moment. Days later, I asked to borrow her phone to make a call. She was on to me….waiting next to me to return the phone. All I could think of was how much my mom must have enjoyed the juicy notes she found in my pockets from friends, filled with details about our latest crushes.

I remember about a decade ago, a mother at work told me that she read a note she found in her teenaged daughter’s pocket. A young single woman in the office overheard and was outraged. She called it a huge invasion of privacy. At the time, I just listened to the argument, not really having an opinion.

Flash forward and I totally understand where my friend was coming from. I don’t care how close you are with your kids, they say things to their friends they just aren’t going to reveal to you. Some of the stuff, I really believe parents should know. The best part is, we parents now have an electronic record of those conversations.

Readers, do you think it’s wrong to secretly read your kids’ text messages? Do you think you should make it known to them that you are doing it?


About raisingteensblogger

I'm a crazed mother of three, Journalist, PTA volunteer. I aspire to be as cool as Kelly Ripa, as fit as Gwyenth Paltrow and as carefree as Lucille Ball.
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31 Responses to Reading your teens text messages

  1. Marie says:

    I think it is wrong to read your kid’s emails or text messages unless you suspect they are doing something wrong, which happened to me. My son has never been a troublemaker (having survived middle school without any detentions), but he has gotten in your typical teenage trouble at home for staying out too late or not telling us where he is going and just finished his first year at high school. I was recently talking to his best friend’s father, who told me that he was informed by his daughter, who is a senior in high school, that a lot of the freshman kids were smoking weed. That concerned me a lot because I know my son is also very impressionable and would do something because his friends do it. I have tried to give him his freedom to go and hang out with friends at their houses and sleep over there without asking to talk to a parent first to make sure someone responsible is home. He had already betrayed my trust when he went to a large nightclub which was having a teen night without telling us and said he was sleeping over a friends house. I went in his room and looked in his backpack and in one of the outside pockets ( one that I typically put his lunch money in) I found a note from a female friend and there was references to smoking in it. I also noticed that he seemed to be spending his lawn cutting money and could not figure out what he was buying. I found no other evidence in his room and his phone was in there so I finally decided to read his text messages. I found no direct reference to smoking weed, but to my dismay found that he was instead drinking at parties or when hanging out with friends, saw one text about his smoking a cigarette, and found some dialogue about going to this same club again. Now my son is also very athletic and knows (at least he told us so) that smoking and binge drinking, regardless of what it is, is very bad for you. If your kids are doing stuff like this and you ask them about it, I highly doubt they are going to fess up and tell you. Just about any kid will try it once if given a chance, and hopefully will not do it again until they are of age. I have now learned I have to keep a much tighter leash on him. I think it comes down to who they hang out with and what their crowd is doing. If their friends are drinking, unless you keep them in the house 24/7 you will not be able to keep you kid from doing it too. Remember, if you get pulled over in your car by the police, they have the right to search your vehicle if they have reasonable suspicion. As a parent, you should have the same right if you have suspicion. In then end it is for their own safety. It does not matter what you teach them growing up, their mind is their own and they can make bad decisions. That is why they are still living with you. Be glad that we have such tools as cell phones to give us this information. Our parents did not have it so easy. Will I tell him that I read his texts? If I have to I will, although I am going to try to get something out of him by asking him where all his money went. Since he had broken my trust once, that will be my reasoning to him. But please, don’t read their stuff just for the sake of it. When it comes to teenagers, if they are doing something wrong it will start to leak out eventually and then do your job as a parent and make sure your kids don’t get themselves hurt.

  2. I wouldn’t do it. If something is in plain sight on the other hand, like messages left open on the computer, it’s fair game. Teenagers are entitled to some privacy. Respecting this helps to build trust, I believe, which in turn makes it more likely that they will be willing to confide in you about the important stuff. But of course, I could be completely wrong. Teenagers do not exactly build up your confidence in parenting skills.


  3. Stefanie says:

    I have a 17 year old son who likes to get into trouble every now and then since he turned 15. Smoking, including some weed, running around in the woods after midnight with a friend to shoot airsoft guns, ect…
    All things I only know because I suspected he is lying to us. The dilemma is big, do you confront your Teen? Yes, you have a lot to say to your Teen about what you read, but you only know because electronics these days make it so easy to snoop. Text messages, Facebook, e-mails, we didn’t have all that growing up and our parents were none the wiser as to what we were up to.
    I can tell you we tried addressing the bigger things we found, which first requires a confession about you snooping ( not feeling that great saying it out loud to your kid who’s not supposed to invade your privacy) and then we noticed it doesn’t make a difference what we say. At 17 they are already so set in their ways, thinking they know best ,that they just get better at lying to you because now they know you are looking for something. Snooping can backfire ! Yes, it is hard to know your kid is up to no good, but how far will you go to stop them once you know? A question you may want to ask yourself before you look for something incriminating.
    I know my son always tells me where he goes and who he’s with, but in the end I will never know if that is the truth…unless I start snooping again. A vicious cycle!

  4. TeeGirl says:

    I believe as parents we have the right to read their cell phone messages whenever we feel like it, whenever we feel the need to do so. We are paying the bill for the phone and for almost everything else our children “own”. Many of our teens have not matured enough to make the best decisions and they need our guidance even when they don’t want it. There have been times when I have stumbled upon some information in my teens texts or emails (yes, I read her email too) that have opened the door to some very meaningful and important conversations. I don’t read them everyday, must every now and then. I am also a “friend” on her Facebook. I hide her and only read it on occassion but whenever I do, I find a post or two that warrants a conversation with her to steer her back in the right direction. Only a few times have I found things that I would consider urgent, things which had to be dealt with with a stern punishment. Think of the things you tried and got away with during your teen years and then consider whether or not your teens deserves total privacy.

  5. Dad says:

    Any parent who doesn’t at least keep the option open, either lives with an angel or is an ignorant parent. Of course you need to be aware of what is happening. They are kids and YOU are responsible for their success, happiness, and safety.

  6. Sami says:

    I have recently found out that reading them is critical at times. I found out recently all the things I suspected that he was lying to me about. Namely him and his g/f tried to break into our old empty house to do what his other texts eluded to (and I’m guessing on that one). But he is a 16 (almost 17 year old boy) and has sex on his mind. A lot of sexual talk in the texts which now you see why you must stay on top of your children. I suspect but can’t prove short of following him around like a stalker. I do believe they need privacy…when it warrants it and they deserve it. Mine doesn’t deserve any of it. I have to remind myself “who pays the cell phone bill???” because he sure does NOT. So at that point he is under my jurisdiction. You want to be a man/woman…get a job, move out and pay your own bills. Sorry if this sounds so “old school”. But this is how it was when I grew up and I’m only 41. But I didn’t end up a pregnant teenager. Incidentally, his 15 year old friend was given the green light by his parents to have his g/f come over, go upstairs, shut the door and do who knows what. Yeah well, they now have a 7 month old daughter and the mother is 16. It’s wonderful saying he is such a good kid and being a good father by watching his daughter when mom goes out to learn how to drive a car. Really??? Ultimately, he is not allowed to be alone with her (and her mother agrees) at any time. He also told her he smokes from time to time, snuck out at night (not on my watch but I’m sure on his friends’ parents watch), tagged a building close to our home (now I will start looking), etc. I didn’t tell him I read the texts because that would cause too much trouble. Just a reminder for me to not be slack on my efforts. Take this as an example. I do not at all feel guilty for reading them. Weak parenting is a just that…weak. He hates when I take his stuff away and I don’t really care!

  7. ANONYMOUS739 says:

    Reading your child’s text messages is just plain wrong. Reading the personal, private conversations your own child has bern having is a HUGE invasion of privacy. If they don’t tell you something, it’s probably for the best. I mean, 99% of the time they know their social interactions far better than you do. Leave it to them.

    • FunMom says:

      Reading your teen’s messages is simply wrong, and way too personal. Do you listen to your children when they are talking to their friends from outside their door, or through the walls? No! It’s nosy and could ruin your relationship.

  8. nolagurl49 says:

    Mmmm…husband got new iPhone recently. Signed into iMessage and suddenly began getting texts that our 18 year old high school daughter was sending/receiving. We were shocked to read and see the filth these “smart” and “sweet” college bound kids text each other. Group texts where one of the girls constantly (about 5 times/day) sends pics of herself partially nude. Vile language and very casual and nonchalant chit chat about sex, smoking pot, drinking, fake ids, etc. Her boyfriend, who we didn’t like in the first place, sent pics of himself and bong in his room. My husband and I are definitely going to have a serious talk with her soon. This child is an honor roll student, never in trouble, going away to college in the fall. We are so sad and disappointed in the secret lives of these kids and afraid for our daughter. It just seems like she has been making better choices than she apparently really is. And, yes, we thought we had a very open relationship!

    • Jeanette says:

      How did the talk turn out for you? This happened to me and I found out some very dissappointing things about my daughter as well. She must have figured out how to “turn it off” because no I cannot see the texts between her and this supposively xboyfriend. She said I invaded her privacy. I now look at my bill just to see if his number is there and it still is. It makes me so mad. I just asked her why she still talks to him and all she can say is that I’m invading her privacy! She is 17 and we pay her bill.

  9. Brian says:

    I am surprised by the parents on this blog. Did you not make mistakes when you were teens? Did you not use bad language with your friends and talk about sex? Did you not go to parties? Drink or smoke weed? I know I was not the only one who did. I also went to college, graduated with honors, completed my masters degree and I am now an executive with a large company. What I did when I was young was stupid and when I got caught, I got in trouble. The difference was that I had the freedom to screw up. When did we become so obsessed with preventing our kids from making mistakes? Yes, you pay the bills and have the right to monitor their phones, but do you tell them that in the beginning? If so, then it’s ok because they understand the ground rules. If not, then you are going lose their trust and they will work harder to keep you from finding out what the do. Either way most will find a way to screw up. Oh, and I had a great relationship with my parents, but no matter how open you think you are, there are some thing your kids just aren’t going to tell you.

    • teenager says:

      i agree with u parents should not try to corner their kids into a place were theirs no privacy i mean they did the same things wen the was young

    • Dan says:

      Brian, you had some good points and here are some of mine. You say you did all these things which I know is somewhat normal, but where your parents aware or did you lie to them and build their trust in you based on lies and if you had to lie about the things you were doing how much trust did you have in your parents to have to lie to them? So if trust was already an issue how much worse would it have been if your parents where using any avenue they could find to try and figure out where all your lawn mowing money is going for example, if they could not rely on you for the truth. You have my curiosity now. If you are an executive at a very large company why are you trolling here? Are you the executive here at this site? Or maybe you have children and you were wondering about the same issues and after reading a few posts (whether it be here or some other site) you decided it was way to much work for an executive and decided to come up with some points and convince yourself your justified in letting your children lead there own lives.

      • Teenager says:

        Again, most of what you say makes sense. Still, I am worried about the last sentence. Are we not supposed to lead our own lives? Should we be under the complete control of our parents with no freedom whatsoever? Look, I am decently empathetic so I understand your viewpoint, but try to understand our view as well. You wouldn’t want to be in a police state when you were a teenager, so why should we be?

    • Odette says:

      Bravo Brian! I cant believe what Im reading here from all these control freak fearful parents!! OMG…. how is a teenager going to develop their own identity with his/her parents dictating how and what they should think and do!! Thank you for your common sense!

      • Laura says:

        When we have proof on my son’s phone that his friends are participating in underage drinking, smoking pot, references to sex all over the place, and completely disgusting pornographic pictures, then he has lost his right to privacy; we are actually going to get a police officer involved; these activities are against the law, not just wrong. I think cell phones are one of the worst things ever for teens; I think our kid will be without his for a long, long, time, until he is a grown up and wants to pay the bill himself for spreading this filth all over cyberspace.

  10. Beth says:

    What is the boundary between trust, their privacy and good parenting?

  11. teenager says:

    i was looking uo this topic and surprised by how u parents think of us as ur properties that as long as we live under ur roof we gotta do watever u guys say, we will grow parnoid in trying to hide things from u instead of “helping us” u guys are causing us to want to rebel against ur comannds we will find a way to keep our privvacy no matter wat u guys are jus breakin the trust we had in you

    • Dan says:

      To bad an ungrateful teenager such as your name suggests has parents that actually care about you. Are we as parents not supposed intervene in any of your obvious mistakes?. And if not when is that supposed to start then? I mean should we just let our kids play with gas and matches and give them privacy to do it at age 5? 8? 12? And yes “Teenager”, in away you are your parents’ property if you want to bring it down to that level. If a minor breaks the law, who ends up responsible for the financial end of it? The “teenager”? That would be the parent paying for their property. If you need to have your stomach pumped or other emergency treatment done after a responsible night of drugs and partying who pays? Your owners do if that’s in fact how you feel. Most owners love their property and want to help them any way they can but honesty breeds honesty and likewise with the opposite. Only when a “teenager” is being dishonest it is for self interest and to prevent parental hassle. If a parent ends up doing something considered to be dishonest or “trust breaking” it is almost always out of desperation. Don’t for a minute think it is because parents are bored and live to ruin a good time, It’s way to much work. It would be way easier to just let you do whatever you want as the sea turtles do. Squirt you out on the beach and call it a day.

      • Teenager says:

        Dan, I see where you’re coming from. The points from you and other parents make sense most of the time. I think both sides of this argument have valid points. Read my response to this topic below and see my thoughts too.

  12. A reasonable teenager says:

    Everything on this webpage disappoints me. I cannot believe how unreasonable the adults in this world are, and how blind they can truly be. Reading your child’s text messages is neither right or wrong. It depends on the situation. If the child is aware that their parents have full access to their messages and they were made aware of this from the start, then it is appropriate to poke around every now and then, but not excessively. If the child was not aware of this from the start, then you have absolutely no right to read their text messages, unless you have a solid reason to suspect them of doing something “wrong”. But what is “wrong”, exactly? I believe that this definition has not changed from when you were a child to the present day. Instead, I believe that it is a relative. What you see as wrong may not be what your child thinks is wrong. I will use my own age as an example… At 15 (Yes, I am that old) having sex and doing drugs is entirely inappropriate, along with drinking. That should be clear to both the parents and the child. If it is not clear, then it is the parents fault for not properly teaching their children about the risks. But that brings up another problem entirely… If you make it too clear, then it will lose its affect on the child. It is simply human nature to go against orders, so you should not order them not to do anything. They should be informed every now and then about the risks so that they understand them, and then you should be able to trust them to make responsible decisions. Moving back to the topic at hand, what the child thinks is appropriate is not the same as what the parent thinks. For me, touching my girlfriend’s breasts is entirely appropriate at the age of 15, because we have been dating for more than a year now and we have both agreed that we are ready for it. But no more than that, because we have also agreed that we will not have sex until we are both at least 18 years old and both agree that we are ready. My parents do not believe that touching at my age is appropriate at all, even though there is little to no risk involved. So do you see? While I see it as entirely appropriate, my parents do not. You can argue that I am still too young to think properly about it, but that holds no merit because me and my girlfriend have both talked it over thoroughly and agreed that we are ready, and that we will take it no farther. We have thought about it and looked at it as a responsible adult would, therefore age is not as much of a factor. And yet my parents disagree entirely, even though they have no argument that holds any merit. Continuing from where I left off before, a parent has no right to read their child’s text messages if they have no solid reason to suspect anything and if the child has not been informed about their parent’s ability to access their texts. However, there are some exceptions. If they have a strong reason to suspect something, such as the smell of drugs on or around their child, or a friend having been caught, then they have all the right to read through their child’s text messages whether or not the child knows that they have the ability to. And now on to the ridiculous reason “I pay for the phone so I have the right to read his/her messages”. It is a complete invasion of privacy. Even if you pay for the phone, what gives you the right to see completely private conversations? You pay for their entire life, meaning that, with your logic, they have absolutely zero privacy. If this is the case, and I mean this in the least offensive way possible, you are a terrible parent. Some of their most private thoughts go on on their phone, things that you have no right to know about, just as you have no right to look into their mind. It’s very similar, essentially. And now onto the next topic… You want to supervise them and make sure they are making the correct decisions. Good, you are caring for them and looking after them, but your going about it in the wrong way. If you have raised them correctly up until this point, then you should be able to trust them to make the proper decisions, understanding that they are just kids and will make mistake from time to time, as any human does. Humans learn from mistake though. So if they do make any, they will, assuming you raised them correctly, learn from it and they will not repeat it. If you cannot trust your child to make their own decisions, then you have raised them incorrectly and are a terrible parent. For those of you who have not yet looked at their child’s private conversations, allow me to explain what could happen if you do. As I said, I am 15, and I have been dating my girlfriend for little over a year. I also mentioned that I have touched her before. I have always been completely aware that my mom can read my messages, but I was not worried. I have discussed it with her, and she has promised me that she will never do so and that she respects my privacy. Well, I did not make a mistake in trusting her. She made a mistake in betraying that trust. Because I discovered that she has been invading my privacy, I no longer trust her at all. I do not trust my own mother. It should not be that way, but it is. I will sooner talk to a friends parent for help than I would my own because of this. I know that she is only looking out for me, but she is not doing it correctly. She has shown that she cannot trust me, therefore I cannot trust her… Do you want that for your child? Do you want your own child to think of you negatively, as somebody who they are not to trust? So now I will respond to the overall question with a solid answer. Should you read your child’s text messages? No, you should not. Not without a solid reason. What you see as “Looking out for them” is only hurting them, and teaching them that you do not trust them. But who am I to speak? I am just a 15 year old boy. None of you parents will truly listen to me or take any of this to heart… Instead, you will just blindly move on under the false preposition of “I’m only helping them”, and ignore me simply because I am a 15 year old. Because my brain has not developed enough to make mature decisions or to think responsibly… But ask yourself, are you being reasonable? Because god help me, if you think you are then the children of this world have a much bigger mess to clean up than I thought.

    Reading your child’s text messages only shows them that you cannot trust them. We all know the golden rule… Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself. If you cannot trust us, then we cannot trust you. It is as simple as that.

  13. anonymous teen says:

    This kind of thing actually really destroyed my relationship with my mother. Let me preface all of this by saying that I’m a good kid. I have never given my mother any reason not to trust me. I am a straight A student, a varsity athlete, and I’ve never tried to sneak off to any parties or anything. I am always exactly where I tell her I will be with the people I tell her I will be with. None of my friends are involved with drugs or alcohol, and neither am I. I’ve never done anything to betray my mother’s trust. This may seem hard to believe, but I promise it’s true.

    However, my mother doesn’t see it that way. To her, she pays for the phone and she can check it whenever she wants. She doesn’t give me any warning that she’s going to check my texts; she favors the “rip the phone out of your daughter’s hand and don’t give it back until you’ve read over every conversation she’s ever had” option instead. I feel that this is a total invasion of privacy. She reads through every text conversation every time she takes my phone, and she finds out things that I haven’t told her. It’s not that these things are bad, it’s just that they were private. For example, I have a few gay friends, and sometimes they’ll drop subtle hints to that in our conversations. My mom is not approving of gay people, and so she’ll approach me after reading my phone and it’ll be 20 questions of, “Is so and so gay? They better not be gay.” This has happened to a few friends of mine, and every time I have to tell them that now my homophobic mother knows that they’re gay and apologize. It makes me feel like an awful friend, because my mom has not only invaded my privacy but their privacy as well. My mother was not supposed to be a third party in these conversations over text. It’s not okay that she’s just inserted herself into them.

    I’ll admit that I swear when talking to my friends. I think that some words are appropriate in some contexts but not in others. When talking to my friends, I think it’s alright to say whatever I want to say. My mother uses this, however, as fuel to the fire, as reason to take away my phone, because I need to be punished. When she takes my phone away from me, it’s for months at a time. I’m not sure she ever intends to give it back every time she takes it away. It feels like she’s only taking my phone away to isolate me from my friends.

    I’d also like to add here that I am almost 18. I feel that by this point my mom should have stopped this behavior. I’ve proven myself trustworthy time and time again, yet she still doesn’t trust me. Her just invading my privacy only ruins our relationship even further. There’s a fine line between trying to keep your teen safe and being invasive. If the police need reasonable suspicion and a warrant to be able to search your car or your house, then you shouldn’t be looking through your teen’s texts without at least some evidence to prove that you need to do so.

  14. All of you make some great points on both sides. Yes, parents should trust our children and give them privacy. But we also worry about our children which is why we want to read your text messages. When kids get into real trouble, the first question people ask is “where are their parents and why didn’t they know what was going on?”

  15. Teenager says:

    I am a young teenager, and I’m iffy on this topic. I admit I do swear in my texts from time to time, but how does that matter? My parents are aware of all the language I’m exposed to, and they should know I’m bound to use it a little as well. But I am a good kid; I’m a straight A student, I play many instruments, and love sports. I’ve never done anything really bad like drugs and such. Of course I’ve gotten into trouble but that’s normal. I don’t mind my parents looking, as I have nothing to hide. Still, I don’t like the general idea when parents have no reason to do so. It is also an invasion of my privacy. I’m entitled to some, right? And using “I provide for all aspects of your life” is not an excuse. As teenagers, we have not even finished/barely finished high school. How are we supposed to move out, get a high-paying job, and provide for ourselves? We would need our parents for that process anyways, as we are minors. Even you parents would agree with the teenage standpoint when you were our age, especially if you were a good kid.

    • Sara Alfred says:

      The amount of privacy our children get with their tech is dependent on their age and their history of their ability to use good judgement. As they request more freedoms that’s when the “negotiations” start taking place and contract is formed. Again, how much say so they have in those negotiations is based on the child’s age and history of judgment. Part of the negotiations involve discussing what happens if the contract is breached.

      Child professionals know the most well adjusted adults are those who grew up with an “authoritative” parenting style. If you don’t know what that means Google it. In a nutshell it requires using some excellent communication skills between the parents and children.

  16. Odalys says:

    I am all for it. Check up on your kids, know what they are up to. They don’t tell us everything they tell their friends. You don’t want to have to find out the hard way when it’s too late & they are underage drinking or getting high and even worse, addicted. I knew a teenage girl that went to a party and was in a coma for 2 months because she overdosed on alcohol & ecstasy and her parents had no idea what she was up to until that day they almost lost there daughter. Be in your kids business and stop being liberal parents. I see in today’s society how parents are more concerned in being there kids friend than a parent. I’m not saying not to have a good relationship with your kids but don’t give up Parenting because it’s easier. Love your kids & protect them from this world we live in as long as you can.

  17. Carlee says:

    Hello! I’m Carlee and I’m actually a teen. I’m just here to say that I have a friend that has parents that constantly read her texts. I actually have a few friends this happens to. If the parents are believing that this gives them are their child a way of trust then they are lying to themselves. My friends constantly hide things from them that they would normally tell their parents. They just now expect the parents to figure out someday themselves, so thu believe there is no point in talking to them. My parents have read my messages before and I did feel that I couldn’t trust them as well anymore. It just makes you feel invaded. We barely have any privacy anymore as teens. Phones are basically the things that make us feel that we have some privacy. Do you read someone else’s mail? Of course not! It’s wrong and an invasion of privacy. Well that’s the same way we feel with our phones. When parents read children’s texts it makes us beleive that they don’t trust us to make good decisions anymore. They don’t trust us to decide for ourselves. And I will admit that sometimes parents do need intervene, but all the time is just plain wrong. My parents claim that if anybody calls you after 10 it’s an emergency, and they beleive that all teens have zero emergancies. Which is wrong to believe. I have several friends that suffer with depression or depressing thoughts, and most the time they are not just going to run into their parents room and ask them to comfort them. No, they text their friends that they can trust. So when parents invade on one child’s privacy they are not only invading on their own child’s privacy but the other child too. And do your children read your texts??? No, because we respect your privacy and trust you to make right decisions since your an adult. And sometimes we need to learn from our mistakes as teens and learn to make the right decisions the hard way. So please respect our privacy just as the way we respect yours.

  18. ronni says:

    I never felt the need to read my children’s texts until my teenager arrived intoxicated at a school event. Her school has zero-tolerance, so guess what? She’s now serving a very, very long suspension. You may think I’d been asleep at the wheel, but even my perfect teenager lied and deceived so well that I never had a real “reason” to snoop. We’d always had frequent, rational conversations about life, choices and values and she visibly followed our rules, so I had no reason to suspect. I hate what I’ve since learned from reading her old messages. She hates it too but understands why. I now know more about her friends and she hates that too. The trust has been broken but at least I know where we need to start rebuilding. As a rule, I don’t know that reading a teen’s texts will prevent them from doing anything wrong as they don’t have to reveal everything in writing (I know if I had something to hide I certainly wouldn’t). But I don’t think it’s completely out-of-line in our case.

  19. tammy says:

    Absolutely not. That is what makes you a parent your just protecting them I actually just did same kind of thing but I did get alone with the phone I was honestly using ir because mine wasn’t working but as I scrolled down I saw messages between my teen daughter and my husbands co worker . they were inappropriate as far as I was concerned.i spoke to my husband telling him of my mind you..husband and I in middle of’s on hold .lol he told me they joke and talk like that all the time.i asked him to speak to his friend telling him it needs to not say anything to our daughter because ahe would just got online and tell this man that her mom is crazy and don’t worry. I thought if husband spoke to coworker it may stop and my daughter would get bored w it and stop also.. no my husband went told her I snooped through her phone saw those messages.the end result..I was exaggerating the story he said and he wins again

  20. E Mom says:

    I don’t text 500 times a day to the same person like my daughter does. In fact, I send a few a day, but that is all. My teen unfortunately was also sexually assaulted by an adult and he continued to contact her by her phone. She’s a great kid and a wonderful person, but I have seen a good number of great kids have their brains placed in turmoil and anxiety not only by those who can contact them with little no no boundary, and also by the simple fact of obsessing over the approval of a friend or a boy via texts. However normal healthy conversations are fine, I just think a few texts a day and phone calls are healthier because you hear voice inflections and get a fuller picture of the person on the other end. One of the top reasons for anxiety and depression these days is the cell phone/texting issue, actually. As far as looking at texts, I occasionally do, more for training on how to express oneself without foul language. I also think kids are being raised by other adolescents via texting, as opposed to communicating healthily with their families. My teen’s depression, for example, was known by other kids her age but not by me and my husband, yet we are the ones who can actually help her. The extent of it was found out by looking through messages, after a trip to the ER, etc., before which I had trust that all was well. My kid’s trauma impacts me and the rest of our family, and family comes first. After all, I lost my privacy and much of my freedom when I had my kids in too many ways to share.

  21. B2 says:

    I have been listening to both sides of this topic to decide if I should confess to my daughter that I have read her text messages-I have an 18 year old daughter that is home from break after her 1st semester at college. She stayed clear of trouble in high school for the most part, and the one time she didn’t she got caught. I gave her several chances to tell me if what I heard was true and she proceeded to lie to me. Again, I told her that lying to me would be worse than the actual act of what she did, and she still proceeded to lie and think she got away with not realizing that I had the proof. At that moment she lost my trust…After several hours, I confronted her with my proof and had her hand her phone over to me and read through all her text messages in front of her-I did not sneak behind her back. It has been 2 years since and I kept my eyes open for any signs of trouble, but never snooped and allowed her to be a young adult and grow-As a parent I was allowing her to rebuild the trust she broke. My daughter has always struggled with self confidence and high expectations of herself, not a very good combination to send a child away to college with. College can be a breeding ground for reckless and sometimes dangerous behavior from young adults. I had my reservations and HOPES when I sent my daughter away to “spread her wings, and grow”. All the while she was at school she was “finding” her way, enjoying her freedom so much she never wanted to come home. Could be a good thing that she’s fitting in, or it could be trouble-How is a parent to know??? So being home of course I wanted to “really” know how things were and asked questions, got very little answers which has always been my daughter. She is quieter. Things are seeming fine until her sister notices cuts on her wrists-She questions her and gets told you better not tell mom and dad…Of course my other daughter is going to tell me because she is concerned(she is 1 year older). I confront my daughter with a suspicion explaining that I found a blade and what does she do…YES SHE LIES TO ME-I ask to see her wrists and she gets argumentative. I did not push the issue at that moment because as parents we need to protect our sources and not damage that relationship, all the while we are tiptoeing around issues that are affecting our children because “they are entitled to there privacy and are allowed to make mistakes”. Come on parents we need to wake up-This is NOT the same world we grew up in. So obviously this situation and previous mistrust from 2 years back caused me to read her text messages without her knowledge and dear god what I found out that these kids are doing would make you sick. The situations that they are willing to put themselves in because they truly don’t know the consequences of there actions requires us to not turn a blind eye-All of the things I learned were things that we did discuss with our children over an over again. They are young and they still need our guidance at any age. So my situation is that I need to confront my daughter that I know everything that has been going on-Sending her back to school would be wrong. I am not willing to take that chance with her life and have her surrounded by a system that doesn’t really care about the kids, heck they are allowing Frats and sororities to supply alcohol knowing it’s against the law-
    So had I not read her text messages to find out exactly what has been going on I would not be given the chance to try to get her the help that she needs. I would be sending her right back to the place that is enabling this behavior. I’m not willing to gamble with my child’s life and as angry as she will be at me when she knows what I have done, I know I am doing the right thing. I am being the parent

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