The snooping parent

In this world of technology, sexting, Facebook, twitter and this advanced life it is not common to find parents snooping to see what their children are getting up to. We want to make sure that they are happy, and that their worlds are safe ones. This can be a violation of a child’s privacy and can lead to serious confrontations and heated arguments between child and parent.

Sneaking aunt, hidden cell phone

Sometimes children can feel that you do not trust them and that’s why you’re snooping. I have a confession to make- I am the snooping aunt, my nephews and nieces know that I want to know everything that is happening in their lives and bad as it sounds, if I see their diaries lying around, I read them. Same with cell phones- some even put a password so that I do not access them! My son is still young for me to check, but I suspect that I am going to be snooping parent, given the snooping aunt I currently am.

Can non-judgmental snooping be practical?

I just feel that it is important to have an idea of the life that the kids around me are living and whatever I find I do not judge. I know how disappointing it is to find out that the innocent little girl you hold dear to your heart has started having sex but in such cases I try and find out if they are using contraceptives and protection against diseases instead of judging them or being angry with them. Sometimes the young lad is smoking and uses alcohol. I might find something that is bothering them and be able to advise. There is so much happening out there and our children are dealing with bigger challenges than we did growing up.


This one time a certain lady was upset that she found a packet of condom in her son’s room. She felt that her son was too young to be having sex and she could not wait from him to come back from school so that he gets the lecture. Other people felt that she should feel lucky that if her son is having sex at least he is using protection. The sad reality is that our kids grow up fast and we need to keep a watchful eye.

I can imagine how tempting your child’s diary would be if she were to leave it open in her room, especially a teenager that is reserved and does not like to share much- or are you able to leave it where it is?. How about a Facebook page that is left open? Some parents go as far as saying in their house there are  not secrets they can enter anyone’s room anytime and do not need the child’s permission: it is a case of “my house, my rules”. If your child were to leave her cell phone unlocked would that not be tempting? It’s a tricky one because you do not want your children to think that you do not trust them but as a parent you want to keep an eye on them.

Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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Are you the snooping parent or do you trust your kids to be living a good life based on the values you taught them?

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