Privacy: How Much Should Kids Have?

Privacy: How Much Should Kids Have?

Our kids are spending more time at home than ever before, which often means that they are spending more time on their digital devices. This can lead to parents feeling torn between wanting to monitor what their kids are viewing, versus feeling like they are overstepping boundaries. Have you ever heard a parent say something like, “I don’t feel comfortable searching my daughter’s room. I don’t want to invade her privacy”?

Perhaps you know a child who is severely bent out of shape because their “Neanderthal” parents won’t allow them to keep a computer in their bedroom.

Where do I stand on this issue?

  • It’s our job to do our best to know what’s going on in our children’s lives.
  • It’s our job to know what’s in their rooms.
  • It’s our job to do our best to know what they are doing on their computers and their phones.
  • It’s our job to do our best to meet their friends and understand what they are involved in when they are hanging out.

When we do these things, we send the message that we love them enough to be involved in their lives. Parents who do such things will likely hear, “You don’t trust me!” If so, respond with the following:

We love you. Do you think we do these things to be nosy and obnoxious?

Or, do we do these things because we love you and want to help you stay safe?

These questions are not designed to change their mind. They’re simply designed to plant a seed within it. When we consistently demonstrate love and concern rather than a dictatorial attitude, then this seed has a chance to grow.

As a society, we’ve lost far too many good kids to drugs, alcohol, pornography, suicide, video game addiction, etc., because we’ve been afraid of invading their privacy. In our Real Talk on Technology audio, we explore how to teach your kids to avoid becoming victims as well as ways to keep a watchful eye on their digital behavior—without creating massive power struggles and rebellion.


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

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