Bugger, DD just caught me looking at her texts :((46 Posts)
She's 13 and I feel at this age I ought to be keeping an eye on who she's talking to and what they're saying/sending. I don't know any of the kids she's become friendly with at her new school and you hear so much about cyber bullying, sending inappropriate pics etc that I feel happier if I check up now and again. But I'm furious with myself for letting her find out as I feel now I've given her a reason to be secretive and keep things from me .
Parenting a teen is a bloody nightmare - I genuinely trust her but find it hard to accept that she's growing away from me and worry about anyone hurting her. She thinks I'm too strict because I don't feel comfortable letting her go off to unfamiliar places with a bunch of strangers - looking at what they say to each other on the phone or social media is the only way I have of judging if they're OK although I appreciate it's not a very reliable method.
How should I move on from this? Is it appropriate to check her phone/accounts from time to time? Should I mention it again and apologise (she was a bit annoyed but also seemed surprised that I was looking, I thought she knew I did as I have all her passwords). Really don't want to mess this up any more that I already have .
hahaha. Sorry, you'll laugh too, one day.
Mine would roast me if I tried to do that.
mmm... Ask her if she'll promise to tell you if she's being messed about by anyone? Make it clear it's because you care about her not because you enjoy controlling people.
Mine is growling at me for the laptop right now but I may write more later...
I've never read my teens texts.
My friend does but she told them when they got their phones that she would be checking up intermittently without warning.
I think only those scenarios are acceptable. I don't like the idea of sneaking a look.
I made it a condition of my ds having a phone and social media accounts that I would have all the passwords and be able to check any time.
I would just make it clear to her that you will be checking from time to time.
You haven't messed up at all, 13 is a funny age, they think they are grown up and can deal with anything, but they still need us, whether they know it or not.
That's exactly the problem, she seems to have grown up overnight and doesn't appear to need me at all apart from as a source of cash and lifts. I accept that this is what happens as they get older but surely it's only being a good parent to have some idea what they're up to and who with?
Usual I do let her go out with her friends, far more than I am comfortable with to be honest, but I'm not about to start saying yes to every request, I am still the parent here.
I know all about doing stuff behind your parents' backs - I did it myself - and the last thing I want to be is a controlling parent, but I do want to be a responsible one.
I'd really like her to and often suggest it but it doesn't seem to be the done thing to go to each others' houses - they prefer to hang out at the park or meet in town.
Trouble is we live in a small village and her friends at school are from various other villages or the local small town. Meeting up means lifts from parents (which I'm fine with) or sometimes public transport (which isn't great round here). They can't be spontaneous and that doesn't work very well for teens it seems!
I have never checked my teens texts. And would be bloody furious if dh checked mine.
Well yes but you're an adult aren't you, I wouldn't expect to have mine checked either and I won't be checking DD's when she's an adult.
I would check if I was worried about about the possibility of something serious like drugs or crime related. My 14 year old is secretive while my 12 year old is the opposite and happy to tell me anecdotes about her social interactions so I don't worry about my younger one so much.
I can appreciate your concerns, but it is a huge invasion of privacy to check without permission and will only cause her to become more secretive.
I would have been mortified at having my mum read my messages at that age - even though they were fairly innocent - they were conversations which, at 13, I didn't want to have with my mum and were quite frankly not any of her business - mostly silly stuff about which boys I liked, who was pissing me off at school, nothing major but stuff which would have made my mum want to step in inappropriately.
I know, I just find it so hard to get used to the fact that she's growing up and doesn't need me any more . I want to be part of her life and look out for her if she's having problems but I know I have to let go - I just didn't expect it to be so soon. She's my only child and I feel like my parenting is over and done with now.
Need to get some perspective on this, my own Mum (who wasn't always there for me as a teen) can be very needy and I find it difficult, can't bear to think that DD will feel the same way about me .
DD reckons most of her mates (yr9), their moms check their phones regularly. DD knows she mustn't swear in private msgs to her mates because the other parents will see the vulgar word & then moan to their own DDs how my DD is a bad influence (!)
Fact is they all swear like banshees when they meet up, and compete in who can be most vile as part of banter. Just like teens did when I was young. But now it's sometimes documented where parents feel the right to look, and has cyber name. I don't think modern times are much different from 1970s. New names for old things.
My father read my diary when I was a teenager, after always making a huge song and dance about how much he respected my privacy etc etc.
I still feel sick and shaky now thinking about it.
OK I get that I am being unreasonable, think this is more of an issue than I realised . I clearly don't know where to draw the line between being a responsible parent and an over-involved/invasive one. Thanks for the replies.
Woah, your parenting is far from over! Your dd needs you now more than ever, but in different ways from those she did when she was wee.
But you need to let her come to you with her problems, rather than going looking for them. You sound like a lovely concerned mum who is struggling to adapt to the transition from a child to a teen - and you do need to respect her space, but at the same time encourage an open and honest dialogue between the two of you.
It was part of the condition of DD having a phone, and of having social media. I have access to all passwords and to her phone as and when requested, and that it is not used at night. And if I see obviously deleted messages (large gaps and one sided conversations, etc. then there will also be questions. She also knows I am not daft when it comes to these things so setting up fake or additional accounts is not going to work long term either.
It is very much recommended to monitor teen phone and social media usage, and to talk and teach your teens about e safety in all its forms.
I rarely check these days tbh - but DD knows I can and will if I am at all concerned.
dementedma Sun 15-Nov-15 16:17:11
I have never checked my teens texts. And would be bloody furious if dh checked mine.
That's a completely different scenario. A 13y is not an adult. Younger teens are one of the most vunerable groups when it comes to cyber bullying and online safety issues.
I have Norton family installed on Dds phone so can log into their website & check all dd's texts, browsing, facebook & instagram accounts etc.
She knows this is a condition of her having the phone. She is 14.
Thank you Hulababy you have made me feel like much less of a nutter Know other posters didn't mean that but I do sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who worries about stuff like this.
Balletgirlmum in an ideal world that's exactly what I'd do but I just feel it's maybe a step too far although if I had any reason to suspect DD was hiding things from me I'd do it like a shot (if I knew how!)
ClashCity that's exactly what I am (well I hope lovely!) and the relationship you describe is what I'm aiming for even if I'm not making a very good job of it.
It probably helped (though I wish she hadnt had to go through it) that within 2 weeks of her starting secondary school, Dd received a string of vile, abusive anonymous texts that upset her. (she showed them to her form tutor, then us)
I couldn't have written OPs post any better myself and I give you a hug as I'm growing through totally the same.. My dh is 14.. Is so hard to let go in some respects .. She's got v friendly with her best friend of 4yrs and she's told me some bits but not everything.. Thy have kissed and hung out.. Told each other they like one another and he then tells her today that shes are too good of a friend to go any further but if it doesn't work out with another girl he will ask her out!!! I have read some of her texts and it's not the fact that I want to know what's going on, I just want to know she's ok and happy. It's so bloody hard. I have backed off over the last couple of weeks but she tells me so little , which concerned me.. Hugs
OP I understand that you want to keep your DD safe/support her if anything untoward happens. That's what we all want.
It is very difficult to know what to do for the best. I have never read DDs texts/messenger/snap chat etc apart from stuff she has shown me. She has a lock screen and never leaves her phone lying about anyway! She had a really horrid time (though more on RL than on social media I think) at the end of Y9/through Y10(so 13-14) and I do wonder that maybe I should have somehow tried to take control over social media.
It's not easy parenting a teen.
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