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Do you read their texts?

(136 Posts)
MrsSnape Mon 31-Mar-08 21:25:12

If your teens have mobiles, do you sneak a look at their texts or completely respect their privacy?

kikid Mon 31-Mar-08 21:29:13

absolutely look.

magnolia74 Mon 31-Mar-08 21:33:36

Yep we me and dh sometimes peek but we then tell her. Also see whats she's writing on msn. She is almost 13.

AMumInScotland Mon 31-Mar-08 21:43:09

No - totally respect his privacy (14) on texts, emails and Bebo. But have had lots of chats about not automatically believing people are wo they claim to be online etc.

dippymother Mon 31-Mar-08 22:17:55

My DS was 15 when he started dating a girl (same age) and the relationship quickly became quite serious, lasting nearly 2 years, before finishing when he was 17.1. I was concerned, especially as they were underage at first and because it was his first relationship that had lasted longer than a few weeks. I started to look at his texts when I could. It made quite shocking reading, confirming that the relationship had progressed sexually and it seemed that they were intimate at every opportunity they could snatch (not to mention the language). I have never let on that I read those texts, but I never felt comfortable when they were in the house on their own or in his room, especially as DS has a younger sister to set an example to.

Perhaps I shouldn't have read the texts, but I would rather know the score than be in the dark. DS is now 18 and I no longer read his texts because I now respect the fact that he's an adult entitled to his privacy.

Incidentally, I haven't read my DD's texts (she is now 15) but won't rule it out if something/someone happens which I am concerned about.

We have also had chats about strangers on the internet and not believing all that they tell you.

Best thing is to go with your gut instinct. If you are concerned (i.e. drink, drugs, sex, bullying etc), then you might feel it is necessary to look at their texts, otherwise I'd leave well alone.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 01-Apr-08 00:33:55

Two sons, now 21 and 17.5, so they've had phones for a few years. And I have never, ever looked at them, and I expect (and get) the same respect for my privacy.

It's not all been smooth and there have been Talks About Big Issues, but sneaking through a phone is as bad as reading a diary - and I know how I felt when I discovered my mum was reading my sister's on a regular basis. (I'm too lazy to keep one going lol)

nappyaddict Tue 01-Apr-08 00:44:06

i wouldn't ever unless i was concerned for their safety. its the same principle as a diary. you just don't do it. as a teenager i went to all effort to hide things like this from my mum cos i didn't trust her. there wasn't even anything to hide iyswim but i just didn't want her reading my private things. i kept my phone on me at all times for this reason and made sure she never found out my email password.

vInTaGeVioLeT Tue 01-Apr-08 01:00:46

yep - if she leaves her phone lying around
i read her emails too and her diary if i can find it blush

i know this is a huge invasion of privacy but i just need to check she's ok and not getting out of her depth with teenager-y things.

madamez Tue 01-Apr-08 01:02:35

I remain horrified at how many of you treat your teenagers like pet animals or property and permit them no privacy. This is verging on abuse and it would serve you all right if they ran away.

vInTaGeVioLeT Tue 01-Apr-08 01:04:35

she doesn't know i do it

maybe you'll feel diferently when you have a teenager madamez

seeker Tue 01-Apr-08 06:11:27

My dd is 12. It was a condition of her having a mobile, MSN and Bebo that I could occasionally read what was on there. She is currently happy with this - and actually I very rarely do (too horrified by the required level of illiteracy!)
I'm sure she will want this policy changed sometime soon - it will be the subject of much debate I'm sure! Not sure what I'll do when that time comes.

squigglywig Tue 01-Apr-08 06:24:25

Agree with madamez (apart from the running away bit - no-one deserves that). We don't own our children - they are there own people and entitled to some respect and privacy.

squigglywig Tue 01-Apr-08 06:24:45


cory Tue 01-Apr-08 07:57:32

My dd is only 11, but she does text friends and keep a diary. I don't read them. My rationale is that if she suspected me of reading them, she'd simply stop putting incriminating material in there; she's not totally dim.

But she would also stop trusting me, and stop bringing her problems to me. And then I wouldn't be able to help her.

I think our best hope for her teenage years is to keep communication channels open. Otherwise, she'd just stop confiding in me and make sure that everything she didn't want me to hear was confined to private conversations- I can't earwig those.

Dd is not yet allowed unsupervised access to the internet.

I would also be very aware that not everything put in a diary is the literal truth: as a young teenager I used my diary for verbal sexual fantasy which would have made hair-raising reading for my mother, yet I was a virgin when I went to uni.

seeker Tue 01-Apr-08 08:03:37

I wouldn't read dd's diary. What we say at the moment is that we are not concerned about what she might say, but what other people might say to her, or about what links and things people might send her. As I said, she is still happy with this. It will be renegotiated when she becomes unhappy with it.

heronsfly Tue 01-Apr-08 08:08:44

I have never read dcs text messages, mobiles seem to be glued to them anyway, so dont think I could even if I wanted to, the computer is a different matter though, it is in a family room, and we all know that it is open access.

shabster Tue 01-Apr-08 08:22:58

Since I went onto Facebook it has been strange being able to read profiles of my nephews and nieces. Bit of a shock really as I still think of them as children but they are all 18 plus! Recently my nephew has been having a hard time - girlfriend pregnant etc etc and his mum and dad had run out of ideas as to how to advise him (he still lives at home). I went onto facebook and the poor lad had spilled his guts out on his profile. Quietly mentioned the contents without going into great detail with SIL.

It has helped them know what is going on with their lad because they thought he was just being a pain in the bum.

Sometimes, as mums of teenagers and older, we have to do what we have to do.

ChicaLovesHerLocalGreengrocer Tue 01-Apr-08 12:11:15

But Facebook profile is different to texts. Anyone who is your friend on facebook can read your profile info, unless you have privacy settings.

Texts are private, to one mobile only, and so by reading someone else's texts you are infringing their privacy.

nappyaddict Tue 01-Apr-08 12:51:26

i think cory's method is the best. she's not invading her dd's privacy cos her dd knows about it, yet cory is happy that she can keep an eye on her. she can keep doing this for as long as her dd is happy which for all we know could be until she is 16 or whatever if she's got nothing to hide. although i do suspect because of this if there was something she didn't want cory to know she would just delete all evidence of it.

shabster Tue 01-Apr-08 13:06:16

Yes Chica I realise that FB is a different matter - it was just an observation. As long as my prying has helped my nephew I dont care!! smile

shabster Tue 01-Apr-08 13:07:44

He also has no idea that his Aunt (who he thinks is about 100 yrs old) is on FB grin

seeker Tue 01-Apr-08 13:22:12

I knew I was invisible!

getmeouttahere Tue 01-Apr-08 14:07:17

I occasionally read DD (12) texts and MSN conversations. She is allowed to use these on the condition that they are available for scrutiny. She knows this and accepts it. Of course, this was negotiated with her full knowledge with the reasons why.

One day, I am sure she will rebel against this and I will adjust my level of control according to her maturity and experiences. At 12, she does not have this in sufficient doses.

In some ways, I counter the argument that this is akin to child abuse by saying that children given too much freedom to make potentially dangerous mistakes is akin to child neglect.

Then again, I would possibly think differently for a 15-16 yr old. I haven't got there yet.

PenelopePitstops Tue 01-Apr-08 14:10:20

I would be seriously pissed off if my mum or dad read my texts!

my sister is 14 and my parents dont read her texts or email, she doesnt read theirs so why is it ok vice versa.

totally agree with mamadez, trust your children, they arent animals!

minorityrules Tue 01-Apr-08 14:17:50

Absolutely not and never will

I wouldn't like them to read my text or email, so why should I read theirs? Would you pick up a friends phone and go through it? Same with bedrooms, no one goes in without knocking or permission. And the post, if your name isn't on it, you don't open it. Respect brings respect.

I'm horrified people intrude in this way

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