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To expect children not to read my messages?

28 replies

ChampagneTastes · 27/04/2021 17:41

I am in a group chat with a number of mums at school. we discuss all sorts of things, make jokes, share concerns, discuss our children. So far so normal, right?

Turns out that at least a couple of the mums regularly give their phones to their children who on more than one occasion have read some of these messages.

I am a sweary person. I don't think I've said anything that I'm ashamed of but I've certainly said things not intended for a young audience. It has been suggested that I should tone down my language but my feeling is that it is not me who is the problem. I very rarely give my children my phone but if I do I am watching them and, quite frankly, they know to only use the particular app they have asked to use.

Am I being one of those smug mothers who think their child is better than everyone else's? (Possibly). Am I unreasonable to expect that messages sent to a particular audience should stay within that audience (I'm not expecting total secrecy here - just, if I sent it to adults, it was meant for adults).

If IABU then I will take it on the chin. I'm bloody not though.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Zancah · 27/04/2021 17:46

Nah, I'm a sweary fucker too. I censor myself in company but i carry on as normal in texting to adults. It's up to them to censor their phone, not me.
Let's face it, a sweary text is the least of your worries if they're being given unfiltered access to a mobile device!


VodkaSlimline · 27/04/2021 17:55

YANBU. How old are these children? If they are old enough to be reading fluently, they are old enough to understand that it isn't nice to snoop!


ChampagneTastes · 27/04/2021 17:56

8-10 years old. It's not just the swearing though - it's also the conversations about, for example, how they are getting on at school.

OP posts:

Sbfksh374 · 27/04/2021 18:02

Totally agree with you. I've started to get Facebook requests from kids in my sons class at school (age 9!). There is absolutely no way I will be accepting them because that is an adult space and I'm not going to censor myself


Sbfksh374 · 27/04/2021 18:04

And a WhatsApp group was set up for my youngests class and during lockdown there was a lot of ranting about homeschooling and a few negative comments about the teacher and one of the parents sent screenshots into the head mistress!! So be very careful what you put lol


OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow · 27/04/2021 18:15

Those parents are bonkers. It just takes one of them to start sharing information or gossip for the shit to really hit the fan. Additionally if any of them are that way inclined information can be used to bully other kids. I’d back away.


OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow · 27/04/2021 18:15

The children I mean.


ChampagneTastes · 27/04/2021 18:15

Oh I'm the discreet one! At least in terms of the school, etc. But I have talked about being concerned about my child's wellbeing - if another child read that it could create issues.

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ChampagneTastes · 27/04/2021 18:16

Yes I have stopped using it. It's horrid though because I now feel like a bit of an outcast. :-(

OP posts:

Keepingitreal14 · 27/04/2021 18:18

I wouldn’t be happy if I knew other children were reading our parents chat and would be furious if my children had read my private messages. YANBU


user648482729 · 27/04/2021 18:18

If my DC read my messages then they’d never play on my phone again; that’s private and I don’t want them knowing about my private conversations


Zancah · 27/04/2021 18:22


And a WhatsApp group was set up for my youngests class and during lockdown there was a lot of ranting about homeschooling and a few negative comments about the teacher and one of the parents sent screenshots into the head mistress!! So be very careful what you put lol

Oh yeah, this happened at our school and made me very glad I'd declined the WhatsApp invitation Grin

saraclara · 27/04/2021 18:25


Oh I'm the discreet one! At least in terms of the school, etc. But I have talked about being concerned about my child's wellbeing - if another child read that it could create issues.

That's awful.

I think there's a lesson for all of us there, to keep to using the class WhatsApp for date reminders and other practical stuff only. It would honestly never occur to me that conversations would be shared with people's DCs.

saraclara · 27/04/2021 18:28

information can be used to bully other kids

Ugh. That's even worse.

Seriously, between this and all the posters who think that their DH/Ps are entitled to know all their friends' confidences, I'm scared to talk to anyone about anything.


Pythonesque · 27/04/2021 18:44

I'm with you on the rest of it, but ... regarding swearing.
If you would censor yourself speaking to people face to face, why wouldn't you also censor yourself "speaking" to them by text?


billy1966 · 27/04/2021 19:00

A bit of both OP.

I would no more discuss my child or anything private about them on a group chat.

Not a chance.

Complete breach of your child's privacy for the very reason you have outlined.

I agree with you that children should NOT be reading their parents messages but because of the school connection, pure nosiness could be the motivator.

It's unfortunately completely unreasonable for you to imagine everyone will share your boundaries with your children.

Some parents are very dim and indiscreet.

In primary school my daughters teacher was looking very peaky and cranky.

She came home one day with the story that the teacher had been dumped by her longterm boyfriend.
One of the mum's in the class had a sister who was a close friend and she thought it was appropriate to share the poor woman's private business.
Completely inappropriate and I certainly wasn't the only parent to think it too.

Generic, anemic chat only. Much safer🤣


merryhouse · 27/04/2021 19:16

Did she say she censors herself face-to-face?

The OP had thought the WA group was a group of adults, so was treating it as such. It's like being one's usual self before the doors open and then turning into Mary Poppins once the kids come out.

I think it's a bit weird to discuss particular children's issues in such a group at all, tbh.


BackforGood · 27/04/2021 19:47

I would actually put a message in the group to say I was pretty shocked that anyone felt it was appropriate to let the dc see the messages in what is a private chat.
Nothing to do with swearing, but, as you say, if you think you are in a group with parents, you might well phrase something in a way you wouldn't say in front of the dc
I think you need to challenge it.
You've nothing to lose if you are going to stop using the group anyway.


Grilledaubergines · 27/04/2021 19:53

Yanbu. Youre an adult and can use whatever language you want, however blue. I’d leave the chat, fuck ‘em.


joysexrenovated · 27/04/2021 19:56

Yanbu in the first instance (or two) but if you’re aware kids are reading the conversation and you’ve not moderated your contributions or left the chat then that’s on you.


ChampagneTastes · 28/04/2021 10:35

Sorry perhaps I'm not being clear - the group is not simply a group for school chat. It is a group of relatively close friends who met through the school. There is a separate class chat for lost jumpers and football times in which I would never contemplate either swearing or sharing personal information. This is a chat between friends.

Regarding the not swearing in front of others - well I usually see them in the playground so, yes, I change my behaviour. Don't you?

OP posts:

ChampagneTastes · 28/04/2021 10:36

Contributions have been moderated and, yes, I've now left but it's meant I've effectively shut myself out of a friendship group which bothers me.

OP posts:

billy1966 · 28/04/2021 14:16

That's a pity OP.

No I certainly don't think children should be reading adult messages but if you actually like the group, keep the salty chat for when you meet.

Don't lose a nice bunch of friends over this.



79andnotout · 28/04/2021 14:20

Yanbu. I know one of my friends does this, and also one of my friends husband responded to a group chat on her behalf once, and I was bloody outraged! Just means I've held back ever since and only put banal stuff in group chats knowing lots of prying eyes see.


AmyLou100 · 28/04/2021 14:24

Did they say it was specifically because of the children. Tbh I hate conversations with sweary people. I find it so vulgar. But that is me. Equally there are many people that have no problem. Maybe it's some of the mums who feel this way and passing it on as the kids who are saying this?

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