Should parents be allowed to read teens' text messages?

  • Hilarious

    This survey is too funny--all of the yes votes that I have read are parents and all of the no votes I see are kids. LOL...When you grow up, CHILDREN, and pay your own bills you can have your privacy. The reason being is that we as parents have the responsibility of making sure you are making the right choices and sometimes with ever growing ways of communicating kids do not use their brains that God gave them and make a mistake that cannot be taken back. We are here to raise you and protect you from yourselves.

  • There isn't any 'allowed' about it.

    My child lives in my house, she does not have a job or money, she is under 18. I WILL read her texts until she is on her own. Period. Again, there is no 'allowed' about it. It is plain and simply something that WILL happen.

    Until she is old enough to support herself, provide for herself and or any mistakes she might make, I will be aware of what going on in her life. She can have complete freedom from these things when she can provide it for herself.

  • Yes we do

    Parents are legally responsible for their children. I know of past cases where parents have been arrested for crimes a child has done and they also can be held financially responsible. You are protecting your child by getting in front of activity that is suspicious
    we should be allowed to see everything a cop or teacher or doctor and counselor can see I monitor my kids PC phone chat room Facebook everything they do I know it end of decision for me
    I your a liberal and think you are invading their privacy welll have fun in jail and paying ou what they owe

  • Parents are Right

    I'm a Teen, and my phone is regularly checked. I understand why they do it however, and it is very justified, otherwise you might end up going places where you shouldn't, or end up messing up your life - forever. Nothing you post can truly go away, but with parent's monitoring what you post, you have a much less chance of doing something you shouldn't.

  • Teenagers are stupid and make bad decisions

    Because you shouldn't have anything on your phone that you would be ashamed or embarrassed for you parents to know, and if you do, then you deserve to get busted for it. I don't understand why teenagers think they can do whatever they like, things that they absolutely know they will get in trouble for and think that they can just hide it from their parents. I can 100% guarantee that hiding stuff and lying to your parent will always result in a much more severe punishment than if you'd told them upfront what you had done (or could just not be an idiot and not do those things).

  • Who is paying the bill for phone, internet etc.?

    Of course children / teens / young adults do not believe that you should be snooping into what they want to call "their privacy". They also think they know everything and can make wise decisions. They think it is ok to text and drive, drink and drive and show their private parts while on spring break....Young ones think they should not have to go to school or have a bedtime ...Do I have to go on....I think everyone gets the picture...... Bottom line is, THEY are not paying for a phone, internet, computers, ipads and the electricity it takes to keep them running and until they do those items are NOT THEIRS. They are the property of the parent or guardian and can be looked at, searched, monitored at anytime they please. I was paying for my 30 year old daughters phone and internet when she got a divorce and when I heard her gossiping and being mean on the phone I shut it off. When I found out the type of things she was posting on facebook I had the internet removed. She knew what the boundries where and chose to use those divices for avenues to hurt others which is unacceptable to me. She now pays for her own phone and what she chooses to do with it is her business but she will not be doing it on my dime. If you are not doing anything wrong then there should not be a problem with anyone looking at your text messages or emails which by the way are not private anyway and if you think they are you are grossly mistaken. If you feel you should have privacy and you are old enough then get a job, be responsible, and pay for all of your electronical gadgets yourself and you may also want to move out on your own until then, my house my rules....

  • Yes

    Because parents need to know about their teens life and try to help them with any problems

  • Their house, their rules.

    Same thing goes with a cell phone. If the parent pays the bill every month, buys the phone, and listens to the kids complaining about how they need an upgrade every six months, then the parent has the right to monitor the kids' use of the phone. If teens don't like it, they can go out, get jobs, and pay their own cell phone bills. Everything has a price, and having lived through the kid's side of this one, having my dad glance through who I've been talking to every now and then is a very small price to pay for the privilege of a phone.

  • Trust is important in the relationship.

    I'm a teenager and I think it is important for the children to be able to trust their parents and their parents to trust them. It is a good thing for the parents to check the child's messages because bullying can make the teen feel like they it's not worth living, and most teenagers who are being cyber bullied are too scared to tell anyone. If the parent checks the child's messages they will trust them more when it comes to letting them go out late at night, giving them gadgets, letting them visit friends houses. If the child has nothing to hide online then the parents seeing their messages cannot do any damage. It will create trust between the parent and the child. Another thing is, if the child can't be trusted to be sensible on their mobile, they won't learn to be sensible when they leave home, and they will make many more mistakes. The need to learn to be safe online when they are young, and this will teach them to be careful. The parents can't relax if their children won't let them see their texts. It isn't an invasion of privacy because parents are responsible for their children and it is their business what the children get up to on their phone. It isn't fair on the parents if they can't know more about their children's lives. It will make a better relationship between them.

  • Parents Should be Prudent

    Parents obviously should be allowed to read their children's text messages if they feel the need to do so. Prohibiting this would similar to prohibiting police from pulling over drunk drivers. Nobody wants to get pulled over by the police but we always worry about the other person driving drunk and recklessly. Similarly, parents need this right because of those children that are either problematic or incapable of making good decisions. Parents whose children do not fall into this category should be careful about betraying their children's trusts by overusing this right to look at their texts. Maybe they should just randomly check the text messages.

  • No matter what you say the child is NOT a minor

    Dont you ever, ever, ever call a child a minor. Havent you heard of maturity? Well its not mature to call a child a minor. Now unless you have facts to prove that statement then you have no right to call a child that. Children and teens need their own S P A C E! We all have our own buble and so do they. Dont be selfish and let that child be! If there was something wrong with the child you could tell. So theres no need for being a snoop.

  • Definitely not.

    I'm 18 and my parents pay my phone bill. My mom has read my text messages without my consent when she "didn't trust me" and she thought it was her right. Legally anyone besides the owner of mail can be persecuted for reading another's mail. Texts are mail, therefore it is illegal.

  • It is a breach of my privacy.

    If my parents truly want to see my texts or calls, they can get a court order, or, do a novel idea for parents: they can ASK. I don't want them snooping around in my texts, simply because I feel like they're smothering me, along with invading my privacy. It shouldn't be allowed because your texts are YOUR texts. If you want to see them, her a subpoena.

  • No, they have no right!

    I don't think parents should go through our things. We'll get all paranoid on what we can text and what we can't. Also, how would they like it if we went through their texts and their calls and whatever they do? We should have privacy and trust. If there's no trust then kids start rebelling because they feel it's the only way to get back at their parents, so instead of keeping them safe, they're actually putting their kids in more danger. I know I'm a 13-year-old girl and when my parents go through my stuff I go through theirs.

  • Privacy??

    I share an iCloud account with my parents so I can't keep them off. Every text I send/ receive goes through my dad's phone. It is so annoying. I don't send anything bad but I have never done anything wrong to lose that privilege. Innocent until proven guilty. Seriously, do parents have to be that protective. I don't understand.

  • I think not.

    I chose "NO" because I believe that your typical suburban soccer moms have a powertrip, meaning they have a need to check on everything their kid does. Locked doors are not allowed in their house, and they go through the kid's things and consider 5 and 17 to be the same; "minor". But if the kid is under 15, and for some weird reason has a phone in the first place, then that's very different. I encourage being up their ass about their text messages, both to make sure they aren't meeting any creeps, and to make sure they aren't starting any bad habits; like chatspeak.

  • I honestly don't think so.

    As a teen myself, I would hate to let my parents read my messages. I do not have really bad things on my phone, but I wouldn't want them to see messages between myself and others. I think parents should trust their children enough to not have to read their texts. It is an issue of not only their child's privacy, but the privacy of the person who the conversation is with.

  • It is Ridiculous

    As a teen who has had her parents read her messages, that was the way my mother found out I was engaged. She told me one day by asking "So how's that ring you and your friend talked about?" She wanted to kick me out for it. It's absolutely a violation of privacy and it's completely and utterly unacceptable. As a young woman on her way to university, it is a very frustrating and stressful experience for a 17 year old to deal with.

  • No we dont

    We don't need to invade our children's privacy. They should be grown and responsible enough to have their own privacy. If we were in their shoes we wouldn't want our parents to read our messages now would we? If my children were in trouble they would tell me, if not i would know. We should be smart enough and let our kids have some secure. And if they are talking to someone whom they like, so be it! Its a major teenage thing for them to have a private bubble. They might think we don't trust them. We need to. They might end up not being comfortable knowing we read every little word they type. We must not be selfish, rude, and overprotective of our children. Thanks for taking the time for reading.

  • Why is this even a question?

    Trust is essential to any relationship. Whether it's romantic, friendship, or family, one or both of the parties doesn't trust the other, the relationship will eventually fail. Reading your teen's text messages will most likely do more bad than good. When your teen finds out- and they will find out- you will lose their trust and probably most of their respect. They will feel betrayed and violated and therefore will not turn to you when they need real help or advice.
    Even if your teen doesn't find out, think about what it would do to you as a person. How do you feel knowing that you're going behind your teens back? How do you feel knowing what they talk about with their friends? Their boy/girlfriends? That stuff is personal. I once saw a thing that said that a teen's phone is like their diary. As much as I hate diaries, it's true. And that goes for most people. Those late night conversations, those times your boyfriend is away. Those things that you can't say in person. You know it all. 1984 much?
    But then you say, "I'm protecting them!" "I'm making sure they're safe, that they're not talking to anyone they shouldn't be"
    Look, as teens, we're crazy, stupid, lazy and ignorant. Sorry. We're also experimenting with the world around us. You need to let go of your teen and give them the freedom they deserve because guess what? You're making them stupid! Keep an iron grip on your teens life and that kid won't know how to function in the real world. You shelter them and then they turn 18 and they're lost and confused as hell because you held the world back rather than teaching them how to cope with it. They're going to screw stuff up big time but that's how people learn. They might have sex and they might drink at a party but that's how they learn. Sex was a disappointment? Ok, maybe random hook ups aren't that great. Drank too much? Now I know how tolerant I am. Better they learn now when they're young and they have you to turn to, than when they're adults and society is less accepting and more demanding. Guide them, be there for them, but don't violate their lives. Learn the limits, and deal with your own lives. We'll handle with ours, thank you very much
    - unmonitored teen who's still managed to stay alive

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Anonymous says2013-02-14T06:14:00.843
Good parenting is a direct result of good communication. Children need to feel safe in communicating anything to their parents without fear of judgment or excessive punishment. The invasion of privacy is a great way to destroy the communicative lines between parents and children. At its core, reading a child's text messages is invading their privacy. Everyone deserves privacy. What is amazing is that when the privacy of an individual is respected, freely communicated ideas will fallow. The answer to getting your child to open up to you is not to dig for their secrets, instead parents need to create a safe and comfortable environment where children feel good about communicating anything to their parents.
Anonymous says2013-03-02T02:23:24.580
I'm 17 nearly 18 and my mum stills looks through every inch of my phone and it gets pretty annoying. Every time she sees a message she doesn't like she tells me off and I always tell her that this is how we girls talk we are a different generation than you but she never understands. I'm sick and tired of this, I do nothing that my parents can lose trust in me and I don't even go out.. And now I'm too scared to send any messages to anyone or receive any messages because I know my mum would read it!!
Anonymous says2013-03-06T04:47:19.860
Ok i have read both siides and frankly i think all parents should keep close eye on there child i looked this up to get answers for my situation but it seems i have already known my answer becasue tonight if i would not have read my daughters facebook i would not have found out that there was a child trying to push drugs on her now i am very glad i did so for those of you that say you need to trust your child i do trust my child its the other children i don't trust just as if your in a relationship you trust your man but you dont trust the woman well think about it ,, common since goes a long ways
Anonymous says2013-05-18T19:08:15.567
My father, whom I live with, has NEVER read any of my text messages. If he did, I would probably go off on him because it is MY privacy and what I say to my friends is private. If I need to tell him about something, I'll tell him. If I'm having problems, they will become his problems WHEN I want to tell him. Otherwise, I'm mature enough to deal with them ON MY OWN. No, not all teenagers are mature enough to do this, but they should have the INDIVIDUAL RIGHT to their own messages between friends. Now, if the parents had the BETTER JUDGEMENT to tell when something is wrong, they wouldn't have to go through their messages in the first place. I'm 17, almost out of the house and I have plenty of friends that deal with this and they have major trust issues because of it.
Anonymous says2013-05-23T03:50:47.860
Go for it, I mean, I'm a teenager and I don't mind any of my family members reading my texts or checking up on my location once in a while. This situation is, the majority of this generation's teenagers feel the need to hide their activity.... WHY?! What wrong have you to be discovered? If you've got nothing on you, you don't need to hide anything. Your so called "privacy" is actually quite a redundant thought considering the actual content of your text messages. Privacy? I laugh. Read my text messages all you want, what's to hide?
Quan says2013-06-18T15:04:30.957
If a parent has reason to believe that their teen is in trouble, then I wouldn't be against it. But if you're regularly invading your teen's privacy as a rule, you're overparenting and it will have an adverse effect on their development into an independent adult. Unfortunately overparenting has become the norm.
Quan says2013-06-18T15:17:37.957
The funny thing is the same parents voting "Yes" will be complaining about their adult children still living at home and can't take care of themselves. I wonder if they'll figure out why.
Anonymous says2013-06-21T00:54:17.750
Yes and No. I mean sometimes I text back and forth with my brother since I never see him and if my parent's WANT to know what we're talking about they can just ASK me. I'll tell them. But, I don't text anyone outside of my family ever. I have better things to do with my time. I do not like the generation I ended up getting thrown into one bit. However, on another point I love writing and I keep a journal of poems and stuff and if someone tried to read it I would not be happy. Because I have my personal thoughts that even my best friend would never know in there. And so if someone in my family even tried to read it I would probably never speak to them again. So, it depends on the child, really. It's probably a good idea to play it safe and ask your child if you can read their messages.
Elizabeth_Wilde says2014-07-08T19:31:24.480
It's just plain annoying. I hate having my mother read through every conversation with me and my best friend. Her and I talk about every thing and my mother reads the texts and complains and bashes me about not speaking to her about my emotional life. Some things on my phone are mainly between me and my close friends, and there is a reason I don't open to my mom. She snoops through my phone when she grounds me as well as my email and talks about me and my friends behind my back. She doesn't allow me to see my friends because of the information about them she has seen on my phone. She wont allow me to text them at any point if I am around her, and invades my privacy all the time. My trust with her is broken, and I will never talk about my problems to her because I simply cannot trust that she will keep them to herself! I have gotten in the habit of just deleting the messages when she takes my phone, and resetting my gmail password so she cant access it. I hate that I have to do that, and I am not trying to hide anything important, but she is invading my life too much! I can't have a simple conversation when I am sad, to my friends, without her reading it then giving me a hour long lecture about how she feels and demands that I talk to her about it. I am only 14 and my mother is making my life at home a living hell. And I sometimes don't want to even go home, and she is so rude around me when my friends come over, as well as she insults me in front of them. My mom and I cannot go a day without fighting. I hate it, and I have sworn, as soon as I can drive, I am getting out of this town. My friends have had to wipe tears from my face before, because my mother has done so much damage, and she will not try to fix it. I just don't know what to do.