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Cellphone Parenting

Is it OK for me to read my kids' text messages on their phones?

Parents: there's no absolute right answer as to whether it's OK to read your kid's text messages. It depends on your kid's age, personality, and behavior. The most important thing is that you discuss responsible texting behavior. Remind them that any text can be forwarded to an unintended audience -- and texts that involve drugs, sexting, or other illegal things can get kids into real trouble.

The ideal time to establish rules around how the phone will be monitored is at the very beginning, when you give it to your kid. It's easier to relax your rules as you go along, rather than suddenly introduce new ones.

You can always simply ask to see their messages. If your kids recoil in horror, ask why they don't want you to see them -- it's very likely that there's nothing bad.

If you have reason to suspect that your kid is going through something dodgy that he or she won't discuss -- and you notice changes in his or her behavior, appearance, and actions -- then you might have probable cause. You also can consider purchasing a text-monitoring service through your wireless carrier.

Bottom line? Discuss appropriate cell phone behavior, set consequences for infractions, and monitor your kid's behavior. Every parent faces this dilemma at one time or another, whether it's regarding text messages or Instagram posts. If you do decide to sneak a peek, be prepared to see things you won't like -- and to have to choose whether or not to confront your child about what you've discovered.

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Comments

Teen, 16 years old written by Hcllie

Even kids who have great relationships with their parents - including me - have conversations with their friends they wouldn't have with their parents. Most kids don't want to talk to their parents about intimate feelings, especially if they involve relationships or sex. I understand that it's important to talk about those things with your kids for their safety, but most kids would rather that be a general talk - not one that includes their specific and personal thoughts. As a teenager, I know that if my parents eavesdropped on my conversations, whether texted, written, or spoken, I would lose a lot of trust for them. Kids need to have peers they can talk to about current and shared experiences, and if a parent is always looking over their shoulder, they will more than likely stop having those necessary conversations as often.
Kid, 12 years old

I'm turning 13 in less than a year. Sure, I'm not a teen yet but I need my privacy too. I'm really frustrated when my mom reads my texts. I don't do bad stuff on my phone but okay, me and my friends gossip and swear time to time. Sometimes I just wanna tell my mom to their face that its the 21st century, teens and tweens curse. Get over it. My mother is very overprotective, I don't have social media. I can't even download games OR watch/read Harry Potter. WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THAT. No, I definitely don't think its okay to read your child's texts. Once they turn 10-11 they'll want you to stop looking through their texts. Most kids can't confide in their parents, they turn to their friends because friends see things in our perspective. And now with you looking through our texts, we can't open up to anyone unless we talk in person. And right now, we can't even talk in person due to this pandemic. If your child is over 12 years old, they'd expect you to give them privacy, especially in the texting department. If there's something weird going on with your kid, talk to them. if you have no reason to read your child's texts, DON'T.
Teen, 14 years old written by wooyoughs

recently, i got into a huge stupid argument with my mother and she decided to take my phone away. i understand that and i am okay with that, but deciding to read through my messages and lurk around my phone, no. i don’t like that. i am not hiding anything bad on there, but it is my privacy. i talk about really sensitive and private stuff on there between friends. i make friends online as well. they know that. but they suspect they are the reason for me “acting so strange”. my mum is now considering looking at my phone every month, i am so upset by this and i can’t even go to sleep at night knowing that she has my phone and is reading through my messages. she hasn’t done it yet because we are still ‘talking things out’, but i don’t think i will even be beside her to know what she’s looking at. i told my family what’s going on and they just say she’s only doing it to protect me. protect me from what? i’m a 14 year old teen that knows the dangers of social media. i know when something is wrong. not only is it going into my privacy, it is ruining the trust between us. i cannot trust her if she does not trust me. she has never done this and i’m taken aback by what is going on now.
Teen, 13 years old written by theskysthelimit

Okay, first of all, if you don't trust your child your child will not trust you. I don't have a phone, but i do have a computer, on which i can email. If my parents were to look through my emails it would be a violation of my privacy. My parents and I are very close, but for them to read through my emails would just be rude. Swearing is normal when you are a tween/teen, and they are exposed to it everywhere anyways, so apps that track swearing are completely unnecessary. So unless you have proof that your child is doing something bad, PLEASE stay out of their texts.
Teen, 13 years old written by 8kitkats8

No, it's not okay to read your family's private messages, unless you believe they have been sent messages that could be potential threats to their safety (for example, threats from classmates, offers of drugs & other illegal substances, cyberbullying, ETC). Reading your teen's private messages is a violation of their privacy and will RUIN your trusting relationship with them. If your teen feels like you don't trust them, and worry that they're gonna get in trouble every time you call their name, you will not be able to lead a healthy, trusting relationship with them. Several child psychologists EXTREMELY advise against reading your child's messages/installing apps that use AI to read the messages for you and report any curse words and things like that (for example, Bark) because, once again, it will literally ruin your relationship. I know that it will help ease a parent's anxiety about this sorta thing, but it will only make a teenager's worse. Trust your teen, and talk with them about what is safe.
Teen, 14 years old written by kidfromus

no it is not ok but again it really depends on their age and their behavior around you. If they act sketchy (hiding their phone, mini scare when you walk into the room(this can be due to other things too)) around you on their phone they probably are doing something bad on their phone. when they get older you have to trust them more cause they are smarter 15-18 they know better 12-14 you probably don't have to constantly check on them.
Teen, 13 years old written by redvlvt

I am almost 14 and my mom never decided to look at my phone until recently, when I started using it too much in quarantine. She thinks I am talking to strangers which I am not, so she wants to read my text messages. Well, the thing is I dom't care who she finds because people in my contacts are only my irl friends. However, I share private things with my friends and I do not want her to see those. What do I do?
Teen, 13 years old written by urmumgey

I'm 13 years old, and I absolutely HATE when my parents go through my phone. I have to admit, I have done some pretty sketchy things before on my phone, but my parents still don't trust me after many years later. I know I'm only 13, but I feel that now that I am a teenager I can start to have more responsibility and freedom. My mom is very overprotective over EVERYTHING. Boys, friends, online stuff, she's crazy about it. All of my friends have social media, but I am still not aloud to have it because I'm not "mature enough". It's just, honestly whenever my parents go through my phone I feel so anxious and I feel really stressed and tense. I get a really bad headache just at the thought of letting ANYONE go through my phone. There really isn't bad things on my phone, but I already hate the thought of someone invading my privacy. I totally get it, parents are aloud to go through their children's phone as they do pay for it, but I honestly don't trust my parents anymore. They get mad that I don't tell them too many things, but they have never really noticed that I started not telling them certain things when my mom first looked through my phone. My mom easily just picks up my phone and takes it to another room and looks through it. Sometimes it's in front of me, sometimes I have no idea she even looked through it until she confronted me. She used to only look through my phone every few months, which was amazing. I was completely fine with it and I still trusted her, but I recently got in trouble for one of the things my friends had said to me, so now she checks it anytime she sees it. Honestly, parents if you are reading this, then if you decide to look through your kid's phone then let them know at least. Maybe ask them and see what their reaction is. In my opinion, and all of the comments that I have read, if you think your kid is up to something sketchy or bad, then maybe confront them about it and talk to them. The last thing you should do is look through their phone. It really does break the trust that your child has with you. You may end up finding something that is bad, but maybe that's trying to tell you that you should talk with your kid more. Maybe take them out to shop, or out for ice cream. I can't tell you how to be a parent, but I really hope that you take this advice, because looking through a kid's phone is a BIG invasion of privacy.
Teen, 13 years old written by urmumgey

I'm 13 years old, and I absolutely HATE when my parents go through my phone. I have to admit, I have done some pretty sketchy things before on my phone, but my parents still don't trust me after many years later. I know I'm only 13, but I feel that now that I am a teenager I can start to have more responsibility and freedom. My mom is very overprotective over EVERYTHING. Boys, friends, online stuff, she's crazy about it. All of my friends have social media, but I am still not aloud to have it because I'm not "mature enough". It's just, honestly whenever my parents go through my phone I feel so anxious and I feel really stressed and tense. I get a really bad headache just at the thought of letting ANYONE go through my phone. There really isn't bad things on my phone, but I already hate the thought of someone invading my privacy. I totally get it, parents are aloud to go through their children's phone as they do pay for it, but I honestly don't trust my parents anymore. They get mad that I don't tell them too many things, but they have never really noticed that I started not telling them certain things when my mom first looked through my phone. My mom easily just picks up my phone and takes it to another room and looks through it. Sometimes it's in front of me, sometimes I have no idea she even looked through it until she confronted me. She used to only look through my phone every few months, which was amazing. I was completely fine with it and I still trusted her, but I recently got in trouble for one of the things my friends had said to me, so now she checks it anytime she sees it. Honestly, parents if you are reading this, then if you decide to look through your kid's phone then let them know at least. Maybe ask them and see what their reaction is. In my opinion, and all of the comments that I have read, if you think your kid is up to something sketchy or bad, then maybe confront them about it and talk to them. The last thing you should do is look through their phone. It really does break the trust that your child has with you. You may end up finding something that is bad, but maybe that's trying to tell you that you should talk with your kid more. Maybe take them out to shop, or out for ice cream. I can't tell you how to be a parent, but I really hope that you take this advice, because looking through a kid's phone is a BIG invasion of privacy.
Teen, 15 years old written by warmvanillasugar

I'm almost 16 years old, and I'm not going to deny that I have sometimes been irresponsible with my phone. There were times when I was on it when I should have been working or doing other things, but now that I am older I am much more responsible with how I use my phone. When I first got a phone, it was never monitored, and I had no screen time. When I got Instagram, my mom only requested that she followed me and I followed her, so she could see what I was posting. Eventually, I began to talk to boys, as most teenagers do with people. In my opinion, that is a very significant thing that for some reason is condemned by our parents. They are for some reason under the impression that we are sexting, sending nudes, etc., when in actuality we are talking and getting to know one another. When I told my mom, she subsequently went through every message I had ever been sent, reading them and questioning every message; "Why are they saying you're beautiful?," "Why did they say goodnight when you're just friends?," etc. This behavior hurt my feelings and made me feel like I was not allowed to be liked by a boy. Now I struggle with trying to figure out how to tell my parents when I get a boyfriend, because I have always known them to be so incredibly critical. After discovering the messages, my mom discovered the passwords for all of my social media accounts and emails, and would read through all of my texts. I was forced to change all of my passwords, log out any time I used an account, and delete things that I thought she would criticize. My mom installed Life360 and screen time, and moniters everywhere I drive. If I go to get gas I'm interrogated, if she's bored, she goes through my phone, if she can't sleep, she goes through my phone, if she needs to look something up, she uses my phone. There was even one time she read a text message from my manager before me, and because I didn't see it and she did, and didn't tell me, I almost lost my job. It hurts me to think that she doesn't trust me to make my own decisions; I am a member of NHS, an AP student, and I get excellent grades without any prodding from my parents. While they pay for my phone and have the right to go through it, being on it constantly, critiquing my conversations with my friends, and stalking everywhere (I mean EVERYWHERE) I drive, I am responsible enough to be making my own decisions now. If I feel that something is getting out of hand, I can handle that myself. This is an essential part of entering into adulthood, and I feel like I'm being robbed of my independence as a teenager. Parents, it is ok to go through your child's phone, as long as you ask them. Any child 15 or older is capable of being responsible, and any age younger, you can absolutely still go through your phone and guide them, as they are a little younger. PLEASE, don't make your children feel incapable of handling situations on their own.
Teen, 13 years old written by Rantgirl1579

Hello! I don't think it's ok unless your child is doing something bad and you have proof. This recently happened to me my parents took my phone and went through it while they were on it they went on Snapchat I have friends who are boys that I text on Snapchat and we weren't texting anything bad so I don't know why their mad. I've lost my trust and respect they always complain about something. I don't think what I did is wrong
Teen, 13 years old written by Rantgirl1579

Hello! I don't think it's ok unless your child is doing something bad and you have proof. This recently happened to me my parents took my phone and went through it while they were on it they went on Snapchat I have friends who are boys that I text on Snapchat and we weren't texting anything bad so I don't know why their mad. I've lost my trust and respect they always complain about something. I don't think what I did is wrong
Teen, 15 years old written by agoodcanofsoup

Listen, I'm 15. I have done a few questionable things when I was younger, mainly because I didn't know what I was doing, and that made my parents go through my phone on multiple occasions. Those times were justified, but every other time they've decided to randomly go through my phone hurt me. A lot. Because of those times I was simultaneously forced out of the closet, and then shoved back in because my mother didn't think I was old enough to know who or what I liked. That was 3 years ago. It's also because of those random searches that I've become extremely paranoid, I know that I don't have anything bad on my phone, but that doesn't stop me from deleting things and hiding my phone whenever my parents are around. I'll be playing a game, and if my parents come into the room I'll close the app and shut off my phone. Because the idea of them taking my phone and going through it scares me so much, that I'm constantly deleting and redownloading things. I've lost all trust in my parents, especially since they put screen-time on my phone. They're driving me to do things that are more and more extreme so that I can stay in contact with friends and do things I enjoy. And I don't like it, I don't like having to hide things from them. But they force me to, because if I didn't, if I showed them even an ounce of my actual self they'd freak out! My mom is so blatantly homophobic that I can't even mention a girl without getting a dirty look. I've gone through four breakups without support from them, and I honestly can't wait until I move out. Because of them I can't properly cope with a lot of things, because they're the root of said things. I just- I just want out.
Teen, 13 years old written by rubanu

I’m 13. My parents go through my phone regularly and without much warning beforehand. I understand why they’d want to if I were exhibiting suspicious behavior, but I’ve never done anything to betray their trust. I’m doing fairly well in school, I make responsible decisions, and I usually just text my friends that I know in real life. Despite this, my parents still insist on looking through my phone. Not just a little glance, but they read almost everything. In my opinion, trust needs to be mutual. They don’t trust me: I don’t really trust them. A lot of the times when I try and ask why they want to look through my phone, they use that as an excuse: “why do you care so much?”. It’s not because I’m scared of what they’ll find, it’s just intrusive in my opinion. It sucks knowing that the person that raised you doesn’t even trust you.
Teen, 15 years old written by potato525

I am a 15 year old, and I understand why parents occasionally feel the need to go through our phones. But my parents randomly check my phone and honestly it's what led to me losing my trust for them. I am a good kid, I do well in school, I know right from wrong and I can make good decisions, so obviously there isn't any bad stuff on my phone. However, this one time my parents were going through my phone and I was texting my friend about my crush and oh my they freaked out so much. They got super mad at me and now they constantly check my phone and don't trust me. They just assume that I have sketchy stuff on my phone when I really don't and always think that I am hiding stuff from them, and they get mad at me for not telling them about my problems. So parents obviously I can't tell you how to raise your child, but coming from me and a lot of other kids, constantly going through a child's phone will definitely lead the child to not trust a parent.
Teen, 17 years old written by ammmu

I don't have a phone that can be called my own. I use my mom's phone. My parents are against of me using a phone because they don't trust me at all. At least that's what I feel. I have friends and my parents don't like 3 of them. Let's them be P, S and K. Now, P and S study well and score good marks. They have their own phones and their parents don't go through their phones. K, is a repeater (he's an year senior as he failed his 11th grade, so he is our class now. We're now in 12th.) . My parents consider K to be eccentric and consider that the possible reason for him failing his 11th grade is maybe because of being depressed since his then friends ignored him completely coz he's a psychopath. We have a Whatsapp group of four of us and its ever active. My parents believe that my this group of friends is not good. They don't trust S, as they feel she is over mature for her age and can spoil me. I sometimes delete the chat in the group coz it has some starred messages and due to excessive inflow of messages, those starred msgs get lost. I have always given my justification over it, but they don't ever seem to be convinced. I don't know what to do. I share everything with them and have never gotten involved in anything notorious ever. Whenever, I tell them of any incident that may happened in school, i have to prepare myself for an hour and a half or a two hour lecture coz they believe that i may be involved as well. The lectures are always repeatative in nature. There have been times when all these things prove to be too much to me and i have had thoughts of running away from home(Thats unlikely to happen). But have decided that will never return home once i get to college, coz for me that't the place filled with a suffocating environment.
Teen, 16 years old written by kuma

As a 16 year old teen, with a pretty protective mom, sometimes i can understand why my mom would feel the need to take and go through my phone. I'm not exactly the most talkative kid, and don't really share a lot of information with my mom too often. Although some parents may think it's necessary but it's NOT. In fact, for me, it completely ruined any trust i had in my mom. After i discovered my mom had been reading my texts at night when she confiscated my phone i tried to think of ways for her to stop doing that, not because i was up to no good, or doing something i shouldn't have been doing, I did it because i felt my mom was violating my privacy and my friends as well. Please if there are any parents reading this, going through your child's phone without good reason is a big no no. Obviously i'm not going to tell you how to raise your children, just a word of advice.
Teen, 14 years old written by Anerythm

Hey there, i'm (almost) 15. I think checking your kid's phone is a very dangerous thing like... i'm a pretty solid example, like, we all know what dudes in this age love to do, when they're alone... and well, i like anime and have like 70% of my phone storage filled with pictures my parents don't want to see because they'll be ashamed of having such a weird and pervy son. On other hand i don't want my parents to see how my psychological situation is because like, i hate talking about something with them because it always ends up with not being in the right and that i shouldn't act like my situation is that serious like how i feel it (not proved depression). Anyway, as a parent, talk to your kids about EVERYTHING in young age already and never tell em "IF I CATCH YOU SMOKING, YOU'RE DEAD" like my mom did... worst thing she could say... be like your kid's best friend, that's the way your kid will actually not do shit, other than me... Trust is the base of parenting, only check your kid's phone at the beginnig of using it, like, use it with them maybe and then slowly, when thy get like 13-14, slowly let them do their stuff, but still keep talking to them, be their friend! Then they'll maybe won't end like this Metalhead-Weeb-Introvert of mine who isn't very true to his parents... (To the other kids in here, reading that: Please don't smoke, don't do drugs, don't drink too much alcohol, it's all extremly unhealthy, talk to your parents if you have the urge to do some of these things!) Doesn't have to do with checking phones tho... well, just don't end up like i'm doing rn. (I'm not a native english speaker, sorry)
Teen, 17 years old written by redneck65

I believe that going through your kids phone all the time and accusing them that they are probably deleting stuff leads to a cause of mistrust. I understand maybe every once in awhile doing it especially if they have given you reason to is okay at that point it's probably for their protection if you are doing it all the time just cause you want to is where a problem lies because you say its for their protection but your just lying to yourself and them it's because you want all the control you can get and you then cause trust issues because if that child has done nothing then its kinda upsetting when you feel like they think your a bad kid and don't have any trust for you. And do you know who is tracked 24/7 is prisoners. Your 16 17 year old is not a prisoner. Also tracking your kids and always going through their phones makes them more likely to be sneaky. Your child might feel comfortable talking to someone about something and now you're gonna snoop if they wanted you to know they would tell you but they don't feel comfortable talking to you about it. Another topic is if you're always fussing and complaining about something or get mad when your child asks you something that ends up being a you problem especially when you get mad at them for staying in their room. They don't wanna hear they did this and this wrong and they get tired of all the complaining. I know i don't wanna constantly hear complaining. Same concept applies as going through your kids phone as it does to their room. PARENTS AND KIDS PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YALL THINK.
Teen, 13 years old written by Mistyfoox

I understand parents want to check our phones if we were to do something bad, or you know. But, it just gives off the feeling that they don’t trust us when they do ask to look through our phones. I have this art app on my iPad, I like to draw, that’s fine. But- as most people do, they don’t like others looking through their sketchbook. My parents found nothing wrong in there, but I still don’t like them searching through any of my electronics.
Teen, 14 years old written by iwonderwho

I'm 14 and my mom checks my phone once in a while until recently she apparently found something, didn't tell me about it, and just confiscated it. To me, I felt like I couldn't trust my mom anymore just based on the fact that she checks my phone. I know that parents pay phone bills so it's technically theirs, but it invades privacy. A conversations between me and my friends are private and it shouldn't be seen by anyone else. Some people say that parents check their phone based on their behavior and how they act. For example, if their kid is sad, they'll check their phones to try and find out why. That's not right move. If you'd like to figure out what's going on, just ask and if your kids doesn't want to tell you, then leave that subject alone. They obviously don't want you to know so don't force it upon them. Overall, I'd say don't check your kids phone. It can make us feel very uncomfortable.
Teen, 14 years old written by tonix

Yes I just dont understand why they check our phones like my m um knows Im not bad so I dont know why she suddenly went through my wh ole phone. She t hinks im naive and will talk to anyone ju st because I have autism which hurts alot but ma ybe I wouldnt hid so much from her if she just let me have the apps I want becuse yes in reality children go meet up with strangers thinking their their age but its not like 70% of people is it.
Kid, 11 years old

And, I get that parents want to keep us away from all those things that can mess your life up, like porn and jail, and other bad things, but COME ON! it is 2020, keeping that away from us is like keeping paint away from art, it can't be done, essentially for kids 12 and up, middle school is where it all happens, besides, it's not like parents were any better than us, Now I swear you are reading this as a parents and about to comment that you WERE better than us, but you weren't and to say the truth, it's thanks to YOUR generation that this is all happening, Millennials are the ones who CREATED Porn, how stated drug selling, and no matter how much you tell us, you are going to follow your footsteps, because this is the world you have left us, the one We have to deal with, so thanks, a lot. I don’t want to be mean or anything, but next time you are about to look through your kids phones, texts. just think how you would feel if YOU parents did the same.
Adult written by Msbrittany1027

You're wrong about my generation, drug dealing and porn have been around since my grandma was your age. You're right I didn't like it when my phone was searched however the cellphone I had didn't have the internet much less a camera!
Kid, 11 years old

Ok, here's the thing, I'm 11, about 12, and all I'm going to say is that this is a hard question to answer. for kids and tweens and teens, it makes you feel weird, and that they are invading your privacy, but on the other hand, parents pay for everything, to put it this way, without your parents you wouldn't even be alive. but here's the thing, Me, being a 12 year old girl who has a phone. I don't like the idea of someone, even my parents, going through my phone. It's not that I have something to hide, infact, if my Dad looked now, he couldn't find anything. but it makes me feel that they don't trust me, that they Think that I would make so stupid choice and mess my life up. I did something that did break a bit of the trust between us that makes me get why they would look, but that doesn't make me feel better. honestly, for any parent asking themselves this, just Ask you kid, Ask, ask, ask, you will build a better relationship with them, and it makes them feel good that you want to know them, not as someone you birthed, but as a person, a friend, you know? and if you still feel bad, and you want to look at their phone, than do it when they are not there, or when they are not looking, it makes us feel better when they don't have to watch you do it.
Teen, 13 years old written by curious teen

ok im 13. i was sitting in the kitchen, coming from upstairs, and my mom asked what i was doing. i replied that i wax playing games. she asked if i was on my phone or laptop. i replied laptop. she said ok, and all of a sudden, my mom asks to see my phone. it was kinda weird, considering that we were just conversing, and i hadn't done anything wrong. shes never done it before, and when she took the phone, she snatched it. she started looking through my messages, my social media, and stuff like that. she was making faces at the screens, as if i had done something wrong. i asked her, and she started telling me that i lied to her about something that had happened the week before. i said i didn't and i told her that i was telling the truth. i just want to know, how can i talk to her in a way, or what can i say to let her know how i felt about it.
Teen, 14 years old written by hsellers97

okay, so i understand that parents want to know that their child is doing right. but, we are teenagers, we’re going to make mistakes. my parents are right now as i type this paying $420 dollars to pull back all of my phone records mainly between me and my boyfriend. i’m about to turn 15. i haven’t given them a reason anytime recently to do this. they also did it back in november of last year and it broke all of our trusts completely. now they say that whatever they find inappropriate will be shown to my whole family. to me, that’s completely toxic. first that’s an invasion of privacy, especially since i haven’t given them a reason to, i’m really good in school, i don’t cuss, and i do everything that’s asked of me. am i wrong to think this is too far ?
Kid, 10 years old

So my parents used to check my phone ALOT and when the did i was so annoyed. Once when it was charging my parents went through my phone (they made me tell them my password). I asked what are you doing? They said they were looking at my phone and they needed to see if its not inappropriate. I told them to give it back over and over again so they kept asking what are you hiding from us. I had nothing to hide so i told them just that! They assumed i did because i didnt want them to look through it! So parents. Dont assume that they have been doing bad things without any proof!
Teen, 13 years old written by volleyislife3

I'm turning 13 soon and my parents are very protective. My mom insists that she knows my phone password, have access to my Instagram on her phone, and have Bark. I understand she doesn't want me getting in a bad situation but come on, it's 2020. Kids nowadays have so much access to bad things and we are all just stupid kids wanting to live our life. I know I'm not doing anything wrong, and that's not why I don't want her to see messages. It's because some things are just for me and my friends. I don't feel comfortable with her seeing every single thing my friend and I talk about. It's so annoying. And whenever she goes on her phone to look at my Instagram feed and messages, she's always asking "Who's this" "Do they go to your school" "What does this mean" "Are they being inappropriate" "I don't know these people" Well, of course, you don't know them, mom, they are teens. She always assumes anything we say is inappropriate. It honestly gets on my nerves that she thinks the worst in everything I do. And I honestly get depressed because she makes me think that I'm disappointing her and I'm always being the bad daughter doing the wrong thing. I wish she would just let me live without her breathing down my neck. So, parents, I think you shouldn't check your child's messages unless you strongly believe something is wrong.
Teen, 14 years old written by Shiraki

I'm turning 15 and my parents are so protective it's sicking. My parents won't let me have any social media, and we argue about it all the time. They won't let me date bc they think I'm not old enough, so I have to sneak dating ppl. So I snuck Snapchat onto my phone and my mom found out. She was listening in on my voice notes I was sending to my friends and ex, then came in took my phone and started looking through it. I find it unfair that all my other friends can have a Snapchat and not get yelled at, punished , or just trying to fit in. Trust me when I tell u my parents are so protective of me, that when I went to a friend's for the first time in my whole life, and yes I know that sounds bad and it's embarrassing, that my parents decided TO HAVE MY MOMS FIREND LOOK THROUGH HER PHONE TO SEE IF I DID ANYTHING! Yeah I get that I did something like put Snap on my phone but that doesn't mean that my parents or anyone's parents have the right to look the my phone or my friends. That is breaking ur kids trust. Now my parents dont get along with me and don't trust me. So when I do try to ask them if I can get a snap they both especially my mom says no and brings up the old and the things I don't do. Just parents don't look through your kids phones, don't have a monitor on your phone so you can see everything that ur kid is doing. Bc I can tell you right now ur kid or kids hate it. My parents track my every move. I have to give my tablet to them at a specific time or they think im doing something bad and they take my tablet for a week. So if want your kids to get along with u, and u get along with them trust ur kids. have them have snap and other social medias, TRUST THEM, GIVE THEM THERE SPACE AND LET THEM BE TEENS. we grow up to fast for u guys to monitor everything we do and not let us have these things.
Teen, 14 years old written by ideklol123

ok so a few days ago i was up late bc i couldnt sleep. i have a few internet friends that im super close with and i know aren't pedos bc we facetime and we send funny photos back and forth and we have deep convos and stuff (we've all been friends since june 2019). well a few days ago i was up all night texting them and we were playing imessage games and one of my friends thought it'd be hilarious to send a photo of a blurred nude some guy sent her and i didn't think much of it. and by "blurred" i mean super blurred like pixelated and everything. i fell asleep and in the morning my parents barged in and started telling me that im in trouble and i cant text "those girls" ever again. at first i was so confused but then i remembered that i was up all night so i thought that they were mad that i did that. later that day they told me they found a photo of a guy and that i should've been offended that this "random' person sent this to me. i tried to explain to my parents that they arent random people and that we've been friends for a while but they wont listen to me. and i know this doesnt excuse the photo but i just wish they'd listen to me and at least understand where im coming from.
Teen, 16 years old written by sydney for life

I'm a teenager who has a good record in school and I love playing sports outside and I'm not rude and I don't bully anyone so I don't understand why my mother has to check my phone every week if she knows she's not gonna find anything. My mother is nice but when a parent has to check your phone as if your a gang it kinda makes you uncertain if she even trusts you enough to believe you and stand by your side if something has happened. If your child is showing unusual signs for their age then you possibly have the right to check their phones. But in my case and many other teens cases it's for no reason and the chances are there's nothing but she's not the type of mother you would tell your secrets too or feel comfortable having certain friends over.
Adult written by Blessed2009

I am, a 60 year old uncle of six precious angels. My opinion is, unless you feel your child is using dangerous drugs, or thinking of killing himself, or herself.. Then, I think it's an invasion of their privacy, to read their cell phone messages. I also, feel that it is wrong, to put trackers, on your kids phones, unless it's absolutely necessary.
Teen, 13 years old written by kmls06

Hi! So here's some thoughts from someone who's parents read their texts, look through apps, search histories, journals, watch history, etc... make me include my little sister when I have FRIENDS over, don't allow me to close my door. Most children have things to hide. Most of the time, it's nothing bad or unsafe, just personal feelings they want to talk about with people their age. If you are curious about these things, you should try talking to your child about that, instead of finding out for yourself. This can ruin trust, relationships, and respect. I have lost several friends due to my parent going through my messages because they didn't want my parents to know who they had crushes on, what was going on personally at home and things like that. If you're worried your child is in a bad place, there are other solutions, like counselors. If we feel like we have no privacy, its really, really hard to want to respect you. If you raised your kid correctly, they probably aren't hiding anything too bad. Please know that teen years are hard enough already.
Teen, 15 years old written by pleaselistentow...

Hey, just like the paragraph on top states, please always ask, ask ask. If your kid doesn't let you read their texts, ask them why. Put yourself in their situation for a second. Times are changing as they are supposed to, and we understand that you're not used to this. We're the first generation who happen to have grown up with cellphones always being around. It's different, for sure, but you have to adapt to that. Your kid is most likely not being secretive, they only want their privacy. If you notice a drastic change in their behaviour, talk to them about it. We don't want to hide things from you. If you listen to the small things when we're younger, we'll tell you the bigger things when we're older. Please just listen to us, listen to what we have to say, and respect our privacy. By going through our phones, you are disrespecting this privacy, and respect goes both ways, believe it or not. You are breaking our trust, and you are also disrespecting the privacy of our friends. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give us space, and sometimes the best thing you can do is talk to us about some things. If you're not sure what to do, try both. :)
Teen, 15 years old written by pleaselistentow...

Hey, just like the paragraph on top states, please always ask, ask ask. If your kid doesn't let you read their texts, ask them why. Put yourself in their situation for a second. Times are changing as they are supposed to, and we understand that you're not used to this. We're the first generation who happen to have grown up with cellphones always being around. It's different, for sure, but you have to adapt to that. Your kid is most likely not being secretive, they only want their privacy. If you notice a drastic change in their behaviour, talk to them about it. We don't want to hide things from you. If you listen to the small things when we're younger, we'll tell you the bigger things when we're older. Please just listen to us, listen to what we have to say, and respect our privacy. By going through our phones, you are disrespecting this privacy, and respect goes both ways, believe it or not. You are breaking our trust, and you are also disrespecting the privacy of our friends. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give us space, and sometimes the best thing you can do is talk to us about some things. If you're not sure what to do, try both. :)
Kid, 11 years old

Ok. I don't have a phone(saving up for iPhone XR), but i have a tablet and i also have snapchat, tik tok,+. But lemme tell you. There is a lot of child predators out here. On snapchat someone messaged me for private pics. Of course, i immediatly left, and changed my profile settings to only friends. So parents, maybe once or twice a month, check their device.
Adult written by Mama2dos

I only see kids commenting on this, so I will share my thoughts as a parent. Each and every child comment is absolutely valid, you all want your privacy. We want to extend it as well. As parents, though, we want to make sure that the babies we birthed (or didn’t birth) and watched with praise through every milestone do not become bullying adults or lose their self worth. We love you so dearly and feel like we lose you during these years of hormonal changes. So when we read your texts, we are trying to find a sense of who you are becoming. As a spouse, I do not hide my phone from my husband. I communicate with him daily. We want the same from our children, and when get our daily talk time about your feelings, your friends, your life, we feel more at ease with how you might be handling yourself with your phone use.
Teen, 13 years old written by kmls06

Hi! While we understand that, it's important to know that we would much rather talk things out with you. If you want to have a bad relationship, an easy way is to break your child's trust. Your kid is probably scared to tell you this, so I'll say it for them... they probably just want privacy to grow and be themselves. They want to be able to handle problems with friends by themselves, and if they need help, they will come to you. Younger children, I totally understand. But when it gets to kids in late middle school or all of high school, it starts to feel controlling.
Teen, 15 years old written by moonchildx

Im about to be 16 y/o and lemme tell u a recent event... there was this guy friend of mine just a friend tho and we were casually talking about sex like I jokingly said him that i want to have sex on the road,airplane and everywhere like i wanna experiment everywhere .... next day my mom without telling me, went through my phone and was shocked to know what i had written... She never expected me to be like this and there is a sad truth as I'm from India which is still a sexist country kinda, my mom scolded me and said it could still have been ok if i wrote it to a girl.... she even said that you are a low charectar girl and nobody will marry you ever. If anyone marries you, its your good luck . you have ruined your life , this guy can send this to your future husband and he will leave you. I mean ok i might be wrong but guys my mom is maybe just concerned about my marriage and this doesn't make anyone low character..... She loves bringing my confidence low all the time everytime we argue, she somehow brings this marriage topic ... Im tired of this drama
Teen, 14 years old written by PinkHippos05

I'm a teenager and my mum says that if i have a phone (which i paid for) she has every right to go through it. She says that she's just making sure i'm safe but it's really annoying and i feel like i don't have any privacy. She goes through all of my messages and group chats and she says that all of my social media accounts have to be on her phone as well so she can access them. She also says that i can't have snapchat or send photos to people on instagram because she can't view them. She recently asked for me to give her my phone and i said tried to refuse because i want my privacy and i don't think its right that she has can go through my personal life just like that because it generally feels like she is just being nosy. So now she thinks that i'm hiding things from her and being sneaky because i didn't want her going through my stuff. I know that it sounds like i am but i'm not and it's just frustrating and i'd like to have my own personal life.
Teen, 13 years old written by UnknownPic

I’m a teenager, recently my mom is just sneaky. Since I have black parents I can’t express or defend myself, my mom says I can’t have Snapchat because of something I did on there 3 years ago and my mom would check my Snapchat and put restrictions on it. First off who told her she can go through my phone. Like I don’t really care if my mom bought it, she bought it for me to have therefore she had no right to go snooping around. She would also go through my contacts and to all the parents out there: Whats the purpose of buying a phone for your child if you’re gonna dictate what they can and can’t do?
Teen, 13 years old written by fallingforxbesson

i’m a teenager and just recently my mom went through my phone. she didn’t ask my permission, just my password. there are things on my phone that i don’t want her seeing. they aren’t bad in any way i just don’t want her seeing them. she doesn’t understand that, if i wanted her to know something, i would tell her myself. she started asking me questions like “what was so traumatic about your childhood that you wanna forget?” i had told my friend i had a traumatic childhood that i wanted to forget; obviously over exaggerating. she took my phone away just because she had been telling me to clean my room but i wanted to finish my food (THAT SHE HAD GOTTEN ME) before i cleaned. she made me hand in my phone and had her bf put my dog outside (she knows i love him to death and don’t want him outside with our TWO PITBULLS) so she goes through my phone and refuses to give it back even after i finish cleaning my room because she kept coming in and looking and pointing out every single little crumb or piece of trash possible. i don’t like that she went through my phone because it was an invasion of my privacy and she has gone through it multiple times, causing me to lose any and all trust i had in her. i will no longer go to her when i need anything or need someone to talk to about anything because my trust in her is obliterated.
Teen, 16 years old written by trodr42

I'd like to start this with yes, I am a teenager, but hear me out just like the other guy, so hear's my story. I am a 16 year old guy who at the time lived with my dad who lived in Nevada. The situation wasn't the best. I was thousands of miles away from my home in Louisiana. The reason I had to live there was because my grandparent's who I lived with my entire life were getting old and felt they couldn't take care of me no more so they sent me to live with my dad who keep in mind I hadn't really known my entire life. At first when I got to Nevada I was looking at it openly hoping it would be a good thing. I ended up hating it so much. I lived in an apartment that was very dirty and so was my dad so due to this I started to not take care of my basic needs. I lived like a pig it was horrible. A few months later I was a few months into a school which I actually liked and made friend's there who I miss to this day. I had a phone at the time which was the phone my grandparent's were paying for me. I had a great life I thought. After a while I really began to hate it a lot. One time I even got on my bike and wen't about 30 miles up the interstate but luckily got pulled over and my dad had to drive out to come get me. In revolt because of not being home in Louisiana where I wanted to be I ended up getting in a fight with my dad and the police were called and I ended up going to jail for the night. At the time I started talking to this girl for a bit and next thing I know she started talking more sexually when I texted her and I wen't with it. Also around this time I was going to my uncles house for a small little vacation who didn't live in Nevada. He asked me after a week or so if I would wanna stay there with him and me thinking it would be better said yes. My dad was starting to get mad because I wasn't coming home which was understandable but I did not wanna go back to Nevada. Well one night a few weeks in after me living with my uncle he decided to grab my phone and read those messages me and the girl back in Nevada were sending eachother and that's when he took my phone. Little did I know I would never see my phone again. It's currently been 8 MONTHS and I have become a complete introvert and feel completley anti social. It is honestly the worst feeling because I just feel misplaced. For example when everyone in the family is on there phone and i'm just sitting there doing nothing acting like i'm okay or at school when one of my friends wanna do something and ask me for my phone number which is a constant reminder of me not having a phone. You know as a parent you think having a phone is a privalege but in reality it's not. I can not stress enough how downhill my social life has wen't because of me not having a phone. I have went out in the past 8 months only 3 times and once with my friends. For example just yesterday I wen't to my friends after school to 7/11 to go skate and came back around 4:30 when usually I come home around 3 but when I came home they were all mad because I couldn't contact them and tell them where I was going. My reasoning was how the hell am I supposed to when I don't have a phone but they just won't listen and think they're doing something right even though everyone else in this house has a phone. So yeah that's my story don't do this to your kid's because they will feel depressed constantly and completley lost in society.
Teen, 14 years old written by baddest

I feel you! I hope you and the girl reconnect! My parents are racist, I follow a lot of fine boys on Instagram who all happen to be black. They saw me scrolling through my feed and now they’re pressed. I was sending pictures of the boys to my friends being like “ahhh they so fine” etc. they got mad, I recovered from that but I talk sexually to a lot of boys as a joke (u can’t cap everybody do that now). I talk to a few boys and all that. Me and my homies joke around about sexual stuff as well. Me and the boys all know we just playin around and it’s not serious, we say stuff like “show me ur dick” “lemme see that bbc” “aye shorty lemme we sum rq” “let’s have sex” “your dic- is phat” etc. it’s a joke we don’t actually wanna see each other’s shii. My parents saw that and they’re really mad, how do I explain it’s a joke and I’m not actually serious about partaking in sexual shii? I know using the excuse everybody do it isn’t right but what do I say? I want them to trust me.
Teen, 13 years old written by loyxlist

So yes, I am a teenager, but hear me out, please. My parents have completely destroyed our relationship due to the boundaries they have set on my phone. They check my messages anytime they can get a hold of my phone. They go though my instagram messages, my snapchat, my tiktok, and my normal texts. They get mad if I even say something like "omfg haha". It's honestly scary to find my parents have gone through my phone, its a complete violation of privacy. If you are a parent, please do not do this, it has caused me and so many others to have anxiety and depression due to this.
Teen, 13 years old written by RobinGinger06

For me, I hate it when my mum reads my phone. She treats me like I'm younger and I don't appreciate it. She spent the whole day today telling me things I didn't want to hear about who I should be friends with and I got so mad and told my friends. This is my coping mechanism - if I don't talk to my friends like this (with slight exaggeration sometimes, I can't lie) I'd be having many suicidal thoughts, more than I do now. That's why I don't like it when my mum thinks she can have the rights to read my phone without my permission. Because she finds out things about myself that I would never be able to tell her without ruining any chance I have of happiness. Furthermore, my friends tell me things - if my parents found out I was up all night messaging my friend about his sexuality, I'd be more scared for him than I am for me. I understand why my parents read my phone, what I don't understand is why they feel the need to do it without my permission.
Teen, 13 years old written by RobinGinger06

I'm adding to this again now. I've been bullied at school and my mum wanted to message the people involved WITH me. I appreciated it. But she started to drag in things from irrelevant conversations: ie: "What about these references to 'it is what it is' how often do you all mention that?" or "we should tell (my friend) because they know..." All of those were irrelevant and from conversations used two months-ish ago. I'm frustrated with it now. She doesn't trust me now - "you're too foolish with it. stop messaging" and i was just continuing a snapchat streak! Again to parents, by all means, read their phone: with their FULL consent and them sitting and opening group chats and messages themselves. If they really don't want you to read one, calmly ask why. Chances are they haven't done anything wrong and it's something similar to what i said in the first message.
Parent written by Frannie Ucciferri

If you’re thinking about suicide, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741-741 to talk to a trained crisis counselor. To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org. You can also check out more of our Common Sense Media mental health resources here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/mental-health
Teen, 13 years old written by Funbunny456

Yes if it’s a someone you don’t know and not a kid at there school no if it’s family, friends ect and it’s fine to read there messages if they say you can but I do this if your kid is showing bad behaviour or symptoms of being bullied, depression ect then you have a reson to read there messages so do read them in that case if there a teen explain to them why you are reading there messages
Teen, 13 years old written by zoem2006

I think that it is okay to read your kid’s messages... IF they are in the room with you and have willingly given you their phone. I do not, however, agree with monitoring apps or anything like that. I understand why they do want to read them, and I think that if their teen is showing bad behaviour or symptoms of bullying, depression, etc. then you have valid reason. Otherwise you should sit down and talk to your teen. Helpful hint: if your teen thinks that you know everything already (even if you don’t) they will be a lot more revealing and willing to talk as they believe that it’s too late to hide stuff. My parents told me recently that they had been reading my messages all year, and I had no idea. I can’t trust them anymore; I’d poured my heart and soul into some messages, and others have been highly inappropriate. However I have not done anything worse then sending a slightly revealing photo or swearing. I have no social media. That was also the way they found out about my sexuality, which I was highly uncomfortable with seeing as I didn’t get the chance to tell them myself. I’ve taken to deleting entire conversations so that my parents don’t read them. Tonight, I went on messages at 11pm right before I went to sleep, and the second I did, an alarm sound popped up on both my parents phones down the hall. I have put screen time on myself (not them) so I know that that notification means they are somehow tracking my phone. Long story short: teens hate having our messages read. It makes us feel violated and uncomfortable and makes us loose trust in you. However if your teen shows bad behaviour/signs of depression, etc. then you have the right to read them.
Teen, 13 years old written by Smiley1432

I personally think that parents have no right reading through our messages. I understand they want to keep us safe but if makes me feel uncomfortable. I get really bad anxiety whenever my DAD reads through my messages, I don’t feel comfortable with my dad reading my messages but mum doesn’t rlly mind. I don’t think it would be fare if I read All his messages so why should he read mine?
Teen, 13 years old written by curious teen

yea. whenever my parents check through my phone, i get like a anxiety attack, not because i have bad things on there but because the situation just freaks me out.
Kid, 12 years old

No I do not agree. Yes, I am a child and feel free to call me naive or whatever but I can assure you I am not one of those naive kids who make poop jokes and say very unintelligent thing like xD and lmao and all of that. I live with my grandmother, grandpa, Uncle, and little brother. The rule is that my grandmother has to have access to my social medias, text messages, passwords and usernames I have... Until I'm 18 years old... 18. Years. Old. Is that not unfair to you? Is that not and invasion of privacy? Yes, I understand that she should be able to see what I do just in case something inappropriate or a scan pops up. Am I wrong here people? Side note... Don't let my grammar and punctuation fool you. Yes I am a 12 year old child.
Teen, 13 years old written by Sausage516

NO, IT IS NOT OK. my mom goes through my phone and reads ALL of my messages, and honestly, I think its a total invasion of privacy. I can't even change the passcode on my phone, and everything I do is being watched over. I have screen time so she can stop me from doing specific things. It will most definitely cause stress to your child.
Adult written by gaming4days

So much to say on this topic lol I’m a mom now but my child is not a teen yet. When I was in high school my parents never, ever went through my phone. I’m pretty thankful of that. I mean, I didn’t realize that it was great that they gave me privacy. It would have just added more problems to our already not so great relationship lol. So I can see why it’s good to give your kids trust. Trust is part of what makes a relationship but some kids out there screw it up and in those situations it’s understandable why the parents are hovering, breathing down their necks and checking their phones and social media. Kids don’t understand what we parents know is out there. I would hate for my kid to get bullied or stalked by a psycho out there irk or via internet. Too many kids are naive and well duh. They’re kids. They are too gullible. They think this guy really likes me for me. I can trust him and all that stuff but ya can’t. You don’t know that guy. You don’t understand what we parents know about life and you won’t till you get older and or have your own kids. But I do think kids need some privacy but how can their be privacy when I also think it’s important for a parent to monitor their kids phone and social media? What is the best of both worlds? Like someone said before, the parents who say WOW I NEVER EXPECTED MY KID TO DO SUCH A THING are the kind who turn the other cheek and don’t care enough. Simple. They should care and worry for their kid. A true parent will do anything for their kid. I want a great relationship with mine all throughout their life but I know I will have to give them space and privacy but if I need to snoop at times then so be it because I rather my kid get mad or upset about it than have something terrible happen to my child and it result in my fault. That’s a parent failure. Parents do what they have to do but parents should work on their relationship with the kids. Not just snoop. Forgot to add something else. Yes we parents were kids before and understand the need for privacy but our worries and concerns will trump that any day. You children should try to be understanding. I remember in school all the kids who got bullied and became depressed. Lots of parents are tuned out and do not pay enough attention to their kids. I would want to be there for my kids and if I could intervene, I would. I don’t want to be unaware of my kids being possibly bullied. I know how kids are. High school and middle school is crazy and can take an emotional toll on kids. The social life in school is so important to some kids and can literally ruin a life. Some kids committing suicide and shooting up schooled because billy was one of the cool kids who bullied others and so on. Sorry. You kids have to understand this. Try to understand. The parents who snoop actually care and love you. Trust meeeeee. My parents didn’t snoop and they didn’t care enough about my school life. I did fine. Was not bullied so that turned out fine but there are lots of kids who try to hurt themselves. I know this. Part of my job. It all goes back to their social life and being neglected by parents. Im sorry to the kids out there who feel their relationship is falling apart because the parents are being nosy but they do it because they love you and want what’s best for you. You WILL not understand(if you don’t already) until you’re older. There are lots of dangers out there in this world and it’s only getting worse. A parent will stop at nothing to protect their child if they really care. Sure some kids think they have a “cool” parent who gives them privacy and feel loved as well by them but no sorry. A parents job is not to try to befriend their kids and be on their good side. Parents need to monitor their social life. Not 100% of the time. When it’s warranted yes. When parents want to check on them yes. Even if they want to 100% of the time, parents please do so in a good manner. Try to get a long with your kids. Ask them how their day went when they come home. Spend time with them even if they try to push you away lol it should not get to that point. Be good to your kids. Kids, be good to your parents. Try to get along and see things from each other’s perspective. Love one another and KUMBAYA.
Teen, 14 years old written by yourmomTM

as a teenager , i believe that its okay to monitor text messages but not read them ! my mom has an app which doesn't show my direct conversations but will alert her if SOMEONE says something emotionally damaging to ME , and i am 100% okay with this . we consider our phones , as our personal diaries . ( we vent in them and send personal messages that we may not want our parents to know about yet ) i would ALWAYS tell my mom when / if i was being cyber bullied . BUT PLEASE IF YOU ACTUALLY LOVE YOUR KID DO NOT READ THEIR TEXTS . i understand you pay for the phone but your going to make your kid ( s ) not trust you and feel like they need to hide things from you and they won't feel as comfortable telling you things . - alex
Teen, 14 years old written by woolymoose

No. When I misbehave at home (yelling at my sister or what not), I get my phone taken away. I don’t swear or do anything inappropriate on it. I have Snapchat and only have people I know on it. I also have Pinterest(2 accounts). One was made a long time ago and I have all my family and old friends following me, and the other one, which is where I pin all my stuff onto(like funny memes, bedroom decor,or cute clothes). That’s it. I am not allowed to have Instagram, even though all my friends have it and I feel left out. When my phone gets taken away, my mom sometimes looks through all my messages and pictures with me in the room. It is extremely awkward. Just because I have nothing to hide, doesn’t mean I want people invading my privacy. I am a good child with all a’s and particulate in cheer and dance. One cheer group chat has a person who swears a little bit, but it’s mostly abbreviations. My parents probably wouldn’t understand it anyways. I have never been to a movie with friends alone, or been able to go somewhere without adult supervision. If you are going to invade kids privacy, then at least do it with their consent. I don’t like my mom knowing my password and have changed it many times but she still figures it out. Also, sometimes I like to watch Kamari Noel or Brooklyn and Bailey on YouTube. They are a family friendly channel with noting bad on it. My mom doesn’t understand that YouTube isn’t all that bad. The moral of this story is not to shelter kids too much. If they can’t participate with their friends, then they could get left out. It’s not good for parents to snoop. If your child wants to tell you something, then they will.
Teen, 13 years old written by Anonymousteengirl

My parents started reading my texts when I first got my phone. Ever since, it has been awful. Constantly they want to talk to me about texts that I have sent. They are always asking me about my friend choices. And they always are asking about my drama. I think that they stepped my boundaries, when I first started liking this boy. He told me that he wanted to kiss me. I’m 13 years old, and I don’t think I would ever do that as a 13 year old. But, most of my friends have already have had their first kiss. My mom was so mad, that she texted the boy I liked and told him he needs to stop, or she will contact his parents. After she sent the huge text to him, I was so embarrassed. My mom didn’t understand how it was wrong at all. So, I don’t think parents should read texts, unless their kid is very mean or inappropriate and has bad behavior.
Teen, 14 years old written by CSKitsu

I've always been pretty well behaved as a kid and still am despite my parents treating me like garbage at nearly every chance possible. Compared to my brother who is a year younger than me, he does whatever and gets whatever he wants. He has no problems with privacy and has never had our parents go through his stuff. Ok sorry. Back on topic. My parents go through my phone at least once a week and don't allow me to keep a password on it. I did once and they destroyed my phone because of it. I started dating this girl at my school and got locked out of the house for a day when my parents found out. (Shes Hispanic, I'm white, my parents are racist) When I came back my entire room had been gone through, the present she had given me destroyed, and my pictures with her in a smoldering pile on the floor. Needless to say I'm pissed that any parent should have this much control over a persons life. I understand that I'm the child but this doesn't seem right to not have the privacy to keep who I date private. I'm sorry if this sounded like me just raging but I'd rather more detail than less. Edit: I also pay my phone and the bill for abyone looking to use that arguement. I also pay groceries, gas, a quarter rent, and other expenses so in a sense its my house too.
Teen, 14 years old written by baddest

Boy move out rn. What your parents are doing is not cute. Or tell your counselor, they can really help.
Teen, 13 years old written by emilayyy.e.s

My parents look through my phone and laptop and I can only look on Instagram for five minutes on my phone - before it was 15, my friend had a photography app which I really wanted to get because I am really interested in it but my mum said no because I already had Instagram, so she put the 5 min time limit on that. I was also in my room on YT because I was bored so my mum asked me what I was doing and I told her that I was on YT she got angry at me. I am not ever allowed to go on youtube & Instagram on my laptop at all because she has blocked me from it. I reminded her that what happened if I was in school and I needed to go onto it because we had to watch an education related video and even though I asked her for permission she might have been in a meeting? My mum is really over protective over my phone I travel over 2 hours a day to and from school yet all I can do now is look at the photos I have taken when I am on the bus/train. as soon as I get home my phone is taken away from me and I can't even contact my friends about homework, she sometimes looks on my phone at my messages, Instagram, WhatsApp, photos and I can get annoyed because she doesn't even let me see what she is doing sometimes. She keeps on telling me that everyone else's parents check theirs as well (which I know is not true) I am angry about the fact I cant have my privacy or any apps and only five minutes on literally all her apps. She tells me that when she was a child she didn't have a phone, so she knows what it's like but there weren't even phones when she was a kid. I think the parents that are extremely controlling should stop because it really isn't fair and I feel left out most the time.
Teen, 15 years old written by Danishnarwhal

So I’m 15, and I do let my parents check my photos and contact and stuff but I do believe a line needs to be drawn when they start reading my messages, like it’s not like I’m trying to hide anything from them I just don’t feel comfortable with them invading my privacy which I do believe we as their kids have a right to have, but when they start going through my Instagram feed and Snapchat messages I just feel so invaded. Like if they hate it when I go through their messages why should they have a right to go through mine. I do feel like we shouldn’t have to always have our families breathing down our necks because I just feel like they don’t trust me.
Teen, 17 years old written by SarahScarpo

I'm not sure if my parents should read or not my texts,and I'd like some adults who have kids themselves to give me some perspective on that,and in order to do that, I will give you some context. When I was 15, I attempted suicide, it was 2 years ago, and one of the things that made my parents take my phone away for months is that I googled how to do it. Nowadays they have been sort of protective about it. They don't read my messages anymore or ask for my password, but in a inexplicable way they always find out whatever I'm hiding from them. And lately I've been confiding my deepest secrets, which involve my mental health,to a stranger that I met in a dating app.(They know about this app already) And I don't think they should see these messages. But obviously I can't take any conclusions yet, because I still need to understand their perspective, and I am having some struggles to do that. That's the main reason I joined this discussion. Teens feel free to answer too. Best regards, Sarah
Kid, 11 years old

It honestly depends how they check your phone. My mom just goes through my contacts and apps. I really don't mind that since she's not really LOOKING through my stuff. I think that if your under 13 your parents should have the rigth to see what you're up too. Yes I'm 11 but this is just my opinion.
Teen, 14 years old written by izzyzay

so im 13, turning 14 soon. and i have been reading through a lot of adult and child perspectives. i was caught vaping with a friend (few months back), and then my parents grounded me and went through my phone. I completely understand why they would do so, but i also want people to know, because of that, i cant trust my father. The person i was found vaping with was having a very difficult time, and i got to save them. Knowing that my parents saw me talk to that friend abt her issues made me sick in the stomach, so please think before u do something, not only about ur child but the other persons messages too. Parents talk about how they want their children to trust and talk to them, but if parents judge immediately and dont understand that they are teenagers, and want to try new things, is there even a point to that? I mean they learnt about things i wasnt prepared for them to know, for example, that im a lesbian. So in my view, it is not something u should do. I understand the concern about ur children's safety but i also think its because ur scared to loose the innocense of ur child. i read about parents checking their child's phone monthly, which is completely insane. Adults have said, that everything is shared on social media and bla bla. But what they dont understand is our generation is different from theirs. Us teenagers tend to open up with others and talk more about our feelings on text because it is easier. And yes i know we also need to know how to do that in real life. But for some topics, it can be very hard to do so. So dont be surprised if ur child is talking about serious topics with other kids. I really do think from when you're kid turns 13, you are no longer allowed to touch their phones except in exceptional occasions. i find upsetting this many adults are so casual doing this. Very proud of the adults aware of their child's privacy
Kid, 9 years old

Probably not. Maybe talk to your child and they might let you see the messages, if they decline, just leave them alone. It's their phones, if you need to always check your childs phone, maybe they shouldn't have one. When you get your child a phone, make sure to protect their privacy.
Teen, 15 years old written by minooe

As a 15 year old i personally think it is definitely not okay to read you child's messages if they are 13 and older. Reason 1 being that you are not just invading their privacy but whoever else's privacy of those texting your child. My parents always take my cellphone but haven't gone through my messages for a while now. I have a lot of friends who are not in the best mental state and have no other way but to communicate over the phone. So imagine your parents read text messages of people who confide in you with things they do not openly speak about just to have your parents read through those texts and know everything and will look at them in a different perspective. Reason 2 being its basically the one way you could permanently lose your childs trust and they probably wont tell you anything about their lives anymore. I know a lot of people who cannot tell their parents anything because they either approach every situation religiously ( which is not always a bad thing but also not always realistic) or their parents believe nothing they say and blame it on their cellphones or things that they themselves have been exposed to I just want parents to think about what would happen if they read through their child's phone and they should not always react and make decisions impulsively and based off of one suspect thing that has never happened before. It might be good to make sure if there is a recurring pattern.
Adult written by clcj82

As I read through all the teenagers' answers, I can clearly see how they all feel violated. If I was a teen I think I would feel the same way. But I'm not, I'm a parent. I do not think a cell phone given to a child is meant to be a safety deposit box for their private affairs. I grew up through young adulthood in the age of MySpace and early rendetions of Facebook. As all of us adults have finally come to learn, social media is by no means private. We volunteer information to a machine/service that can be either hacked or monitored by other people or entities. I look at cell phones the same way these days. For myself as well as my 12 year old daughter. That device is not a crypt. It is not a curtain. And my wife and I remind her every chance we get that anything living on that phone has the possibility of falling into someone else's hands. A friend can forward a message/photo to other people, your device can be lost or stolen, then compromised, or you could have snoopy friends or family members. All the teens are right that privacy is very important, but what they don't realize is their phones just aren't private; just like social media isn't. I know they should be, and to kids and teens they feel very private, but phones are a communication device, a machine with flaws and vulnerabilities. A smart kid dealing with technology is usually nothing compared to a smart parent whose dealt with technology for the past 20 years. I tell my daughter that my wife and I will and do monitor whatever activities we can, be it her cell phone, her online activity, and any media she's consuming. Then when we need to talk to her we do it respectfully, not with anger or to provoke embarrassment. I'm aware if things she does and says that I know she wouldn't want me to know, but I let them go unless they raise red flags. I try to afford her room to grow and become independent while also monitoring her digital life. No one, adults or children, should use cell phones to keep secrets or as a means to communicate in explicit ways that they would not be doing face to face with someone. Maturity is the word. Mature communication can be taught at a young age if kids understand the difference between text communication and real communication, they are not the same. I tell my daughter, if you feel uncomfortable talking about it, then you might want to think twice about texting it. That's maturity. All parents had to communicate without the curtain if a cell phone. My last points are these: cell phones are a privlage, not a right. If a parent wants to monitor a kids phone then so be it. If they are open about the occuronce then they are being fair and honest. If a teen wants privacy they shouldn't rely on a cell phone for safe keeping of secret information or communication, they should share it in person or over the phone. This is a fact of life for anyone, not just kids. And last, I read a few times from teens' responses that wondered how I would feel about my kid going through my phone, and my answer is go for it! I don't have a lock on my phone, anyone in my house is allowed to use it. I treat my phone as the imperfect device that it is, not as a safe place to vault all my life's secrets.
Teen, 13 years old written by IIIIIIIIININE

My parents go through my messages and when I freak out, they think I’m hiding something. I don’t do untrustworthy things and I get mad because it’s an invasion of privacy and there is no reason to go through it. If you wouldn’t listen to every conversation your kid has, then you shouldn’t be going through there messages. I can understand going through their search history but you kids don’t spy on you, so don’t spy on them. I have a friend who’s mom goes through everything on their phone and she hates her parents. She is very well behaved and frankly a quiet person. What I’m trying to say is set some ground rules and if your child is doing something suspicious, you have the right to check their messages but if your child has never done anything to make them untrustworthy, respect their privacy.
Teen, 16 years old written by Darkbear

I have a divorced family, my father checks my phone basically every 2 weeks while my mother rarely ever goes through my phone. But, when ever my dad checks it he will delete every guys number if I’m talking to them in my phone. And if I’m talking to people out of his church for a reason other than school; he will get angry with me and explain why I obviously don’t love him because I can’t respect his standards of putting god and the ones god loves first before people that don’t understand the truth. So, I hate the idea of ever giving my phone to him, I don’t even believe in his stupid religion yet he makes me want to hate myself because I’m talking to someone who doesn’t love his god; not because they are horrible people or do stuff bad. I don’t know. It just makes me feel so worthless and I wish he would understand that my friends love me and care for me.
Teen, 15 years old written by Cherry_2004

Yes, and No, here is why. My Dad is the one who usually goes through my texts, pictures, etc. Sometimes he will do it a lot and other times not so much. I could leave to use the bathroom and when I come back my dad could be sitting there on my bed reading through my texts. It gets awkward at times since he'll be reading there for hours when I have not much else to do. In all honesty, I'd rather not see him doing this right in front of me and especially out of the blue. Often he will talk about how some of my friends swear and that I shouldn't hang out with them because of their sexuality. Yes, Dad, I know my friends swear, you do aswell. No Dad, just because Daisy is bisexual does not make her the spawn of satan and yes Dad I do have a lot of memes in my gallery. I don't mind him checking these kinds of things, I understand that parents want their kids to be safe. However, I wish he wouldn't go through it several times a month. Once or twice a month is okay I guess, just please do it in your free time and not in front of me. Unless you think I'm being bullied or in danger please keep all your comments to yourself unless I mention stuff to you on my own. If I want to talk to you about Jessica's sexuality then I will. I believe that parents should check their child's phone, just not so much that your children will think that you don't trust them. Most teens get annoyed since they do tell their secrets through texts to friends and don't want their parents to know about it. Fellow teens, please know that it is very important for your parents to know about what you do. If you were to go missing or get into serious trouble authorities would have an easier time helping you if your parents could give information on what you've been doing and who you've been talking too. Parents, please let your kids know that you do check their phone, it would be rude not to and if they found out you would automatically lose a lot of the trust they had in you. Don’t confront them about their secrets. If your child wants to tell you about their newest crush they will. Let them do it on their own, do not force it. Checking once or twice a month seems good. I would recommend doing an additional check when noticeable changes are seen in your child's behavior or they suddenly lose interest in the things that made them happy. One could never know, either your child could simply not enjoy soccer as much as they used to or someone bullied them into giving up soccer. This is all I have to say on this topic.
Teen, 15 years old written by pismobeach

Its better to talk to your kids if you have questions. Don't look through their texts. Search and watch history, I would say that's okay. But how would you feel if your child read your texts? And lets be honest, no one would like that. That's the bottom line! No. One. Likes. It. Period. Literally no one! Its invasive. If you are concerned about your kid's safety, talk to them. If something is happening they may want to tell you but are scared you'll be mad. Just be open and honest about things and everything will be smoother in the long run. Establish boundaries, but ones that you and your child agree on. Don't force something on them. Allow them to voice ideas and concerns. Find a middle ground that works for everyone. You know they rules, your kids know the rules and everything is easier.
Adult written by Winter32

We are in a custody battle. We suspected the other parent doing drugs and child neglect. The other parent gave my step son their old phone which the text messages was still on the phone. They didn’t delete before giving him the phone. My step son let our little one use the phone for YouTube. We looked at the phone and our suspicions was correct the parent talked about drugs, people stealing his medication him being left alone along with other stuff. Is this a privacy violation and would be able to use for the cops or cps? And even he has recently talked about the other parents friend doing these things in front of him.
Adult written by Ronnie33

As an adult who still has parents who have little respect of boundaries I believe it completely reasonable for parents to monitor their child's phone usage. Unless your parents suspect or know something bad is going on(cyber-bulling or online stalking then it's uncalled for and can be seen as creepy. But if you as parents are that concerned, I would recommend sitting down and explain your intentions respectfully. Just because parents provided you a phone don't not give you the right to monitor your kid's phone. It doesn't give you the right read every text messages, go through every app/social especially without telling your child beforehand! Not only are you violate your child's privacy but also their friends' and peers'(which you look creepy and controlling). Please think about how other people will see you as both a Parent and a person before you decide to snooping in your child's phone, laptop, iPad, etc. Your child has is their person who should not feel need to feel like they can be themselves because you didn't trust them. Frankly it says a lot more about you than it does about them. Everyone has boundaries and they should be respected regardless of how old they are.
Teen, 13 years old written by ThatRegTeen

Okay, so my Mom always wants to check my phone and we're slowly drifting apart... Going to 8th grade, I already have enough drama and stress.. she tries to learn my personal life 100%, but knows nothing.. She's losing my trust slowly... I think it's not okay to do this. 1) Teens have a private life! Every. Single. One. They were teens once! They should understand that we won't share everything. 2) Trust issues. This happened to me. You don't want to lose trust... 3) If you don't trust us, why let us get a phone anyways? We're obviously going to have private things on there.
Parent of a 14-year-old written by MamaSeeta

I have a very impulsive 14 year old boy and I randomly check his text messages. He hates it and considers it an invasion of privacy. I understand. I really value my relationship with him and the trust between us so I don't lie to him about (or just not tell him, otherwise known as lying by omission). It's a really tough issue and a difficult parenting decision. But I know that when he texts something inappropriate to his girlfriend, her dad (who is also a helicopter parent) could also be reading it. My son says he is certain that won't happen because his girlfriend doesn't think her dad reads her texts. I just tell him not all parents are honest with their kids about it. I know that if her dad saw what they were texting recently, he would flip out and not allow her to see my son anymore. Text messages and even temporary texts like Snapchats can be copied and shared. In the most extreme possible scenarios, there could be legal ramifications for teens and their parents. Bottom line, I wish I didn't need to do it and maybe if my child were less impulsive, more mature, I wouldn't. But you have to parent the kid you get and supervising their cyber activity is an important part of modern parenting.
Teen, 14 years old written by cs04

i'm 14, almost 15 years old. i've has the same phone since 6 grade and ever since then, it's gotten checked spontaneously. it sucks for me because i have to sit there knowing my mom is going through my messages (that's really all she checks). she's fairly strict and doesn't let me have any social media. it's humiliating listening to her read my messages aloud to my dad while i'm there. she found out i curse from my messages. she loves for me to tell her my personal life but i only tell her about 1/4 of it because she doesn't have much of my trust anymore. i get why she wants to check my phone, but all it's doing is pushing me away. i've read quite a few comments from parents saying we're dramatic and we don't know how to separate despression and sadness. as for me, and a lot of other people, we do. my mom recently checked my phone and (it may sound dramatic) i began having suicidal thoughts again. the unspoken truth - for most kids at least - is that we want our parents to respect us, trust us, and forever see us as sweet and innocent. it seems that most parents don't remember what they were like when they were teens. or, if they do, they completely over look the fact that our minds work the same as theirs did when they were our age, just we have more struggles. i'm not a bad kid. i might curse and talk about things that i probably shouldn't be talking about, but that just makes me normal. there's girls in my grade (8th) having sex and vaping and going to highschool parties. i, on the other hand, surround myself with good people, get good grades, have never done drugs, and have never even kissed someone. i think checking my phone because "you want to keep me safe" isn't valid. checking my phone because you heard i yelled at a teacher and got high at school, that's a valid reason. keep in consideration that things are 100% different from when our parents were teens. we have our struggles, but forcing yourself in the middle of them is just pushing us away.
Adult written by huzzy_1999

As an adult myself, I would never recommend to read your children's texts. Unless and until they are showing borderline madness, I would never recommend parents to check their children's phone. Parents (especially parents from the 60's ro 70's, no offence) do not understand the new generation (millenials and generation Z) they never understand friendships and conversations. so they almost always make a simple situation a lot worse just because they read a suspicious text.
Adult written by Paigerichardson

If you notice your child’s behaviour is different or there’s a problem, talk to them first if no answer then go through their messages. If there’s no reason for you to and your child’s around 13, then no way! I have a daughter wouldn’t dream of going through her messages like that unless she’s really young.. also depends on maturity aswell! Asking your kids and talking to them about weirdos online can prevent it from happening. Helicopter parenting is a no no and checking though children’s phones is helicopter parenting if there’s no valid reason and there a teenager, teens gossip teens speak to other teens just let them be! Trust is a big part of a parent and child relationship and checking through their phone just isn’t the way to go
Teen, 13 years old written by bookworm12345

As a teenager with a phone and a lot of text messages every day, I’m personally inclined to automatically say that it is completely unreasonable to read your child’s private texts. But then I think about all the teens I know that I’m sure could use redirection from their parents about their text messages. Really, the most important factor in your decision as a parent about this matter is your teen’s personality. I, for one, am pretty shy and my parents know this and trust me to handle the consequences of my own choices. But I know that there are other teens who will make bad choices and may engage in risky and unsafe behavior through texts. So it’s really important to know your teen’s personality when pondering this important decision. Now parents reading this may say that this isn’t important at all, but I believe that it is critical for parents to know how important this decision really is. Because of course there are unsafe situations that your child may find themselves in if they do not have supervision, depending on their personality. Those are well known. But less well known are the unsafe situations that your “invasion” into their private conversations may bring about. As a teen that just recently graduated middle school, I know how much drama there can be, most of all by text. Now it’s important to remember that teenagers’ brains are in one of the most critical stages of development, and middle school drama (unless it causes serious damage) is very important to help teens experiment with how to handle conflict with what seems like major stakes (friendships being lost, reputation being stained, etc.). If you interfere with this natural process of learning to problem solve through trial and error, your teen may go into college and later life not having these vital skills. With communication between teens at the highest rates imaginable because of ubiquitous technology, drama between teens is going to seem very serious to you, a parent, reading through your child’s texts. If you plan to monitor your teen’s texts, you have to be prepared to have to just stand by silently if you see something that makes you angry. And I know that you love your children very much and that is going to make it harder than ever to watch the drama your child is having to deal with it. If you don’t think you are going to be able to handle this without interfering, I’m afraid it might do your teen more harm than help to monitor their texts. And for those of you who think that maybe I’m being over dramatic about how bad the drama truly is, you have to trust me that I’m not. So in summary, if you want to monitor your child’s texts, you have to be prepared for the consequences, and the same is true vice versa. Know your child when it comes to this matter and if it really is troubling you, talk to them. We really aren’t as close minded as you think we are.
Teen, 15 years old written by Teen 15 yrs old

Whether you're a parent or not, reading your kids' or anyone messages is wrong. Here's why: 1) It's invasion of privacy. Maybe you're sus about your kids' behaviour, what's going on in their lives, whatever. That doesn't justify taking it to the extreme by going though their personal conversations. Privacy isn't only important to teenagers, but to everyone. 2) It will break any form of trust that you have with your kid. If you have a good relationship with your kid and suddenly ask to go through their messages, there's no doubt that they will feel concerned about the trust you put in them. If you and your kid have a relationship where reading each other's private conversations is somehow normal, then that would be a different story. But if you are a parent that is more focused on the more authoritative aspect of parenting and believe in a strict set of rules (and if you already may or may not have a good relationship with your kid), going through their private conversations can be one of the worst things you can do to your kid. Unless your kid has access to all of your security codes and credit cards, there is absolutely no reason why you should go through their personal information. This will only worsen the remaining trust bond you have with them. There are much better ways to communicate with your child. 3) There is nothing you can do. If you feel like you have reached the point where you're struggling to maintain a relationship with your kid, as I mentioned before, the situation will only get worse. But let's put it this way: say you do, sooner or later, get to invade your kid's phone privacy. What next? You prevent them from seeing their friends, get mad at them, yell, set stressful consequences, and then what? Nothing happens. Your kid is only going to want to rebel, and will probably end up doing things that are much worse than what they've been doing, or continue to find every possibility to see their friends again. The extremes you're putting on them will only cause extreme behaviour. As a teenager, for the parents that are reading this, the information given above may seem exaggerated and naive. It's not. I am positive that many other teenagers and even parents disagree with the idea of parents reading their kid's private messages. There are many other ways to communicate with your kid, such as having a discussion with them face-to-face, and providing them information about how to be safe and responsible with other people and/or activities. Parent-child trust is one of the most important things you can have with your child, don't sacrifice it because you want to see who he or she is texting.
Teen, 16 years old written by Jane Kyoko

Do not ever read your child’s texts. It’s the same level of invasion as reading their diary. It completely breaks any trust they might have had with you. If you think something is going on, treat them like you would treat anyone else and talk to them. If you do, and they don’t tell you it means one of three things: 1. There really is nothing 2. Telling you either wouldn’t help or would make it worse 3. The trust has already been broken I am sure there are exceptions, but in any of these situations reading their messages will only create a further gap in your relationship.
Teen, 13 years old written by BananaGoat

No! Parents who snoop on their kids phones and in their rooms and diaries will quickly ruin their relationship with their kids.
Parent of a 12, 14, and 16-year-old written by laineypc

I'm curious how teens and adults will respond to this: I discovered messages where my kid's friends were texting her their homework answers to her. When we got the phone it was with the understanding that parents would have access to their phone, but I've never confronted her with anything I've found on it before, and as far as she is concerned I've not been monitoring it. Now I need to confront her.
Kid, 11 years old

Although I don’t recommend reading your child’s text messages if there over 13, you should tell her that cheating gets you no-where and that you can get in trouble for it. You should also tell her that school is all about LEARNING things, not getting through by cheating.
Teen, 15 years old written by KN00

I'm 15 years old and i have trust issues just because my mom read through my phone. I'm not a bad kid. But i don't trust anyone with my phone... i think i deserve the right to have my own life and my mom not snooping on my activity and actually trying to TRACK ME on my phone. She says its for my "safety" and i have never believed that. so all the parents.. don't read through your kids phone. it really breaks trust and boundaries
Teen, 15 years old written by Max S.

I understand that most parents are worried about there child's safety online or offline as they should. But spying on your child's personal messages is not only wrong but will completely destroy all the trust they have with you. All parents should have strong relationships with there children. It is extremely important for a child's development. If you are going to be monitoring their messages at the very least let them know that you are doing this. Us kids are watched and kept safe by our parents until we are 18. Everyone needs there privacy.
Teen, 15 years old written by Person4321

I understand why parents do this. In fact my parents helped me through a difficult situation because they read my texts and recognized the situation before I did. But I do have to say it can get quite suffocating. Like I’ll just talk to my parents about one of my friends and they’ll start quoting a text conversation I had with them (especially if it’s a guy). I’m starting to get really annoyed and I feel like my privacy is being invaded to often. It’s not like they ask for my phone so I know when their reading my texts. They have a way to read my texts while I have my phone. I’m in high school now and I’m starting to feel like I wanna rebel. I don’t want to but my parents won’t give me any freedom or privacy. I’m not allowed Snapchat because everything can disappear after 3 seconds. Basically everyone I know can vouch that I won’t do anything sketchy but they still won’t let me. So I think it is all right as long as you know your child’s personality ( whether they would do anything wrong) and if you tell them when your checking their texts.
Teen, 13 years old written by mattat thegame

I hate that we as kids don't get the privacy we deserve! My phone get's to look through by my mom all the time. But i'm a kid. we should be able to text or call at a certain time! But I agree with some of it. Sad but true.
Teen, 15 years old written by teaIiqhtes

From my personal point of view, I don't think that it is acceptable to monitor your child's phone, computer, tablet or any other device they may have. Having access to accounts and passwords they use to talk to their friends in a private way isn't fair to them. I understand wanting your child to have a straight path in life and making sure they're not talking to the wrong people, but in monitoring them so closely you only feed the urge to be more secretive and better guarded with their personal life. When you don't monitor your children's activities so close, you're showing them you trust them. My parents never did this and I'm so thankful for it.
Teen, 13 years old written by A male teen

As many parents of teens talking theres has to be trust but trust goes two way trusting your kid to do the right thing and your kid trusting you to give them privacy. If trust goes two way and is strong enough your child might be more trusting to tell you about their personal life. Your teens are going to find out when you search their devices which will make them lose trust in you therefore getting around your checks losing you trust and when there is no trust you relationship is ruined
Teen, 16 years old written by UpDog19

It's really all about the circumstances. If it's a phone that I paid for (doesn't matter if the parent is paying for our phone plan and electricity), then they shouldn't have to be snooping through our phones, and even if you use the phone plan and electricity as an excuse, then the parent can easily cancel the child's plan, and they'd still be able to do a lot of the things they still do, only now it's restricted. If your parents paid for your phone, then they do have a right, because it's not really yours since they're paying for all of it. Also if you're really insecure about the things your parents might see, it's probably better to not have it on your phone, but have whatever it is talked about in person with friends, where you're parents won't know. It all comes down to who owns the phone, trust, and what information that you let yourself get revealed.
Teen, 13 years old written by 13yrteen

Yes I may only be thirteen but I have a personal life too. I only disagree because I feel like it's ruining my relationship with my mom. (My dad doesn't read thro them) I know that my parents trust me and only want to help me. But I feel like I can't trust my mom when she reads through my texts without me having a choice. When she does that I feel like I can't have personal conversations with my friends and they won't share with me if they know my mom is reading their every word. I WOULD call them but then my entire family would hear me. It's not that easy. No, there's nothing bad going on, it's just the fact that I feel like she doesn't trust me or thinks I can't handle whatever drama is going on. Yes I realize that she was once a teen too but today we also deal with the same problems plus modern day stupid stuff. They just don't get it. Im sure when you were a teenager you didn't want your parents to know every single detail of your life. Please respond and tell me why it's ok for my mom to do this. As far as we know our parents most likely tell their close friends everything about our texts. They don't give us a reason to trust them if they don't trust us. I would understand if your teen was doing something bad. But a lot of us aren't.
Teen, 13 years old written by A male teen

My parents snoop around a lot and it’s sooo stressful not know what their looking at. I believe that if your not willing to hand over your phone they shouldn’t have to. My mom took my phone away because once I got mad and texted my friend about her and she got mad even though I KNOW she text about me.
Teen, 15 years old written by helicopter_child

Honestly, I don't think it is OK to read your child's messages. It is invading their privacy, or is it not? Parents really can't expect their children to talk to them about everything, especially through their teenage years. Some children or teens may be embarrassed having their parents go through their phone. I feel that if kids have to agree to certain conditions of having a phone, shouldn't parents give their kids a little privacy in return? The tighter a child or teens parents are, the more they will rebel. No, I'm not insisting you give your child freedom and everything, just give them privacy! Just like ghosty said, if you feel the need to invade their privacy don't let them have a phon eat all!
Teen, 14 years old written by heiday

Here are my thoughts: my parents have been reading my text messages for some time now, and it is frustrating and rather embarrassing. the thing is, they want me to talk to them, rather than my friends, for bigger issues, which i understand. but i think they would rather hear about it directly from me. i honestly have very little trust towards them, and its mostly because i cant ensure how much privacy theyre going to give me. and then theres also stuff i just dont want or need them to know about, like a crush on a boy or something like that. im not in any sort of danger, theres really no reason for them to be reading all m private messages. all theyre accomplishing is breaking my trust and making my anxiety so much worse than it is. yes, they bought me my phone, they pay for it, i get that. but theres nothing going on that i cant handle, so i wish they would leave me be.
Adult written by Nathan P.

Teens who are commenting on this blog: You have to stop thinking of your devices as your own personal diary. Keep your texts surface and informational or at the very least, keep it appropriate. If you really want privacy, do what your parents did: Talk to your friends on the phone or in person. I know that's not what people do these days but for every text or IM you send, ask yourself: "Would I want my parents to see this? " If the answer is no, just don't send it. Technology comes with a price. I feel for you all that so much of your lives is wrapped up in a digital world and I understand the pressure you feel. Part of your parents' fears are that because of your not fully developed prefrontal cortex, you're going to make impulsive choices--sometimes bad choices and many of you do not fully comprehend the permanence of what goes on the internet.
Teen, 16 years old written by Jane Kyoko

It’s really not as simple as that. I can’t phone my friends because I live in such a small space and my parents and/or siblings would hear. I don’t see my friends during school because we have different lunch blocks. I’m too busy to see them outside of school most of the time. And I don’t send anything inappropriate, but my parents reading my conversations with friends is still stressful and embarrassing. It’s not only invading my privacy, it’s invading my friends privacy at the same time. My parents don’t need to know about my friends personal problems.
Teen, 13 years old written by A male teen

One drawback to the phone is that your parents can hear you ever if you do it in your room they can hear you
Teen, 16 years old written by ghosty

Short answer: No. If you don't trust your kid enough to let them keep their messages private, don't give them a phone at all. Long Answer: I get the perspective of the parent- you have a child, and you want that child to be safe and not go down the wrong path. But personally, I feel that monitoring software or having access to passwords is too much. When you impose such intense surveillance methods upon your child, the child feels like their parents are watching their every move and just becomes more mistrusting of their parents and meticulous at hiding things(personal experience)- the saying "strict parents make sneaky kids" is based in fact. It also just feels like a method to avoid the effort of fostering a trusting relationship with the child- why talk about what they might be going through and hear it from them when you can just stick your nose in all their private conversations? I don't think it's unreasonable for parents to follow their kids on Facebook, Instagram, etc, or to be able to demand the child to provide access to their phones and social media accounts to check up on(especially when the parent suspects that something is amiss). But the child should always be included as a part of the conversation, and should be treated as a human being as opposed to a problem.
Adult written by NinjaMom75

Ghosty ~ I understand what you are saying. We all felt that way when we were teens, and please remember that your parents were teens once, too. The BIG difference is (depending on parents' age) we didn't have the digital world as it is now, so all this is new to us as well. Dealing with teens who do/say/send inappropriate things over the internet or in PM's or texts; for every parent who has had to deal with this....they are experts on how to handle these situations. They are reacting by doing what they think is best to protect their child. In most cases, I'm sure it has nothing to do with not trusting on controlling their child. It's more out of concern and because they just aren't sure what else to do. I have a 14yr old that I'm going through this. She is the oldest, so learning how to handle this is new to her dad and I. I've put a parental monitoring app on her phone. I told her I was doing this and why. Somehow, with phone update, this app lost "permissions" and I wasn't aware of it for a little while (we were starting to loosen the "hold" if you please") and she took advantage of that and did things she was aware of that were wrong and abused her privilege; and that's what it is to have a cel phone; a PRIVILEGE. It's not a right or a necessity or an entitlement or even a reward. It's means of communication, proper communication. I don't think teens REALLY understand that part. In any case, most parents would have taken the phone and be done with it. However, we do believe in 3-strikes. This was 2. Her phone was returned after a week and after the monitoring app was updated and fixed so that it wouldn't lose permissions, etc. Parenting these days is SO HARD, not only because of the digital world we live in but because parents are afraid of being disciplined for disciplining their children; damn near everything we do these days is abuse. Ask your folks, I bet they were both yelled at and and maybe even spanked (maybe worse!) when they misbehaved. They're fine and not blaming their parents for any adult "issues" they have right? These days, if you yell at your kid it's verbal abuse, if you spank them it's physical abuse, if you monitor their phone or anything like that it's mental abuse. And forgive me, I know mental health is a REAL thing, but in the 21st century it seems to be spreading like wildfire and some kids even use it as an excuse. There's so much emphasis put on mental health that I think our kids are mistaking regular sadness for depression and think they need to go on meds. Or they cut themselves because they want to feel physical pain rather than emotions. Kids these days just don't seem to want to learn to with their problems or how to cope. They won't talk to their parents even if there is a great relationship, so how are the parents to know anything is wrong; how do we help if we don't know? When I was a teenager, if a boy broke up with me I didn't go and cut myself up. I cried, lived with the heartache and moved on. I had friends that I hung out with. We didn't have computers or phones to go online and vent to perfect strangers and hide behind a screen. We learned to deal with it. It's a sad reality that the digital world is making our kids anti-social (in person) and isolated from the outside world. So, in short (or long), parents have every right to monitor their child's usage. Not only for their safety but so that they don't become overly dependent on looking at a screen to make friends or communicate or talk about any problems they might have. It's for their mental health as well.
Teen, 13 years old written by urmumgey

I understand that this was all in good intentions to state your opinion, but honestly you said it yourself, you don't know what we are going through and you don't know how to help. So, how would you know how we deal with our emotions if you said you don't know? We normally don't tell our parents every little thing, because who would do that? My mom is very light hearted and nice, but at times she can get scary and in her "mom" mode. It's hard to be best friends with your mom if they are the one who disciplines you. Also, it is totally wrong to think that people who go through a break up instantly start cutting themselves. VERY wrong. Some teenagers do that, but most of the time they cut themselves because this break up is just adding on to their pain. Not because of just one single break up. It is wrong for you to assume that we cut ourselves just because of a break up. Our phones help us to contact our friends to get help from each other. Although, I do agree that a phone is a privilege. You are also right that mental health is spreading more and more, but maybe that's because of the parents and not because of our society. Back when my mom was a kid, my parents didn't go through her room or whatever. She could go hang out with her friends with out her parents being over protective about it. And look, my mom turned out perfectly fine without her parents breathing down her neck. I can't trust my mom. I don't want to trust her either. She wants her full trust with me, but she does nothing to get my trust in her. I'm not saying all parents are breathing down their kid's necks, but mine is and it is annoying. Most kids with strict parents are shown to rebel against their parents and not want anything to do with them. I get your side of the argument, but it's better to get to know your kid than to go through their private information.
Adult written by LoveThemNoMatte...

I agree with every word you said. Especially with the part about mistaking normal saddness, guilt,empathy, with depression, mental health issues and self hatred. And leading to self injury and and even suicide. Kids don't understand that the events that lead up to these "negative" feelings, are a normal part of growing up. They help you learn what to do, and what not to do, and help you gain empathy. And when a parent points out or disciplines a child for disrespect, or other disobedience, and the child feels these feelings, it's not a parent who is causing these feelings, and this is NOT abusing a child, or instigating them. The way the word has become, is causing our children to grow up entitled, and emotionally immature. And many of the comments in this post, show evidence of this. But it's not their fault though. It is the change of society in many ways!
Teen, 16 years old written by antonioogarza

much of this is sent with good intentions, but i’m not entirely sure why you escalated to “self harm is essentially attention-seeking”.. in fact, that’s the reason, maybe, that kids don’t talk to you and people like you. Because you immediately label anyone going through trouble as entitled and spoiled, and that “kids these days” have it too easy. If anything, communication has increased between teens (there’s more to that, but i’m not gonna go into it.) and the whole “well i just dealt with my breakup.” thing is honestly disgusting because you act like we just shut out all of our emotions. in fact listening to music after a heavy emotional trauma has been proven to help you process emotions and embrace your feelings. think before you stereotype and generalize an entire generation of kids that certainly know how to feel emotions.
Teen, 16 years old written by minaashido

My parents don’t actually look through my phone. They are super chill and I don’t really do anything wrong on my phone anyway. I mean I like to go on it, but most of the time I’m drawing or at school or basketball practice. I don’t see why some parents do but mine don’t. And I will say I’m not as rebellious as my friends because their parents are over controlling about it. If you’re overly strict to your teenager, they are more likely to just rebel against you. My parents aren’t worried about me because they know I don’t partake in anything illegal or dangerous to my health. I even get good grades.
Teen, 16 years old written by Rainylakemn

I am sixteen and my mom has read through my diary and texts in separate occasions. My dad always preached about trust being one of the biggest factors in any relationship and every time my mom reads through something where I share my feelings I don’t feel confertable sharing with her I feel that trust is very betrayed. Especially since anytime something she hears or something happened and it does affect me she still chooses to leave me out of it. Anyways I just think if you want your children to trust you you have to provide and example by trusting them first, because how can we learn to trust when we aren’t being shown how to trust.
Teen, 17 years old written by Sylviaax

While I understand the other side of the argument, I disagree. Unless you have cause for concern (e.g sneaking out or talking about friends they've never met in real life) then you should leave it be. This whole issue is the reason I live with my friend now. My parents found out I was gay through my texts to my then girlfriend and kicked me out. 9 times out of 10 you won't find anything suspicious or dangerous and have you ever thought that they would tell you these things if you trusted them? You can't expect them to trust you if you don't trust them. Untrusting relationships don't make good kids- It makes good liars.
Teen, 16 years old written by ydotheylookatmyphone

I don't think they should. I got a messaging app so my parents wouldn't read my text messages. then one day they wanted to talk and I found out they went through my messages. I was mad. they took up my phone for the 2000000000th time bc they didn't didn't like what they saw. what I do on my phone is my personal problem, u don't have to like it. they've been doing it for a few years and I think they should stop, I think all parents should stop looking through their phones. I can't tell them how I feel about this bc I'm afraid of what they'll do
Adult written by Farrell

I have a 15 year old daughter. She received her 1st cell phone in 3rd grade. We set rules & guidelines for use back then. As a kid, I as her parent am legally responsible for her A) I always know the password to everything B) At any moment I can request to see her phone & look at it as I want; no attitude from her C) She is not to block me on any of her Social Media platforms D) If she betrays my trust, I will pay for a monitoring service, and will charge her for that service Yes, I understand that kids want their privacy, but until they are adults and can pay their own way, they shouldn’t expect it 24/7. I am a pretty chill parent (her & her friends words), but it’s also my job to protect her and make sure she is growing up to be a responsible human being. While I hope that she would come to me and that we always have open lines of communication, that isn’t always the case. So I need to do whatever it takes to make sure she is safe
Kid, 11 years old

Strict parents make sneaky kids. A lot of kids make another fake/private account, and if your child has I’m glad she has done so because AT LEAST she’ll have a place where she can breathe.
Adult written by spikkke

So you know, I made a whole account just to say I feel bad for your daughter. I feel bad because she is being suffocated by you. Granted, I am not a parent. Regardless, giving your daughter zero room to breathe will only make you lose her trust. Trust is a two-way street, you have to give to get. She should trust that her parents respect her. Your ambition of protecting is isolating her, to think you can protect her from everything. I beat she have dummy accounts and deletes text message frequently. Oh and children (human beings) deserve their privacy, it isn't something that needs to be earned. Respect your child and their boundaries. Yes, they are allowed to have them even if they live in your home, eat your food, pay zero rent, and are minors. Do better Farrell.
Teen, 13 years old written by IcyDragon629

ok my little sister is 12 and my parents ALWAYS reads her text messages and she is rly mad about it and she said that she has met everyone she texts in real life before and that our parents approved.so why the need to check?? Our mom knows them and she is only 12 and still thinks boys have cooties....so my only question is WHY!!!!!!! WHY do my parents read her text messages?!
Teen, 14 years old written by Chloe04

My mum reads all my messages and logs into my social media account to look at my online activity and my friends. I never really had the courage to ask her to stop after being shot down. I was 11 years old, and she said that most if not all parents did the same, and remained bitter for the rest of the day. I had phrased it as politely as I could but it wasn't great being reprimanded. I really hate it when she's upset because I'd get criticised and cry (sensitive whoops) and she'd get more upset it return. So I dare not ask again? But now I've gotten used to it, though I feel sad when I see my friends posting things of their own free will. For instance I'm technically not allowed to go online during exam periods but I do and I can't text of anything of the sort. So if I see my friends' pictures of them going out together etc. while I'm stuck at home and not supposed to go online, I feel sad.
Teen, 13 years old written by Coltsman180

My parents check my phone out of the blue and sometimes I’m pretty sure they just skim the phone just to see if any girls are on my phone because they don’t like me to talk to girls.
Teen, 16 years old written by maggiekarp

I didn't have a phone until I was 15. It wasn't technically my phone; it was shared between my parents and I (I'm an only child). We mostly bought it for emergencies only, so it barely had any texts on it, but I wasn't allowed to text my friends anyway. I did have a Twitter account that I had made a couple years earlier, so I downloaded the Twitter app and texted my friends through that. I didn't think it would be a problem, but it ended up creating a couple of them. I was talking to one of my friends about me being lesbian, and I hadn't come out to my parents because I didn't think they would accept it. One day I came home from school and my parents said they wanted to talk to me, and then proceeded to tell me that they had read my messages and found out I was lesbian. They ended up being supportive of me, so it wasn't a problem, and I couldn't ask for more understanding parents. I asked them nicely not to read my messages, because I think I'm a fairly good kid who knows how to stay safe online. My mom agreed, and told me she thought I had a right to privacy, and she told me she would stop reading my messages. Fast forward a couple years. I was talking to my best friend about them being LGBT. I was on my laptop at the time, and what I didn't know was that my mom was in the other room, reading every single one of our messages, and thus finding out my friend was LGBT. Neither of us had a chance to come out ourselves. Yes, my mom is accepting and supportive of both of us, but what if she wasn't? This is why you should not read your kids' messages, and you should absolutely not tell them you aren't going to and then do it anyway. The only time you should ever read your kids' texts is when you have a very, very good reason to believe they're doing something illegal or dangerous.
Teen, 15 years old written by b1a

I do understand the whole safety and protection thing, but little do you parents know that over protecting and over controlling your child is the reason they begin to do things they aren't suppose to. I am 15 and I've grown exhausted with the whole story of i'm doing this to protect you. I am the best I can possibly be, I was actually offered a scholarship just yesterday and my father couldn't even say a congratulations, also just found out today that I have spy cameras in my house, i don't know where but i found the boxes in which they came in. After all I have no energy to do good things and be good in school if I won't be congratulated for it, my parents always find something to complain about but never really tell me how proud they are. That is what your kid wants fom you, your recognistion, respect and trust. We are your children yes, but we also are humans. We aren't your property, so no snooping through your kids phone isn't ok. You will eventually push them away.
Teen, 15 years old written by trashjackal

i think it's an intrusion on your child's privacy to snoop through their phone. just as you wouldn't barge in on your kid's bedroom if their door was closed, i don't see it as appropriate to read through all their messages without valid reasoning (ie you heard your kid is involved in inappropriate behavior such as drug use). i get parents want to make sure their kids are staying out of trouble but being a helicopter parent has been proven to contribute to the development of anxiety disorders in teens as well as the perceived need to hide things, even when they aren't doing anything wrong. i would say the best thing you can do for your kid is educate them on issues that often come up pertaining technology and the internet and how to avoid them and let your kid do their thing, as long as you don't have any evidence that they're doing something illegal. believe it or not, teens do learn from their mistakes and i've had friends call me out on social media for saying something i shouldn't. just educating your kid and keeping the door open for conversation about stuff like this is the most appropriate thing you can do. it nurtures trust between you and your child and allows them to grow on their own, becoming more mature and sensible with internet use. additionally, i feel like a lot of parents have a sense of entitlement over their kids and the things they do. when you buy them a phone, you are acknowledging that it is THEIR phone. your children are NOT your property, they are human beings who learn, grow, reason, mature etc etc. it's belittling to see all these adults who believe they somehow own or control their children's lives. you are a parent, not a dictator. your job is to guide and educate, not have complete authority over your kids.
Teen, 16 years old written by GraceGS

As a teenager, I’ve seen so many of my peers get in trouble for things that involve technology. Most kids know what they’re doing is wrong, but they don’t think they’ll get caught. If they knew that their parents would be looking through their phone, they probably would’ve thought twice before sending/posting inappropriate content. Especially if your parents are paying for your phone, they have the right to look at it. They are responsible for you and they do it to keep you safe - not to ruin your life deliberately.
Teen, 13 years old written by Caitlin2525

I'm not a really a bad kid. But when my parents searched my phone the first few times, it made me break down into tears. I've lived a few places over the years, and I don't really like talking over the phone, so text messaging is the only way I talk to a lot of my friends. I use foul language, I admit, so that was in a lot of my messages. But I also told my friends I was bisexual. When my mother informed me of them reading my messages, it went like this,"Caitlin, your father read your messages. You mentioned something about your sexuality...", and that's when I broke down in tears. I tell my friends everything, and it is private. I understand that since they are paying for it, it's technically theirs. But this really messed up my relashionship with my parents. I've been drifting away from them for about a year now. Reading your child's messages multiple times, especially if they've never done anything in the past, ruins the bond. But as many people will tell you, stict parents create sneaky children. I'm not telling you not to read their messages, but please don't go indepth. Maybe do a once over. You still need to consider you child's feelings, even if they only are, just a child.
Parent written by Kim M.

I have read my kids text messages when they were younger - until they got wise to the fact and password protected everything on their phones. Not a huge deal - because they knew that anytime I asked for the phone for inspection, they had to unlock it and hand it over. When they were younger - preteen ages - not an issue. Since we didn't find anything out of the ordinary, they gained a level of trust and the inspections were less frequent as time went on. Hindsight being 20/20 and all - we should have continued the inspections semi-weekly because my eldest son (who had been subjected to a bully in middle school and his freshman year) was receiving text messages from said bully. He attempted to ignore them, but one day he'd just had enough of it and didn't want to deal with it anymore and said that this bully should be lucky he didn't have a means to get his hands on a weapon because otherwise he'd *****. I won't go into details but you get the jist of it. Long story short - my son was the one charged with felony assault via text message - and not a danged thing happened to the bully who had been harassing him for 2 years. The moral of the story is that parents need to be aware of (a) what is and is not acceptable to send via text message. I've drilled into my kids heads that if it isn't something they could say to their grandparents face-to-face, don't say it all and (b) know what your state laws are concerning threats, stalking, bullying, cyber-related or not to protect your children. Have a frank discussion with them about what the consequences could be if they do x, y, or z so that they know and understand that even something said flippantly in the heat of the moment can have serious consequences and long-reaching effects to their future down the line.
Adult written by Heather D.

A lot of the comments written below were submitted by children, who have a lot less life experience than their parents. With technology constantly changing, parenting also must change. Due to the constant access kids have to each other, parents need to be vigilant in their monitoring of texts and social media. I'm sure no parent has ever regretted acting on something they found that concerned them on their child's phone. As user Everett C. pointed out, it really isn't "their" phone until they have a job and can pay for it themselves. Most of the children responding think this is an issue of "trust" with their parents. Trusting a pre-teen or teenager to know what's right for themselves is like saying a car can diagnose and fix itself when it breaks down. They may THINK they have all the answers but as parents we KNEW we had the right answers as teenagers too, thinking our parents were crazy. Well, my parents weren't crazy and now that I am a parent of teenagers I realize how wrong I was. If trust is the issue for the children responding maybe they don't trust their parents enough to understand that monitoring texts and social media is something that very good parents do. As long as I'm paying the bill I will check my children's phones and I don't care if they like it or not. Either I check the phone or they don't have one.
Teen, 15 years old written by badminton

Heather, you're being quite dismissive, ignoring every single teenager's point, simply based on age. If you want to create a true argument, see to their's first, with a different perspective, instead of immediately shutting them down. So what, they might think "they have all the answer" and say it's an issue of trust. I'd take it into account, how it's an issue of trust, because it really is. To be a good parent, you've got to have faith and trust in your child, and when you go snooping on their phone, a place where my generation tends to keep valuable information, they feel violated. Refusing to see why this makes children uncomfortable, and practically mocking them for it, does not get you anywhere. When it comes to that teen mindset of always being right, maybe if you weren't so diddly-darn strict and unyielding, Heather, your teens would see to your point, but they don't, because it seems as though you shut them down, like you've shut down many teens on the site based simply on age. I'll see myself out now.
Adult written by Ronnie33

As a parent, you just told the whole virtual world that you lack respect for boundaries. More importantly it seems like you don't kids grow as a person because you shelter them from making mistakes. That is a real problem.
Teen, 13 years old written by aedxn

Your kids most likely detest you. This IS an issue of trust because clearly, you have one. You dont even give them room to learn or explore the internet and i hope your kids find a way out of your execrable hell hole.
Adult written by Daniel K

Yes? How about the girl who jumped to her death after being bullied over text and social media? How about the parents who find out their kid is using because of an overdose and a trip to the hospital? What about the 20% of teens smoking pot (and 19% who have admitted to driving while high) What about the teen girls dating a guy in his 20s who plot to kill her parents on ID? What about the kids planning to shoot up their school? All examples of BAD PARENTS. Check the phone. Check their book bags. Be parents. No teen on here is going to like it. Too bad.
Teen, 13 years old written by Kiddo-neechan

Okay. I feel this is something I need to cover. My parents are the sweetest parents one could come across BUT they are the kind who feel that they need to know what's going on in my life. I understand completely. You, as an adult or a child, probably came across the same kind of question: Are they spying on me?/Should I check on them? Just as you adults can practice self-control, we can too. Unless you're my cousin or a rare few. Recently, she was found watching a K drama at night. It's ok, it's fine, it isn't too severe. However, it caused my parents to be reaaalllyyy CREEPY. They've suddenly gotten interested in my habits, favourite shows and friends. It's wrong to PRY on them, but it isn't to ask and be a little creepy once in a while. As a matter of a fact, we're closer than before! I found our few similar interests and introduced them to my life. They found nothing wrong with my interests and were back to normal. Maybe that's what you should do. If they are being suspicious with their phone, just ask. They'll come and tell you eventually. The truth always comes out in the end anyways.
Adult written by Everett C.

The question is incorrect. It is not "THEIR" phone. Think about this: If you pay the phone bill with your name on it and they eat your food, live in your house, drive your vehicles, sleep in your bed, use your electricity, drink or use your water, use your money to go places or buy things, watch your tv with your service provider, play in your yard, participate in the extracurricular activities at school you pay for, you get the idea. All of this with the full-time job you or maybe even both parents work to provide all these things and so much more. You as a parent if this is your situation should not even be asking such a question. Kids at school know that the text book or tablets they use are school property and are subject to review for content. We know that our employer other than in the bathroom has every right to anything he/she wants to know about at work. Yes, even your lunch break can be subject to review. Doing this is being a concerned parent especially with how the world is today. It has nothing to do with trust or treating anyone with disrespect. It is a privilege, not a right. I know most of the comments on this post are from young people. Read this and think about what your parents sacrifice to give you all the "PRIVILEGES" you have. If you think it is unfair, move out, get a job, completely sever your financial ties with your parents and join the real adult world and suddenly a few read text messages don't seem so bad do they.
Kid, 10 years old

Ok dude, i get it but none of these are actually privileges. They are all rights
Teen, 13 years old written by aedxn

Your child probably hates you. Just saying, you really are the epitome of controlling parents.
Adult written by Heather D.

You are absolutely right! I love every word you wrote, if only those children responding could understand...Too many parents don't monitor or even set expectations for phones, it will eventually backfire when they are expected to comply in the adult world.
Teen, 17 years old written by MarilynManson17

No, unless your child is particularly defiant and known for participating in illegal activities or sneaking out, do them a favor and do not read their texts. Please, we are begging you to show some trust in us and we are begging you to treat us like we are human and not some inferior species. My parents not only read my messages, but go through my social media, photos, and search history. I am 17 years old and, while I am expected to act like an adult and forced to care for my five siblings whenever they need me to, I am treated like a toddler and constantly subjected to them going through my phone and personal belongings. So parents, please remember that you were a young person once and consider how you would feel if your parents had no trust in you for no good reason. Thank you.
Teen, 15 years old written by rrrrr6

My patience actually bought something and they can legit read my texts and look at my calls through their phone. it’s hurt my relationships with friends very much.
Teen, 16 years old written by imaginaryfeelings

No, going through a child's messages is a complete invasion of privacy. My mother has just read snapchat conversations between me and my bestfriend, where we both joke around, send each other photos and videos we find funny. We also swear during our conversations, something I never do anywhere else. Obviously, the way I talk to my friends, and the way I talk to my parents or my teachers is completely different. I was also talking to my best friend about how I lied to my parents about going to her house, when instead I was going to see my psychologist. I have just been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I have previously tried to talk to my parents about my mental health, but neither of them cared, blaming my unhappiness on just 'being a spoilt teenager,' so I thought seeking professional help was the only way to solve anything. My mum is really mad at me right now, and has confiscated my phone and blocked my friend on snapchat. So going through your children's phone, is a huge no! Maybe if the adult population actually listened to us, they'd realise we aren't just rebellious, or spoilt, or bratty. We don't do things to annoy or upset our parents for the sake of it. Sometimes, we are simply having a conversation with a friend, that is meant to stay between friends.
Teen, 13 years old written by evibear_11

Looking through text messages?? No thank you!! Growing up and becoming a teen wasn’t perfect. At least for me. I had the type of childhood where you watch through your window all the other kids playing on the front yard, wishing that you could have fun too. (But your not allowed). Now as a teenager I am expecting freedom from my overprotective parents. WRONG! I’m not allowed to go to fun places with my friends or join any social media. #FOMO is real for me. Now my parents are considering reading my texts! That’s one line they crossed to far. I’m a good kid! I have to keep things bottled inside for my own privacy’s sake. So parents, if you really want your child to loose trust in you, go ahead and read the texts.
Teen, 14 years old written by JH2004

I think that parents need to respect your privacy. My parents are now reading through my texts, which in my view is completely disregarding my privacy. I talk to people on my phone and I don't need my parents to read through what I have been saying. Maybe little kids, but as a 14 year old teenager I feel that I should have some freedom with what I do, and I feel that my parents don't respect that. I can't have instagram or snapchat or any social media on my phone, and they're thinking of removing Skype which is the main thing I use on it, which is totally unfair. Kids have their own lives that don't need to be monitored 24/7, parents need to accept the fact that they can't keep their kids to themselves forever and stop them from doing their own things.
Teen, 16 years old written by gkf813

Obviously, everyone in the wide category of children are going to have the answer of no, so I can understand how it might be difficult to make a decision with such a biased group. However, I hope that my response better explains why I feel the same way as the majority. Here’s a little background to begin. I would like to think that I am a fairly good kid. I think about what I do and my parents know me and what i’m viewing and sharing online. Even without monitoring me, I know that they would be able to trust me. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but I have never done anything to make it necessary for my parents to monitor me in the way that that they have. That’s why I am still confused as to why I am monitored. When I first began texting I was around twelve. And to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think it’s wrong to monitor texts when kids are first beginning to text, which is what my parents did. I think that parents should be able to help kids navigate what is appropriate to look at and share when they are first texting. However, when you know your child, and you trust them, I think that it is important to give them that space. Of course, I was annoyed at age 12, but I feel like even then I knew I would never have to worry because I’d eventually be able to text freely. However, it continued up until now. Again, I understand the care and concern put into this, but I think that it can become a bit intrusive. I do not text my friends anything that I wouldn’t show my parents, and if I ever do it’ll just be me telling a friend about a crush or something silly like that- things that are just personal to my friends. Maybe it isn’t that important, but these “little things” are still personal and I do not think that it is ok to intrude on things like that. It intrudes on conversations that I am having with friends, and I feel as if i do not have any privacy sometimes. If anything this has made me more possessive of my phone. I am always asked why it is constantly on me, and it is because I just don’t want to have my personal life exposed then and there. I feel as if there would be more trust between my parents and I if there was no phone-checking. If it was not done in the way it is, I think I would be more open to them. If they had not been checking my phone, I think that there would be better chances that I’d be able to let them know something important knowing that I would be able to tell them on my own rather than through my phone screen. Parents, again, I understand where these thoughts are coming from. I can’t lie when I say that I would consider doing the same for my child. However, I think that there is a point where everyone deserves privacy. If you have a good child that you know that you can trust, I think it is important to build that trust by proving it to them. By doing so, your kid will be more open with you when it matters most. It will decrease your kids attachment to their phone and provide for a better relationship between you both.
Kid, 12 years old

I don't think that parents should do this unless they apsolutely have to. With my devices, my parents don't read my messages they told me that they have the right to.
Teen, 13 years old written by potato2

Let's just say I have mega strict parents, and I kinda get that seeing as they obviously didn't grow up where I am now, and yeah they're just.. yeah. I'm not gonna put all the blame on them since like I did make a lot of mistakes, but it's gotten to the point where my photos, apps, browsing history and calls are all checked. I don't even know what to do. Even my games, if there's even like an ad about idk, romance, I'm grounded for like a month. I used to have WhatsApp, they deleted that. I even have a restrictive password put on my app store (I mean I guessed it though so..) Idk how to make them understand that I have rights, and they shouldn't constantly be so paranoid. They really don't get the fact that I'm a teenager, and yeah I may be having a few crushes here and there, and it's such a pain to not be able to actually talk to my friends freely about all that sort of stuff. It has led to me and my parents just not trusting eachother, and because of the lack of privacy and freedom I have, I simply cannot wait till I can move out (for other reasons as well).
Teen, 13 years old written by RyTG

I have completely lost trust in my mom with this. She will go over every detail and then bother me about it next opportunity. It gets to the point where I can't talk to girls WHO ARE JUST FRIENDS without being interrogated about my feelings. I can't have any privacy and my relationship with my mother is pretty much past the point of no return with this and other issues. My mom doesn't understand that I am actually very mature and I can deal with my own issues, in my own privacy, without becoming unhealthily anxious.
Teen, 15 years old written by Rosalover28

No it's not right reading your kids text yes I know your worried but sometimes you haft to respect there stuff and privacy trust me I don't think you would want your kids reading your text would you? Yes kids are going to bad stuff on there phone but you can't always protect them sometimes they haft to learn them selves and get hurt then learn from there mistake!! So please parents out there give ur kids space and privacy!!!
Kid, 11 years old

No. Just NO. This is way way way too intrusive. Ive had my phone a while now, and my tablet even before that, and my parents are constantly enabling monitoring and installing spyware. THIS IS AN INVASION OF PRIVACY. We've chatted about e-safety, I know the risks, and Im not stupid either. Im not gonna sext, Im not gonna send rude messages or anything like that. My friends are nice kids who mean no harm. YOU KNOW THAT (Im talking to you, parents) , AND IF YOU KNOW THAT, WHY DO YOU WANT TO CHECK MY HISTORY EVERY WEEK AND READ ALL MY MESSAGES! Here's the scenario. Im texting my bff about who i secretly fancy. Suddenly Mum checks the spyware app and BOOM all my secrets are found out. EVERY KID HAS SECRETS, EVERY KID WILL FANCY SOMEONE AT ONE POINT, and they might not want you to know about it. THATS GONNA HAPPEN, SO KEEP IT THAT WAY
Teen, 13 years old written by emilayyy.e.s

yh same, my mum looks at my messages and why would I do sexting? My friends are perfectly normal and I have a crush and my friend knows but I rlly don't want my mum to know so I always have to delete those messages as soon as I get home. And sometimes when I try and show her one msg she will just start swiping and looking at all of them!I normally go into my room and find her on my phone. I am trying to do some research that isn't biased and written by parents, instead actual scientists and adults who know about it! so I can prove her wrong
Teen, 13 years old written by Reader Girl

I understand that parents want to keep kids safe but reading all of their text messages is a little invasive. If you can’t trust your child enough to have appropriate text messages with their friends, don’t get them a phone. And not all text messages they want to keep private are bad. I make straight A’s and have never gotten a detention but there are still conversations a don’t want my mom to read. My feelings are my feelings and some things are just not problems moms can help with. For example, I don’t need my mom involved in my discussion with my friend about how I like a boy. She doesn’t need to know that. Keep in mind that even though they are “your” child, they are not your property and they still have rights.
Teen, 14 years old written by Adom21

No, I believe it is wrong to check your child's messages. First, you should trust your child. If you do not trust him, even then you should still not check there messages. If you do check there phones, it will most likely piss them off and make them resent you. If you don't trust him/ her, and check everything, they will find ways around you doing this, which will probably hurt your relationship since both of you won't trust each other. Second, You should respect your child enough to not check there phone. There phone is important to them as your journal would of been when you were a kid/ teen. Respect your child's privacy, which should build up trust between you two. Both ways, don't check there messages or social media or whatever. Stay out of you child's buisness, which will build trust and let both of you have respect for each other. Remeber, this is coming from a 14 year old.
Teen, 15 years old written by EvanL115

No, this is not a good idea. My parents never moniter any of my devices, because in our relationship there's something called trust. I'm a teenager now and I'm capable of making my own decisions whether they're good or bad. Once in a while my parents will walk into my room and take a glance at my pc moniter, which is completely understandable. Why is it that your kids are "young adults" when it comes to doing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen. But when it comes to their own choices, they have to be tracked down? Why is it bad that we want to listen to explicit rap or hip hop videos? Cursing is everywhere. My parents only allowed me to play minecraft when I was a little kid. As soon as I joined a server, a 20 year old guy was talking about drugs. Eventually your kid is going to find out that the world we live in isn't so sweet. We are exposed to almost everything, everywhere. But that doesn't mean we're going to get ourselves involved. Give us some privacy. We're human too you know.
Teen, 15 years old written by mkv2326

I would definitely say it's not a good idea unless you suspect the child is engaging in criminal activity. Personally, that policy has made me constantly paranoid, as my parents would become upset over minor things. Maybe if the child is young and doesn't have common sense when it comes to Internet safety, it's okay to look through your child's phone, but a teen is familiar with the Internet and can deal with situations on their own. If you show that you trust them, your child will come to you to sort out problems if they really need to.
Teen, 14 years old written by tanyapop

Hi there. I have two parents who are quite obsessive, especially with me since I'm the oldest and I've been the "perfect kid" in the past. When I was younger it wasn't a problem to me because my life often revolved around school and home life so I had nothing to hide. I was also innocent and my friends were exactly the same. As I grew up and experimented and learnt my own lessons my parents interpreted this as me not wanting to share because I was doing something horrible which was never the case. I stopped being a Christian and I discovered I was gay which was mainly what I was worried about my parents discovering. That's my personal business which really has nothing to do with behavioural issues. They checked my phone constantly and there was always an air of "I want to see what you're doing and if I can't see it, I will look". I was always a sensitive child who was never doing anything too bad. I'm like the normal teen, yes I swear, I'm not religious in any sense, if I have a sleepover with friends we might take a naughty sip of our parents' alcohol , not enough to get drunk but just as a game like I'm sure kids have done in the past. I don't engage in sexting or underage sex, I don't buy or sell drugs and I don't binge drink. I have friends from across the world who I know are real people because they are constantly posting their face and I've had facetime calls with them where they physically talk to me. They also always have updates about what's going on in their life and it's not all centered around me. This isn't a sign of a teenager doing anything bad. My parents however, are very conservative and this leaves little space for a teenager to grow and develop as an adult and also less ability for me to be honest with them over my feelings and new things happening in my life for fear of them judging me which built a rift. The constant checking also had a negative impact on my mental health and it actually got to the point of me attempting suicide. This was a sobering event for my parents who realised I needed a little space but the damage was already done. I recently attempted suicide again and this was through no fault of any bullying at all but rather just the mental illnesses i developed from constant checking. My parents then decided it was time to become obsessive again and I'm now getting a tracking app on my iPhone alongside a spyware app I'm guessing. I don't agree with this because the feeling of having an eye on me all the time is so discomforting and I don't feel like I'm able to be honest with my parents again because of this.. About almost Anything. I am mature and I don't sext people, even if I get sexts, I don't plan on taking any drugs in the time being and with those naughty sips of a drink like say Brandy, the experience was horrible, loads of sweating and a burning throat and I don't think I'm likely to try it ever again. Parents dont realise that this is how teenagers actually learn and checking and restrictions don't amount to anything in the real world. I am also not suicidal anymore but I think my mental health is definitely resting on how much privacy I get. I feel like I need privacy because I want to develop as a person and feel comfortable doing it. I also want to be able to talk to my parents easily without feeling like I was going to be judged or told off because that's how the accidents stop happening. All these stories of grooming and cyberbullying, the kids often feel like they cant show or talk to their parents about this "new friend they made" or the "girl at school who said this on Instagram". Spying doesn't really work because teens always find their way around rules. Its good old conversations that sort stuff out. That being said, it can't happen if you make your child feels like you're telling them off for the smallest thing eg, swear words or having a secret instagram account that they use like a diary that they dont want to share with you
Teen, 13 years old written by emilayyy.e.s

I had an Instagram account which my parents didn't know about (a spam one) I only wanted my friends to follow me and I made sure of that to myself that only my close friends would follow but as SOON as my mum found out about it she made me delete it she didn't give me any time to tell my friends. It wasn't even like a just posted useless selfies of myself it was photography that I thought wasn't the best but was ok that I didn't want on my actual account. Just now I was writing this when my mum came into the room and started asking me what I was doing and wouldn't stop and was being SOOOO persistent and annoying she made me open all my tabs, its not like I was swearing or anything. I have had a detention once and since that time all she has done is put on time limits, age restrictions and restrictions on everything and its not fair. Just because you have a reflection doesn't mean ur going to be doing underage sexting
Kid, 12 years old

No, if you don't trust them enough to let them keep their messages private, don't give them a phone at all.
Kid, 12 years old

I know I'm a kid but no! If you trust your kid to have a phone then why not trust them on what they are saying or using! If you are going to check their phone instead say this so they don't lose your trust, "hey ________ can I see your phone for a second, I want to send a text to your father/aunt/uncle (any relative or friend) because my phone just died and I need to tell your ________ something!" While "doing that" just check the apps, if they have something suspicious the next day just sit with them and say "I know you have been using __________(name of social media) so I've been thinking, how about I make an account too; you have to follow me and I have to follow you, you have no rights to block me and or unfollow me. If they ask why think of a friend they have that has social media and say "well _______'s mom told me that you were acting strange online with some stuff that a child like you shouldn't do." this is the only way for your child to still trust you, I swear! I'm a child and has gone through this. When I turn 13 I will get the rest of social media including Facebook, twitter, Snapchat, and other apps like that. But any who, I don't encourage your idea, it seems awful and your child won't gain trust on you anymore often. It's the worst move a parent could do.
Kid, 10 years old

I think and I may just think this beacause I am a kid but if you trust your kid enough give them a phone then you have to trust them. I'm not saying you can't occasionally say " hey can I see your phone for mandatory checks every now or then"
Adult written by Greta B.

It seems to me that if I tell my daughter about my plan to spy her, I will lose her trust forever. I'm sure, it will make her lie to me about everything. To control or not – it is always a choice of parents. Like any other mother I worry about my child. I tried this app http://smstrackerapps.com/mspy-review because they have a free demo version. But after using it for a few weeks, I realize that my daughter has the same rights as me. And I don't want anyone to read my messages. So why don't I care about my daughter’s privacy? And I stopped using that app.
Kid, 12 years old

yo brynnelizabeth that is really not cool give your kids some privacy in their lives
Teen, 13 years old written by Natalie_Grace_1112

I keep seeing these same questions.. XD TRUST. You have to trust your kids to make the right decisions. I can promise you I have never said or sent a pic of anything inappropriate on text or social media. My parents trust me. Knowing that they trust me is all the support I need to make the right decision. I know whats wrong and whats ok. I am glad that my parents love me enough to trust me with texting. I hope you trust your kid enough to not read their texts.
Teen, 13 years old written by JeffJr

Definitely, that's what my parents do to me, I fully support it. It keeps you on the track as well so you don't sway off course and get yourself into trouble. I say yes unless the messages are from the kid's boyfriend or girlfriend, that's private.
Parent of a 9, 10, 12, and 13-year-old written by brynnelizabeth

We put our phones on the kitchen counter at night to charge. All of us. None of the kids are allowed to have passwords that we do not know, so at night when they are all asleep we do browse their histories and messages. If it's not anything that needs to be brought to their attention then we don't say anything, but there have been two instances where I am very glad that we monitor because it allowed us to correct the issue.
Kid, 11 years old

That is the most disgusting, horrible thing. Ever. Why would you do that? That's dirty, rude, intrusive, and downright unethical. STOP!!!!!!!!!
Teen, 13 years old written by qwertymcqwerts

OH MY GOD STOP THAT'S RIDICULOUS. The 9 & 10 year olds, sure, fine, but at the ages of twelve or thirteen then that's a complete invasion of privacy. And please, for the love of god, TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE LOOKING THROUGH THEIR FREAKING PHONES.
Adult written by Jsivaches

I agree. Just think how much the kid will hate you when (not if) they find out. Just talk to them and if something happens where they feel they need help they'll tell you.
Teen, 17 years old written by Hani02

You are very right.....I'm seventeen now...and I'll be eighteen in a few months. My mother gave me this phone after I was done with high school.. So in other words...I wasn't on any social platforms throughout high school. I pay my phone bills by myself too. But she feels that checking through my phone to see my chats (between people she knows are my friends) is protecting me... I was learning a language and made a Pen pal...we never exchanged any personal information... But my mother said that the person may not be who she really is...that she might be an internet predator...we talked for a whole month and there was nothing 'predatory' about the girl...but because of my mother's fear...I had to stop talking with that Pen pal of mine....even though I was done with high school... She didn't check my phone for months now...but recently she wanted to...and I told her that she doesn't trust me...her own daughter... But she told me that its not about trust..its about fear...that she is afraid of who I'll meet online...P.S I'm not even on Instagram...I'm only on WhatsApp.....and everyone I talk with there are either people from my high school or my church or my neighborhood. So basically she knows most of them...so how is reading through the chats between me and my friend protecting me? I will soon enter college even...and she tells me that as far as I live under her roof and she gave me the phone, she has every right to...but come on... I pay the phone bills...isn't that too much? When I was in high school even....I wasn't a bad kid...at all..I know people who didn't have phones even and where doing horrible things.....so basically whether your child has a phone or not...does not guarantee that u will be able to protect her from what ever you're protecting her from...I'll be a legal adult in a few months time...and I don't even have privacy...all because I live under her roof..... My advice to parents is to be very cool with your kids...my Father never checks my phone...he is very cool with me even....he is so cool with me...I even show him the chats between I and some of my friends.... That's what happens when you trust your child very much...they automatically trust you. Most parents say that if we want to say anything personal to our friends...we should call them and tell them....but don't you know that there are some things that are easily said when written down? I have nothing to hide on my phone....but the conversations. The secrets told to me by people my mother knows....is the very reason why I don't want her to go through my phone...not only is she invading my privacy..she is snooping on that of my friends as well...my mother wants me to be completely open with her...and now, I don't know how to tell her that I don't completely trust her enough to tell her things...things I can easily tell my father....when I was in high school my mother read my diary...and scolded me for things I wrote in it...my private thoughts.. She scolded me for it...and told me that its her right to go through my stuff since I live with her...and that also I'm not even supposed to have a diary... That every thing I wrote there, I was supposed to tell her because she is my mother. She even went ahead to say if she shows my diary to my father...who I claim I'm very close to, will he be happy to see what I wrote in there?(I wrote about a guy who I liked that time..and about what I and my friends did for a girl who liked a guy at that time) I was so crushed by my mother's actions...I didn't write or have any other diary..throughout high school... That totally destroyed my trust for my mother... So parents, especially mothers...I know that its in the norm for you to act all strict just so you let other parents know that in your home..you have the upper hand...let me tell you and as teen about to enter college... Even though I haven't seen many years as you have...I do know one thing...all the efforts my mother made towards protecting me...destroyed any from of trust I had for her... If I'm going through anything, like bullying or anything else personal that is making feel down or is very funny...I tell my father...if it is something sad...he advises me in how to go about it..if it is something funny he laughs with me...I tend to tell him everything these days...no matter how small...because he trusts me...I don't tell him boy issues though.. I talk about boys with my sister or my big cousins... They have also experienced life to some point.... But all these things...I have never told my mother....because I don't trust her enough to know how she will react to them... So basically... Going through your child's phone and any other personal things, will heavily destroy the relationship between you two....if you are afraid of online predators.....just don't give her the phone at all till she is old enough to be able to pay the phone bills and take care of it
Teen, 15 years old written by Misunderstood teen

I believe that your parent should not touch there child’s phone. i literally just got my phone and they check my phone every day. in the only thing they check is my text message every day and nothing els. I’m not aloud to date. and as long as I live under there house I will be not aloud to have social media but I can text but the rules are apsalute crap: I can not cuss I can not gossip I can not say any thing that could be consider flirting I can’t say enything mean. I don’t trust my parents. I will text a friend when I feel amoshional I will tell my friends secrets. because I trust my 0 percent I will erase all of my texts. complete and total wipe of all text I’ve sent every day every hour. I’m not a bad kid but I have sue aside depression which my parent gave me. I went to a therapies at my school and asked them not to tell my parents about what I’m about to say to you. that I self medicate and have overdose 10 times. now my parents still don’t know. so ya if you don’t what parent you relationship to end up being something like this. I suggest don’t helicopter parent and give you children breathing room. because some thing easer to talk with and get aid from you friends then it is with a parent. let a kid become his own person if a kid is to protected they can’t make mistakes. making mistake builds corrector. making mistakes is apart of life so let your kid make his own mastakes