Is it acceptable parenting to secretly go through your teenager’s phone?

Is it acceptable parenting to secretly go through your teenager’s phone?

We got a message from a concerned parent wondering just that.

Have a listen to it.

Hi Niall,

I’m battling with my conscience on something that maybe you and your listeners can shed some light on for me. I have spoken to some family members about it but we are torn down the middle on what is the right thing to do.

My 15 year old son has become very reclusive. He sits on his phone all day and night and barely speaks to myself and my partner. He used to be a very outgoing child but now we struggle to get a conversation out of him.

I have spoken to him about why he is so moody and questioned if there was anything wrong as in school or with his friends. He told me no and that was all the conversation I could squeeze out of him.

I asked my mother was she thought and she said that she thinks he is a typical hormonal teenager and that maybe I am overreacting.

I don’t know what the best thing to do is and I am considering taking his phone secretly to have a search through it and make sure everything is ok. I told my partner about my idea and he thinks it is a terrible idea and that I would be invading his privacy. He said that if he found out he would never trust me with anything and now I am torn.

Apart from his hormonal moodiness, I don’t really think anything else is going on but still, as a parent I am concerned.

Teenagers these days are not like we were growing up. They have access to the internet by a touch of a screen and I worry.

Could you ask your listeners if they think it would be a good idea to check my son’s phone without his permission?

I don’t know what you think about this email. Would this mother be right to check her son’s phone?

Have you ever taken your child’s phone and checked it without their permission? I want to hear from you.

We have talked about this before on the show and I have come across parents who believed that parents should trust their child 100% if they are going to allow them to have this type of freedom.

On the other hand as parents we are supposed to look after our children and making sure that they are not doing anything they shouldn’t be falls into that bracket.

So the question I want to ask you …

Should parents violate their child’s privacy in order to keep them out of harm’s way?

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