Balancing Teens’ Freedom and Privacy

Right to privacy against keeping them safe

Balancing Teens’ Freedom and Privacy

Teenagers will always fight privacy – the freedom to do as they wish, without parents prying into their activities – as if their lives depends on it.

Unfortunately, there are times when teens aren’t doing things they should be or they are doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Before now, the privacy issue is always about if their parents have the right to search their rooms or read their diary, but today, there are issues and concerns on how to use the internet

Mistakes parents often make

  • Abandoning children by allowing them too much freedom and increased responsibility than is necessary. For example, not checking their social media posts.
  • Not allowing the freedom to make good judgment and behavior on things they can handle. For example, insisting on reading all of your teen’s texts.

Below are steps you can take to make sure that your children have the right amount of privacy they required.

 Know your children

The best place to start is by observing your children’s behavior. Consider hoe their behavior have been over the few past years and be honest about the assessment to determine if they would require more monitoring on any particular area of their life or not.

Most children who have demonstrated good decisions previously are, most times, more likely to behavior well in the future, but this isn’t a fixed rule. Remember, kids are a work-in-progress, so you must be alert and check for behavior that does not speak well of them and quickly steps in with greater supervision.

Conversely, turning a blind eye on your children who have shown history of untrustworthiness, is not only dangerous but disastrous.

You may need to then follow up by looking in his room for signs of substance abuse paraphernalia. Yes, you are invading his privacy but the goal in this situation is to keep him safe and on a healthy track.

Let go over time

Few things get a teenager riled up faster than the sense that they’re not being treated like a grown-up and not being given a say in things that affect them. So, getting them involved in drafting out an action on the levels of privacy you are willing to give them is a good way to show them respect and to indict that your trust them. Don’t forget to explain to them, that if they want greater privacy, they would have to earn it by doing some specific things. They will come to understand that greater responsibility leads to more privileges and freedoms. 

Setting rules

From day one, make it clear that their privacy on their device is limited – you’ll be checking what’s installed on it regularly. You can as well let them know that you are setting these rules not because you don’t trust them but because it is your job to keep them safe.