Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How Do You Feel About Spying on Your Teenagers?

First let me say that I didn't really spy on my kids.  Too much.  It wasn't really that I thought it was wrong or an invasion of privacy - though Beth would have definitely complained about that if she had thought I was spying on her.  It's more that I didn't think about it until later.

Beth used to hang out with her friends in the basement, and there were times when it would have been really nice to have some kind of hidden camera down there so we could keep an eye on them.  As it is, we just randomly went down and checked on them once in a while, but with a camera, it wouldn't have been so random.  I wonder how long it would have taken Beth to figure out how we knew what was going on down there?  Or maybe she just would have figured that parents know everything, and she couldn't get away with anything.

After she'd been driving a while, I started thinking we should have installed a vehicle tracking device on the car, so we could have checked up on her and made sure she was where she said she was when she said she was.  There were some times I'm pretty sure she was lying, but there was no real way to prove it.   That tracking device would have answered all the questions.

So the question is - should you spy on your teenagers?  How do you feel about it?  Is it something you would consider?  I'm thinking that I would have done it, if only I'd thought of it in the beginning, but instead of hiding the camera, I'd put it right out in the open, and I'd tell her her car was being tracked.  That way she'd know we were keeping an eye on her - maybe not all the time, but she'd never know when.  Just a little incentive to make sure she was behaving herself.  And, of course, we'd have to keep an eye on Cory, too, or we'd hear about how unfair it was - though he never quite needed watching the same way she did.