Privacy, a right or a privilege?

We are having some issues in our house with questions of privacy for the teens.  Should they have any?  How about just a little?  Where’s the line? 

“Where’s the Line?” should be tattooed on me somewhere because I have no idea where any line is whether something I say be offensive or funny, appropriate or inappropriate.  I enjoy a good shock value like no one’s business and I’ll say something and Sunshine will say, Yup, too much, you passed the line way back there.  But you also have no idea how much I have in my head that I don’t say so I guess I have a vague idea of where the line might be, I just all too often go over it. 

Back to privacy.  The problem we’re having is cell phones.  Moonshine cleans her phone like a crime scene if it’s not going to be in her possession for more than 5 seconds.  Is that normal?  My thought is, if you have nothing to hide, you don’t hide anything.  Okay, I got that from Dr. Phil, but really, it’s sound advice. 

Moonshine and I actually had a stand-off because she refused to give me her password.  REFUSED.  How dare you?  So I took her phone and put in every password I could think of until it locked her out and had to be reset thus losing all her information.  Take that, Moonshine.  And how do I have a stand-off with a 13-year-old?  I’d say I’ve completely lost control, but I’m sure I didn’t have any to begin with. 

I told Moonshine that she can have privacy when she pays her rent and cell phone bill.  Is that too harsh?  I really don’t know.  And it’s not like I ransack her room looking for a journal.  I mostly stay out of their rooms until the door won’t close because dirty clothes are marching down the hallway.  I’ve said on more than one occasion, If you don’t want me in your room, don’t give me a reason to come in there.  In other words, keep it clean and I have no reason to go in there. 

Now, I do have good kids.  I’ve told you before about Sunshine’s inability to lie to me.  But she’s weird about her phone too.  I do know the password but I never want to go through it until she’s weird about it.  And I have a little PTSD about people keeping secrets from me.  I get crazy and my thoughts go off the rails.  So is Moonshine sexting?  Is she cooking meth like Breaking Bad?  Please don’t leave me with my own imagination.  Turns out Moonshine was only venting about how annoying I am and how I don’t make tacos as good as her step-mom.  In my defense, I’m white, she’s not, so I feel like she has an advantage making tacos.  Stereotype?  Maybe.  Across the line?  Who knows?    So yes, her texts were hurtful, but ultimately not dangerous.   Thank God. 

And I completely understand needing privacy, but the difference is that I’m the adult.  Yeah, I am.  But I have rules like they can’t read my blog, I don’t like them going through my room, and I also pay the bills.  Is that fair?

Tell me, how much privacy should you give your child?  Knowing that I was a child that lied about everything and hid liquor in my closet, now how much privacy should I give my kids?  And I’m not raising me, as my sister will tell you, (Thank GOD), and I do have great kids, but am I going to know if one of them goes off the rails?  And how?  Okay, I just need someone to tell me the future, and how much privacy you give your kids and we can go from there.

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1 Comment

  1. Cari Kelley

    You hid liquor in your closet?! Wow. I had no idea.
    Privacy? I wish I had the answer. Will they have secrets? Yes. Will they make mistakes? Yes. Do we need to know everything? Mercy, I hope not.
    I guess you have to find that balance–there is a fine line between being meddlesome and overbearing and being naive and disinterested. Find it and stand firmly on it.

    Do you think if you tell them that if you didn’t give a rip, you wouldn’t even ask, they would be overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude? Nah, I didn’t think so.

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