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Old 10-16-2014, 03:30 AM
 
405 posts, read 388,528 times
Reputation: 464

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I don't treat my kids like criminals. I treat them like people whose judgment cannot be trusted just yet, because their brains aren't done cookin', which is nothing but the truth. I view it as my responsibility to guide them in important decisions, although of course they get more freedom as they get older and as they prove that they can handle it. But I can't be an effective guide if I let them pull the wool over my eyes. For example, my oldest used to tell me when I asked about homework, that he'd done it all and everything was fine. He was lying. He failed some classes. Since then, his Dad checks his online parent portal web thingie every day for missing assignments and such. If an assignment is missing, he requires our kid to see the teacher and account for the situation. He checks this every single day even if the boy says everything is fine. Some teenagers would get all huffy and yell about how we "don't trust him." Well no, we don't. We've been given reasons not to.

But we're not enemies to our kids. We're not hated adversaries. Consequences are only dished when they are appropriate and fair, not because we are "mad at them." Rewards happen when deserved. We do fun things as a family, and legitimately care about each other. I haven't the slightest concern that my sons are going to grow up hating me for reading their texts. In fact sometimes it breaks the ice for us to have a good conversation about something that's troubling one of them. Sometimes they come away from it with some good advice or reassurance and they feel better.

EDIT: Also, I don't do this often, reading the texts. I just make it clear that it could happen any time, and do it occasionally. Like every several months, randomly.

And it's really something to me, that guys are responding this way about the birth control...do you feel the same way about parents getting their sexually active daughters to take the pill? Or do you simply think a teenage boy should have some kind of a right to knock up chicks and then not participate in raising offspring? I don't get it. Of course he'd have input as to such a decision, we'd have to go have a doctor do the injection IF it were even available right now, and he'd have to agree to it. Did you think I was gonna tie him down or knock him unconscious? How is this form of birth control an invasion of his dignity if it's safe? Are pelvic exams an invasion of a teenage girl's dignity? Girls have to get one, to get the pill, you know.

I just find that response confusing.

IF my son were sexually active, and IF that method were available, I would definitely do my best to talk him into getting it, so long as I was assured of its safety and reversability.
What does snooping accomplish though? Let's say you go into your kids room and see a used condom in the trash. You seeing it doesn't take back the sexual act. Your son or daughter still isn't a virgin anymore. If you mention it to your son or daughter, it's just going to prove 2 things. One, you don't trust them. Two, they can't trust you to not go snooping.

You say you treat your kids like people whose judgment can't be trusted yet, all that tells me is that you don't trust your own parenting skills. My kids aren't perfect by any means. They'll tell little lies about where they're going to get me or my wife to let them go. They'll test us by trying to bend the rules we set. When they lie about where they're going, we usually get a text after they leave telling us where they've really gone. We do trust our kids and it's because we trust them, that they trust us.

If my son or daughter were to come to us and say that he got somebody pregnant or that she was pregnant, we wouldn't be mad. That wouldn't do any good. We can be as mad as we want, he still got somebody pregnant or she is still pregnant. Would we be disappointed? Yes. They are both good kids with a lot going for them and having a child would completely change their life. That and I don't want to be a 36 year old grandpa and I'm sure my wife doesn't want to be a 34 year old grandma.

My daughter is on the pill and has condoms (can't depend on the guys to always have condoms you know) and my son does have condoms. We don't condone them having sex, but if they have it, we promote safe sex. That's basically all you can do. You can't go on their dates with them and if you try to discipline them when you think they're fooling around, then they'll just want to do it more and then you're likely to have them having unprotected sex and being afraid to talk to you if something does come out of it.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,871 posts, read 6,324,102 times
Reputation: 17798
Best way to put this...when I find myself struggling to get my point across, I seek analogies, so here goes...

My husband. I'm his third wife. The other two cheated on him. While we have been together for 17 years, and I have never cheated on him or even come close, and while in his logical mind he KNOWS that he's not no reason not to trust me, in his heart he sometimes feels insecure. I love him and I don't want him to stress. He has access to my computers, he knows the passwords to my emails, and if I caught him looking through my Facebook messages or checking out my texts on my phone I would not feel invaded or threatened. If it makes him feel better to see with his own eyes that everything is fine, I'm actually quite ok with that. I have no secrets from him. We love each other. I don't feel a need to snoop into his stuff because I don't have that insecurity about him, but if I did, I'd expect to be allowed that access.

As for my kids, it is simply a known fact that while I may not do so very often, I might conduct this snooping of mine at any time. What would it serve for me to know? Well, again, if my son knocks some girl up because it was "none of my business" and I assumed nothing was going on and didn't discuss the relative effectiveness of birth control forms, etc. IT WOULD BE MY PROBLEM. My 15 year old can't pay child support. Condoms are all I can offer him and they are a joke. Just not reliable. I know from experience. So, knowing that things are getting that serious with him and his girlfriend would let me maybe have some conversations with both of them. EDIT: Or change the tone and content of conversations I'd be having anyhow. I already talk to him all the time about this sort of stuff. But I haven't talked to his girlfriend. If I thought they were actually sexually active, I would. I'm sorry but this stuff is too serious to take on blind trust.

Really, the times in my life that I have stomped my feet and wanted privacy from people who generally meant me well, such as my parents, were the times I was wanting to get away with something I shouldn't have been doing. Sure enough, my Mom was wanting to be my friend and "trusted me" and I took advantage of that for all it was worth. I do trust my parenting skills...and that's why I haven't stopped using them. If my 15 year old was grown up to make his own decisions just based on what he's learned thus far, I'd be taking him to look at apartments. But we're not there yet.

Funny thing is, my sons are less upset than a few people in this thread seem to be, about the situation. They both take the same stance I do towards my husband...I've got nothing to hide, and if it will make you feel better you can feel free to check. Heck, nowadays most of the privacy people think they've got is illusory anyhow. The NSA can read my texts, and they sure don't love me and have my best interests at heart.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:08 PM
 
405 posts, read 388,528 times
Reputation: 464
All of the things you said your husband has access to of yours can all be deleted. Now, I'm not saying you're cheating on your husband or ever would, but if you did happen to be seeing somebody else and the main way of communicating with each other was texting, you could delete every text from him in just a few seconds so your husband not seeing a text doesn't mean it never existed. The others, such as Facebook messages and emails are a bit different because he can't check those from anywhere, but for the texts, he needs access to your phone. Once again, I'm not accusing you of anything, but I am saying that it's easy to hide texts from somebody.

I dated a girl for a short time after I graduated high school. She told me that she had been cheated on by every guy she ever dated and had trouble trusting people. Now, the way she said it and the way she acted around me, you could tell that she was the type that thought if you went on one date with somebody, that you were a couple. So basically, she was saying people that she'd gone out with one time were cheating on her because they went on dates with other people as well. This girl was at my house and I wasn't quite ready yet. She was driving because my car was in the shop for some reason. So, she was at my house and I was in the bathroom getting ready. Now, I lived in a studio apartment at the time so my whole apartment was visible to her from the living room except for the bathroom and there was a wall blocking the bedroom, but it wasn't an actual room. I come out of the bathroom and I don't see her at first, but I hear a noise in my bedroom so I go in there. She was in there going through my texts and I just blew up on her. I didn't get physical with her, but she probably thought I wanted to and I guarantee the neighbors thought I did. This was a girl that I'd only known for maybe a month so I trusted her to not try to kill me on the way to a date, but I didn't trust her enough to go through my personal things. We didn't even make it to our date, I just dumped her right then. I have no time for petty jealousy and that's all that was from her.

I met my wife about 2 months later and have never experienced any jealousy from her and I was always getting hugs and sometimes even quick kisses from women that were complete strangers to her. I have shown her my phone before and have seen hers, but we have never asked to see each other's phone for the purpose of snooping. We'll use each other's phones to make calls if our battery is almost dead or if it's somebody that one of us has in our contacts, but not the other one. Those things happen. For instance, she wanted to surprise one of her friends for her birthday. I'm friends with her friend's husband so I have him in my contacts while she has only had 1 reason ever to text/call him instead of her.

I'm sure it has a lot to do with how we're raised. I can't say how you were raised obviously, but I was raised in a household with absolutely NO jealousy between my parents. My dad used to be a bouncer at a strip club and a lot of times would get a call from one, or several, of the girls saying they couldn't find a ride to work and he would go get them. My mom never questioned it and to this day, they both say he never cheated on her. I hope that's true, but I can't say obviously. I guarantee that he had the opportunity though, whether he took it or not was another matter. My wife says she was raised by a family with no jealousy either. She has no reason to lie about it, but I can't say for sure because her father had been killed by a drunk driver before I met her so I never got to meet him or see her parents together. I do have to believe her though because I have never witnessed any jealousy from her.

As far as the snooping on your kids goes, you can say it would be your problem if your son gets a girl pregnant and while that part is true, snooping doesn't deter sex. Kids, typically, don't send texts to their girlfriends or boyfriends saying things like, "I wish you were here so we could ____." Even if they were to send a text like that, it more than likely wouldn't be their first time so if they've already been doing it, the girl could already be pregnant for all anybody knows.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,871 posts, read 6,324,102 times
Reputation: 17798
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdlee3_46041 View Post
...
I met my wife about 2 months later and have never experienced any jealousy from her and I was As far as the snooping on your kids goes, you can say it would be your problem if your son gets a girl pregnant and while that part is true, snooping doesn't deter sex. Kids, typically, don't send texts to their girlfriends or boyfriends saying things like, "I wish you were here so we could ____." Even if they were to send a text like that, it more than likely wouldn't be their first time so if they've already been doing it, the girl could already be pregnant for all anybody knows.

Sure. But I'm reassured by what I see. They were discussing a mutual friend who (rumor has it) has become sexually active, and why neither of them thinks it's a good idea at this stage in life. It was a very candid conversation I saw, and it made me feel better about things. Which honestly is a big reason I look, and also a big reason my kids don't really mind... I just think it's funny that a person would think that a kid that is "raised right" would never lie to a parent and should simply be blindly trusted. Adults can't even always blindly trust each other, even when they've got every reason, and I remember what it was like to be a teenager.

Sometimes with my younger son I will ask if he has brushed his teeth before bed and he says he did, and I tell him, I will check if your toothbrush is wet, and he's like "OK you got me. I didn't. I'll go do it." There are times when if the boys know I'll check up on them, it helps keep them honest. Kids aren't always the same, people aren't all the same and what's right for one set of parents isn't right for all. Despite my "snooping" we do not have a stressful or antagonistic environment in our home, we are pretty comfortable with each other, and I don't see either of my boys winding up in therapy for a "controlling mother" simply because I cared enough to follow up and follow through.

My 15 year old does not get treated just like an adult, because he isn't one yet. When he's not my problem anymore, when I don't have to pay for his mistakes, then he can have all of the privacy he wants. In the meantime I've got to try and guide him in a good direction and I need all the tricks I can pull outta my sleeve.

Also, I'm aware of plenty of instances where teens talked dirty or even sent nude images to each other, so it's silly to think that a parent would never be able to catch a kid with something like that. And sure, I could delete texts from my phone before my husband had a chance to look, but it's not like he actually does it all the time or anything. And none of that is the point. The point is, in my immediate family, I'm not in the business of encouraging any of us to keep secrets from the rest. I don't care if my husband needs to look at something to reassure himself. I have nothing to hide, so if it makes him more comfortable he can go ahead. My sons feel similarly about these things, especially my oldest. Of course if my son WERE sexually active, I would not want details, any more than he wants details about what my husband and I get up to!
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:10 PM
 
405 posts, read 388,528 times
Reputation: 464
Obviously teens do send dirty pics and talk dirty to each other. I do understand that. I do think it's also safe to say that that if a boy sends a dirty picture to a girl and the girl participate by sending some of her own or just asks for more, it's quite possible that she is sexually active or at the very least, extremely interested. Girls that haven't been naked in front of other people tend to be much more protective of their bodies than boys are.

You're missing the point though. If I was a 15 year old boy and a girl sent me a naked photo of herself and I know that my mom might check my phone, it's simple to look at the picture and then delete it from their phone. It's very easy to transfer the photos to a computer and save it on a flash drive. A flash drive is extremely easy to hide so I could look at it anytime I want with very little chance of it being found.

Also, your kids are accepting of it because that's the type of family they've grown up in. They see you and your husband looking through each others things and accept that as ok. My wife and I have never gone into either of our kids rooms looking for evidence of something so if we were to all of a sudden do that this weekend, they wouldn't handle it so well. In fact, the fact that we haven't done so I believe makes it easier to for our kids to not have things they shouldn't have. Just because we haven't done so in the past doesn't rule out the possibility of it in the future. So my kids can sit there and think, "Well, we could do this, but what are they chances of mom and dad actually coming into our rooms and seeing this the one time we actually have something we aren't supposed to?" The point is, you build a level of trust with your kids and you will see that they trust you as well. Just because somebody is 15 doesn't mean they aren't trustworthy. I wouldn't trust them to pay the bills obviously because that would be silly, but it doesn't mean that they have some great conspiracy going on behind our backs either.

You are obviously entitled to snoop all you want. The question for the topic though was "Would you want to know if your kids lost their virginity?" If nothing comes out of it, such as pregnancy or an STD, then honestly what does it accomplish to know? Also, you can talk to kids about sex all you want and maybe you can talk them out of making a rash decision to go jump in bed with their boyfriend or girlfriend, but eventually they'll have the temptation when you aren't around to talk them out of it and if it's something they really want, they'll do it. There is a reason why teenage pregnancy is such a problem in this country and rape only makes up a small percentage of them which means the vast majority of the time, both kids consent. There may be regrets afterwards, but they are at least ok with it when it happens. A lot of these kids have parents who gave them the sex talk, snoop through their things, and do whatever else they can do to make it seem like sex is a dirty thing.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:31 PM
 
Location: North America
14,212 posts, read 9,643,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Wow. Hostile much?

Neither of my kids are 18. I fully expect them to get out of my house when they are old enough, or shortly therafter. Otherwise they'll be paying me rent. And if they live under my roof they will respect some rules of mine. My home isn't a frat house, not now and not ever.

I know that life is hard. As someone who managed to bootstrap her own family from homelessness to middle class over the course of the last 15 years, yet still...it could all fall apart at any time. But my sons aren't disposable to me, they won't treat other people as though they are disposable, they won't be users, and I hope I'm instilling enough self respect so that they also won't allow themselves to be used. I expect lots of lessons need to get learned the hard way regardless. That's life. I'm certainly NOT protecting them from every little scrape or hardship.

I am trying to protect them (not to speak of the girl involved) from conceiving offspring before they are old enough to have the faintest idea what they are doing with their own lives. That's being overprotective?

As for dignity, I don't haul out my sons' private text convos for the world to see. My kids know I check on them from time to time because I have told them to expect that. But I don't shame them about anything. I don't even mention it unless I'm concerned about something. And the injection thing is, as far as I'm concerned, the equivalent of a girl getting on the pill...where is the harm to dignity if parents and son decided to go that route? I'm just happy it exists, and hope it becomes a widely available option. Right now there's nothing but abstinence that is as effective for guys as the pill is for girls. I don't think that's fair.
And perhaps because of that they censor conversations you could find .
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:34 PM
 
Location: North America
14,212 posts, read 9,643,692 times
Reputation: 5537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Best way to put this...when I find myself struggling to get my point across, I seek analogies, so here goes...

My husband. I'm his third wife. The other two cheated on him. While we have been together for 17 years, and I have never cheated on him or even come close, and while in his logical mind he KNOWS that he's not no reason not to trust me, in his heart he sometimes feels insecure. I love him and I don't want him to stress. He has access to my computers, he knows the passwords to my emails, and if I caught him looking through my Facebook messages or checking out my texts on my phone I would not feel invaded or threatened. If it makes him feel better to see with his own eyes that everything is fine, I'm actually quite ok with that. I have no secrets from him. We love each other. I don't feel a need to snoop into his stuff because I don't have that insecurity about him, but if I did, I'd expect to be allowed that access.

As for my kids, it is simply a known fact that while I may not do so very often, I might conduct this snooping of mine at any time. What would it serve for me to know? Well, again, if my son knocks some girl up because it was "none of my business" and I assumed nothing was going on and didn't discuss the relative effectiveness of birth control forms, etc. IT WOULD BE MY PROBLEM. My 15 year old can't pay child support. Condoms are all I can offer him and they are a joke. Just not reliable. I know from experience. So, knowing that things are getting that serious with him and his girlfriend would let me maybe have some conversations with both of them. EDIT: Or change the tone and content of conversations I'd be having anyhow. I already talk to him all the time about this sort of stuff. But I haven't talked to his girlfriend. If I thought they were actually sexually active, I would. I'm sorry but this stuff is too serious to take on blind trust.

Really, the times in my life that I have stomped my feet and wanted privacy from people who generally meant me well, such as my parents, were the times I was wanting to get away with something I shouldn't have been doing. Sure enough, my Mom was wanting to be my friend and "trusted me" and I took advantage of that for all it was worth. I do trust my parenting skills...and that's why I haven't stopped using them. If my 15 year old was grown up to make his own decisions just based on what he's learned thus far, I'd be taking him to look at apartments. But we're not there yet.

Funny thing is, my sons are less upset than a few people in this thread seem to be, about the situation. They both take the same stance I do towards my husband...I've got nothing to hide, and if it will make you feel better you can feel free to check. Heck, nowadays most of the privacy people think they've got is illusory anyhow. The NSA can read my texts, and they sure don't love me and have my best interests at heart.
Condoms are very reliable if used properly. If used with another contraceptive than the chance of pregnancy is slim to none.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:00 AM
 
405 posts, read 388,528 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidkitty View Post
And perhaps because of that they censor conversations you could find .
I agree. My kids are smart enough that if they knew we were going to be checking their emails, texts, Facebook messages, or anything else they might use, they would definitely delete any messages that could get them in trouble or at least make us question what they're up to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidkitty View Post
Condoms are very reliable if used properly. If used with another contraceptive than the chance of pregnancy is slim to none.
I agree with this too and lets not forget that condoms are used to prevent the spread of disease also, not just to prevent pregnancy. Even if condoms are only 60% effective, you still have a better chance of avoiding pregnancy and disease than you have without them.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:26 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,489 posts, read 50,728,421 times
Reputation: 60512
My daughter asked me if I wanted her to tell me. I said NO!
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,871 posts, read 6,324,102 times
Reputation: 17798
Obviously a condom is better than nothing. But I conceived my oldest son while that was our form of protection, condoms with spermacide. It didn't fail in any noticeable manner (in other words, it fit properly and did not break) yet I got pregnant. My son knows about this.

I really don't think my kids go out of their way to censor their conversations. As I said, I'm not in there looking at everything all the time. It's rare and random, but I do reserve the right to do it. I don't think my teenagers have the sacred right to do whatever they want and I should wear blinders and just hope they tell me, or hope they can handle the consequences and prefer they don't tell me. I care what they're up to. I'm involved in their lives. And they don't hate me for it, in fact if anything they seem to want me involved, if it's any indication how often they come to me for my input. I walk a very careful line between being a "cool Mom" and a "not your best friend/strict parent Mom." In some ways I'm very permissive. In some, lines are drawn, expectations exist, and consequences are enforced. But I will never agree with those who just shrug and say that teenagers will do whatever they want and there is nothing a parent can do about that, therefore a parent has no obligation to even try to direct a teen's behavior. If they are a train wreck, oh well, what could I do? That's how my Mom was...and I took it to mean that I had unlimited permission to skip school, do drugs, and have sex with anyone I wanted to. I turned out OK but it was no thanks to her, she was helpless and I walked all over her. I'm not interested in doing that with my kids.
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