BartSimpson wrote:kangaroocourt wrote:I'm not by any means saying that a child of any age has an absolute carte blanche moral right to privacy. However, I do think that as children get older they become entitled to certain age appropriate privacy. For instance, I think a teenager should be able to keep a diary and not have to worry about her parents reading it. Some things are more obvious than others...you wouldn't walk in on your 16yr old daughter while she is on the toilet or tape record her getting changed. Other things are debatable, like this internet thing. I tend to think an 11yr old is old enough to maintain a facebook account as long as I don't find out she is using it to surf porn or something.
With the responsibility, comes the authority. It's THE parenting principle.
You obscure your arguement for privacy with matters of common decency. Using "age-appropriate" implies a static condition based on milestones, when parenting can also be a proportional and appropriate response to immediate circumstances. IF your child was missing, would you honor this Code of Privacy and not look in her diary? On an average day, privacy is fine, but it is also necessary to conduct due diligence.
The "surfing porn" isn't the issue, it is the company your 11 year old keeps. Would you treat your 11 year old's school friends as her private matter?
Of course I wouldn't honor my child's right to privacy if they went missing, c'mon now. And as far as the age thing, substitute 'maturity' for age, I see where you are coming from there. RE: the common decency thing, point well taken....so we are on the same page with those things.
However, I don't believe that viewing the private messages of my daughter is any way to control or influence the company she keeps. I know that if I was 11yrs old and my parents looked at my communication with my friends, that in itself would be a huge incentive for me to keep company that my parents didn't approve of. By the age of 11, kids are going to choose their friends at their own discretion, in my opinion. I can't see how monitoring private messages would change that. All that being said, if my kid was giving me cause to be suspicious that she was involved in things she shouldn't be involved in, that goes out the window and I WOULD monitor those messages.
I think you are confusing my stance with some kind of militant 'live and let live' hands off principle, and that's not the way I feel at all. I just think that a kid can earn a right to be respected by acting respectful.