Spying on Teenagers

Essay by nikas16Junior High, 9th gradeC, July 2009

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Spying on your teenage child is much debated topic all over the world. It is ultimately a decision that many, if not most, parents will be faced with at some stage of their child's teenage years. Whilst it can protect them from a lot of dangers in the world, it can also destroy a parent's relationship with their child. These are the two main reasons for and against the issue, and parents must decide which one means more to them. This decision can near on split a community into two. On one hand, parents have the right to look after the wellbeing of their child and in the world of drugs, alcohol, sex, peer pressure and drink driving that we live in today it's not hard to see why so many parents choose to spy on their child.

In a 1999 report by the Institute for Social research at the University of Michigan, about 62 percent of final year students reported having got drunk and about 42 per cent had used drugs.

Another survey shows that approximately 50 per cent of secondary school kids have engaged in sexual intercourse. And even if the parents completely trust their child to never do any of these things, there are still thieves, pedophilias, rapists, stalkers and murderers on an all-mighty high. It is within a parents nature to want there child safe and protected and to know what is going on in their lives at all times. But almost every teenager will face something at some time that they don't wish to involve their parents in and feel they can handle on their own. In most cases, parents recognise this but feel their child is too young to see their involvement would greatly assist them, but every time they try to involve themselves, whether it be by sitting them down and talking to them or just making small gestures to gain their trust, their child still will not want to engage them in the situation.

So parents start going behind their back to obtain information on their child's life. They may go through their mobile, inspect their room while they are out, speak to the friends of their child or even follow them when go out.

But what if the child notices things in their room have been moved around? Or a friend informs them that their parents have been talking to them behind their back? Or the child catches the parent following them? This is where the other side of the debate lies.

The action of spying on teenagers carries with it the great potential of destroying the relationship between the child and the parents and would probably result in the child losing all trust in them. It may make the child become even more distant, and the parents plan to get more involved in their child's life could backfire immensely. It may even make the child lash out and do something stupid to get back at the distrustful parents. Variations in parenting styles will always create controversy on whether the child's wellbeing or the parent's relationship with their child is more important. In some cases, the parents forcing their involvement may have saved their child from a lot of trouble, possibly even saving their life, for which the child is incredibly grateful. But in others, parents may only discover that nothing was ever bothering their child, and now there is no trust with between them and their teen, preventing any future times where the child may confide in their parents. Personally I think spying is acceptable, but it should only be used as a last resort when they feel their child is in serious danger. It is also important that the parents really consider what there putting on the line before they decide whether they will invade their child's privacy or not.

In conclusion, spying on your teen is an ongoing global debate that is ultimately a personal parenting choice. I personally think it is fine, when done in moderation and at appropriate times. But parents need to remember older doesn't necessarily mean wiser or smarter.