If you are reading this, you are not invading our privacy. By all means, privacy is a personal right. As parents, we are dead serious about our privacy. However, we fail to realize that our kids need their share of personal space as well. Being a parent does not give us a passport for privacy invasion. So, how do we respect the privacy of our teenage son or daughter?
Offer them their Personal Space
Unlike the past, do not make a forced entry into their room and shout out orders from the door. Privacy is a genuine need during the teen years of life. So, it’s natural for them to feel the need for personal boundaries. Therefore, be courteous enough to knock the door before entering, and seek permission before opening their closets.
Don’t ask too many Questions
Don’t bombard them with endless questions. Accept the fact that they might not be able to share everything under the sky with you. At their age, they would be more comfortable sharing things with their peers as opposed to their parents. So, they will show signs of being secretive, which is a normal thing during the teenage phase of life. Unless you really feel that the kid has gone off-track, their privacy should not be an issue.
Parents have been poking their nose in their kid’s private life ever since the telephonic days. With the advent of Internet, spying has gone to a whole new level. Some parents have honed their detective skills in the pretext of teenage parenting. They go to any lengths and expense to feed their doubts. Unless you strongly suspect that anything is wrong, resist the desire to check their social networking accounts. If you build trust, you won’t have to indulge in these things. Let them know that you are available for them, whenever they feel like sharing their world with you.
Do not go digging into their personal belongings looking for clues. Do not spy their phones all the time. Moreover, do not try to listen to their conversations in a secretive manner. Do them a favor by avoiding all these Sherlock Homes activities. They might brand you as an ‘enemy’ if you do not stop your spying. By respecting their privacy, you will open the gateway for open and honest conversation.
Don’t Lecture Them
Kids hate nothing more than lecturing. Merely on the basis of suspicions, do not jump into lecturing them. Nagging, lecturing, and complaining don’t work. They fall flat on the ground. Respect their choices and don’t tell them what to do all the time. They might attend an event without letting you know about it. That’s just the teenage phase of life where they want to be secretive about some things in life. Try to articulate your thoughts in few meaningful sentences as opposed to blasting at them.
Set Clear Limits
While giving them the freedom of privacy is a must, there must be a clear set of rules and consequences for unruly behaviors. They should know their limits and not indulge in unacceptable activities such as consuming alcohol, drugs, etc. It’s a must to be clear about these things. It’s up to you to maintain a fine line between monitoring teens and respecting their privacy.
The price of parenting should not result in loss of privacy in your teens. Privacy deprivation might leave a bitter taste in their mouth. At the threshold of adulthood, teens love their privacy as much you love yours. Therefore, don’t forfeit their privacy. Privacy matters! So, don’t make them hate you when you are around.