In some homes it is not cool to use the word ‘spy’ or ‘spying’, yet it is something parents often indulge in when they suspect that a child is running around with the wrong crowd or may have brought something into the house which may be dangerous, illegal or incriminating and which may affect the whole family. As a parent you don’t want to be seen as spying on a child by going through his pockets while he is at school. That means you do not trust your child and he won’t be happy about it. Having said that, there are boundaries which should be discussed.
Your three-year old might close the bathroom door on you for the first time. Does it mean he is being rude? No, he simply wants privacy, and as a parent you have to respect this. There comes a time for all children when they grow from toddlers into preteens and then young adults and boundaries have to be established along the way. Just like you, a child has rights and needs privacy. At the same time, you are the parent and the owner of the house and have every right to know what goes on in your house. A parent might go into a child’s room to clean up and not read through his diary. A child might feel violated if you read his personal notes and scratched through his things. Sit down and establish boundaries. Your kids are growing all the time. They should know what is allowed and what is off limits.
Responsibility and accountability
If your child is neat, cleans his room, does his chores and meets all his obligations, there should be no reason to look through his things. Privacy is important for a child. He needs a place to go to where it is off limits for parents. You don’t want to be seen as prying or rifling through his drawers. He will not trust you, and you don’t want that. You want to raise an independent child. Some moms are famous for looking through their children's things. If you suspect that one of your children trolls the internet to talk to girls, do not go into the site without first telling him that you are going to do so. Let him have his own space; he is growing up.