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Our daughter broke our trust

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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:00 am

Dear Teens2Teens: Our 16-year-old daughter told us that she would be going to a party with friends. We later found out that she went to said party with her boyfriend only and they were alone for 3 hours. When she returned home, my wife and I insisted that she hand over her iPhone and password so we could view all of her text messages to and from this boy. Do you think this was too much of an invasion of her privacy? — A mom with Broken Trust

Response No. 1:

I understand why you might be in a difficult situation. As a teenager myself, I totally feel for your daughter wanting to be alone and out on her own. We want to act older than our age, but some of the time that doesn’t always work. Like in this situation. I do feel as if you have the right to go through her text messages. You are her parent, and as her parent you need to do anything you can do to keep her safe. You have the right to do this until she’s an adult. She broke the rules and lied, and so one of the consequences is a loss of trust between the parents and the child. I have actually been in the same situation as this, and even though I would hate to admit it then, I’m glad my mom took my phone because it taught me what happened when I misbehaved. But as a parent, you should also sympathize with your teen because teens will be teens. They are going to mess up sometimes; they’re not always going to be perfect angels, no matter how hard you try and make them. I hope you have good luck with this problem. I hope this helped!

Response No. 2:

If your daughter gave you no reason to not trust her, then yes, going through her phone would be an invasion of privacy. However, since she was not truthful from the beginning about who she was with, it is understandable for you to be concerned. Having an honest talk with your daughter about trust may help build better communication between you and her. It could also be beneficial to go over some ground rules concerning her phone privacy to prevent issues in the future. Take into consideration that if you pay for her phone bill, then you have the right to her messages if another trust issue arises. However, don’t abuse this power unless necessary because it could harm your relationship with her.

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Stephanie Hiatt

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