Is it OK to spy on your kids?

In a recent Pew Research study, 48 percent of parents say they’ve looked at texts and call records on their child’s phone

As kids get older, they will likely ask you for social media accounts and a cell phone. As their parent, you might agree to it as long as you can monitor what they’re doing. But when does ‘monitoring’ cross the line into spying? And do kids have a right to privacy?
Cole Trowbridge, 12, plays a game on his iPod. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)  – As kids get older, they will likely ask you for social media accounts and a cell phone. As their parent, you might agree to it as long as you can monitor what they’re doing. But when does ‘monitoring’ cross the line into spying? And do kids have a right to privacy?

In a recent Pew Research study, 48 percent of parents say they’ve looked at texts and call records on their child’s phone. The same number, 48 percent, know the password to their teen’s email account. Only 35 percent know the password to at least one of their teen’s social media accounts.

“They have a right to privacy from the outside world, but not necessarily within their homes and from their parents,” says wife and mom of five kids, Amber Trowbridge.

Just last month, IMPD reported an Indianapolis mom discovered an inappropriate relationship between her 17-year-old son and his 37-year-old school counselor. Court documents show the mom uncovered it by looking at her son’s text and Facebook messages. She brought what she found to police and now Shana Taylor faces nine counts of child seduction.

“I think there are times when you suspect or you know your child is into drugs or alcohol and you know it’s time to go through their room and you don’t need their permission to do that,” says Sherrie Bloemendaal, a licensed clinical social worker at The Cabin — a counseling and resource center in Zionsville.

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