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Monday, July 13, 2015

Just Ask Joyce — Teen Privacy

Q: “How much privacy do you think a teenager should have? I know it is important for them to have their privacy, but only to a certain extent. Where is the line? So many teens are going down a bad and dangerous path, and I want to be able to prevent that with my kids.”

Joyce:  There are places for privacy — bathrooms and closets. Yes, your teen is going to expect privacy and deserves a degree thereof. Each household is different. Therefore, every parent will know the parameters that need to be set for each child. 

I was a snooping parent. (But don’t tell my kids!) I wanted to know what my kids were up to that they weren’t telling me. Some things I caught; some I missed. But I was a watchful, vigilant parent. We had great relationships with our children, but kids will be kids. They are busy testing boundaries, exploring their identities, and striving to be popular and cool. Sadly, even the best of kids sometimes find it difficult to say no to peer pressure.

Did I ever feel guilty about my snooping? After hearing disturbing stories in my career as a court reporter of parents who slept on the watch, not so much. I had one stab at protecting my kids from the world’s harm, and I seized every opportunity. Many parents part ways with me on this parenting style. But with the troubles surrounding today’s technology and our kids, I believe it’s even more critical that we make them accountable for what they text, watch, listen to, and read. Checking phones, computers, iPods, and other devices is a must. I would encourage every parent to have a healthy conversation as to the ground rules for devices. If your kids are not hiding anything, they won’t feel you’re intruding when you grab their phone to check their texts. If they object, take note.

Need family advice? Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources at Listen to my live talk show Monday through Friday on WFIA 94.7fm/900am at 3pm.


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