As far as I’m concerned, kids don’t have privacy and it doesn’t really matter what grade they’re in. So long as my name is on that 12-inch-tall stack of papers that obligates me to pay for the piece of property my child and I call home, my kid doesn’t have a right to refusal if I want to read her diary or unfurl those notes she passed in second period science.
In fact, my child should feel lucky to have a bedroom door at all — and if I feel like my child is doing something that even hints at being wrong, that door will be gone. I’ll read her email, I’ll rifle through her bookbag, I’ll toss her whole bedroom just to make sure I leave no scrap of questionable evidence undiscovered. Operating on suspicion is more than enough reason to check up behind your kids.
If you’re a fan of A&E’s addictive show Intervention (seriously, no pun intended), you know that on just about every episode, some poor mother is delivering a heart-wrenching monologue about her child’s prescription drug abuse or their cocaine habit or sometimes the eating disorder that’s consuming their life. But one thing I’ve noticed is there always seems to be an air of mystery about how the problem took root in the first place. I have a solution that could have nipped the problem earlier: Mama should’ve been doing some serious snooping.
I know we’d love to think that we have warm, fuzzy, and totally open relationships with our children, but sometimes moms have to step out of our idealistic fog and realize that in 2011, with so many influences and pressures prepped to take otherwise well-raised kids down the low road of God-knows-what, we have to hip ourselves to what our kids aren’t telling us.
Checking the belongings of your offspring isn’t the same as playing private investigator to your maybe, could-be, possibly cheating husband or boyfriend. It’s a labor of love, not confirmation of an ‘I gotcha!’ Maury Povich moment. And it can save your children from themselves. During a routine search and seizure in my daughter’s room, I discovered that she’d not only been bombing on her math tests and stuffing them into an obscure laundry bag — with notes attached sent home by her teacher for me to sign — but she had been writing these really dismal poems about her absentee father that put me on notice to get her some counseling.
Mothers who don’t snoop are the last ones to find out that their fifth graders are stealing kisses and touches in a secluded stairwell at school. Mothers who don’t snoop can find themselves at the mercy of their kids’ battles with depression, addictive behavior, bullying, hypersexuality, and social awkwardness. Mothers who do snoop are at times unpopular with their young ones, but as we all know — parenting ain’t no popularity contest. Still, snooping just might keep you from being one of the weeping main characters on the next installment of Intervention.
Do you think it's well within your right to check up behind your kids? Or is that an invasion of their privacy?
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