Should You Spy On Your Child Or Teen’s Activities

Emery

SPYING:

Reading through your child or teen’s text messages to see what they have been up to with friends, look for information on a boyfriend or girlfriend, or check if they’ve said anything about you as a parent.

CAREFUL PARENTING:

Looking at your child or teen’s most recent calls if you are genuinely worried where they are; looking at the text message billing records through your cell phone company; demanding your child or teen surrender their phone (that you pay for as a parent) for a search if you truly suspect suspicious activity.

WHY? Going through a child’s personal communications out of pure curiosity is an invasion of privacy. Instead of sitting your child down for a one-on-one chat to catch up on each other’s lives, you instead rely on second hand information that may be understood incorrectly when out of context. If you should find something questionable or hurtful (perhaps said in the heat of the moment and then forgotten), this could be akin to reading your child or teen’s personal diary. We all have the right to vent to friends privately, as well as keep certain thoughts private from parents.

This is an atrocious behavior that most parents possess and this is what drives their child away from them as the latter feel that their parents’ intrusion is akin to keeping them in a gilded cage. Therefore, parents should look after their smartphones as duplicate apps are designed to steal personal info, which they can learn to tackle from https://spyphonetools.com/how-to/how-to-find-hidden-apps-on-android/.

However, if the phone is under your name and bill, you have the right to monitor suspicious activity (perhaps you see that calls are being made on your bill after everyone is asleep, or text messages are being received from an unfamiliar area code). This does not infringe on anyone’s rights – as a parent, you are providing your child with a luxury that they may be taking advantage of, or even conducting illegal activity with. As such, you have the right to reasonably ask them what is going on and warn them of the consequences.

SPYING:

Going through your child’s notes or journals to find usernames and passwords to online accounts; searching through purses or backpacks to look for notes or information on personal lives; periodically going through bedroom drawers, closets, and personal items.

CAREFUL PARENTING:

Asking your child or teen about their online usage; setting up a childsafe filter on the internet access at your residence; carefully allotting computer and online time for school and play at home; glancing over your child’s bedroom every so often; investigating a suspicious looking item or note left out in a public area.

There is a fine line between keeping tabs on your child or teen in their youth, and breaching their privacy as they grow older. My mother always told me how lucky I was to have a bedroom I could consider my sanctuary – her mother used to constantly go through my mom’s drawers, papers, desk, everything. There wasn’t really a reason behind it – she was just nosy and wanted to see what my mom kept private. This memory still stays with my mom today. As a child, it is a big deal to have a place to call one’s own and keep things hidden or safe. Especially since as a young child or teen, there is not much to call unequivocally your own. Having a respected private area, whether it is a desk drawer or entire bedroom, is something that can ease many young minds and lead to much more happiness in the household.

Of course, if this mutual respect of privacy is breached – say by bringing something not allowed into the house and hiding it in the private bedroom you allow your child – then this privilege of a personal space is no longer being respected. It is important to be teaching mutual respect while respecting your child’s privacy. Otherwise, they may take advantage of the fact in dangerous ways.

So, it is definitely a hard balance to keep when deciding on whether or not to “spy” on your children. The important part to think about is being in their shoes – what kind of checking up would ultimately hurt the child if they found out, and what would prevent them from hurting themselves?

The Spy Who Gave Birth To Me

Emery

I feel there is one very important word that should close down the “To Spy or Not To Spy” debate: Trust. Looking over your kids’ shoulders not only shows that you don’t trust them to know the difference between right and wrong, but it also violates any trust that they had in you. But if that’s not enough, how is this?

If a kid wants to do something enough, they will find a way to do it behind your back. You can close all of the windows and doors, and they will find a mouse hole somewhere to escape through–and unless you intend to literally watch them every second of every day, they will find a way to explore the things you have placed an interdiction on. I use as a case in point example, a girl I dated for a while without her mother’s knowledge for almost two years. This is a fact of life, and is not an indictment of your children as “bad”–they are human.

Instead of trying to build a parental panopticon around your children, build instead an environment in which they are not afraid to talk to you about the things they are thinking about and talking about with friends. Instilling the knowledge of morality and trusting them to come to you for wisdom is a far better solution than hovering around them and not allowing them to live their lives. Obviously, you’re not going to get 7-year-old Johnny a six pack, but as he gets older, you don’t need to keep as much of an eye on him. I know that this works, because it’s the dynamic that my mother and I had before I moved out, and I have already written about her wisdom.

It is this watchful behavior that puts children off and they start becoming annoyed with your presence that acts as a catalyst for them to drift further away from you as they find your presence intruding and they would rather be living in a boarding school than here.

Bear in mind that giving them the freedom to make their decisions means that they will sometimes make stupid decisions, and they will sometimes get hurt. However, they are also at risk of slipping and breaking an arm or a neck in the shower–and I sincerely doubt that you intend to get in the shower with them to save them from that. I have been able to talk to my mother about just about anything, and to get her opinions, wisdom and information on the subject. If I take her thoughts on board, and go ahead and do something she disapproves of anyway, there is only one punishment that really gets through to me: Not being grounded or spanked, not having my car taken away; my mother’s disappointment.

What this all also requires goes back to my original point: Trust. Learn to trust your kids, and be there for them when they need you.

Great Birthday Party Idea For Boys Ages 4 And Up

Emery

My older girls and I pondered what to do for a theme for my 5 year old son’s birthday this year, then we suddenly had a brainstorm. Something we had never done before. A robot party! The activities for the event were so much fun for my older girls as well as myself to plan and put together, I just had to share! It started out with the great old standby, musical chairs, followed by “Pin the Battery on the Robot, which was great fun to put together, then the “Robot Wrap”. I’ll explain all of these activities more in detail.

Pin The Battery on the Robot

Getting this activity prepared was was a blast for my 15 year old as well as my 11 year old girls. First, they cut out the robot head, body, arms and legs from some cardboard from around the house. Then, they taped all the robot’s parts together with duct tape so it would stay secure. After that, they wrapped the entire robot in aluminum foil. Once that was finished they put all the finishing touches on. Out of construction paper they made his eyes, mouth, and on his body they included lots of different colored circles in rows for the robot’s control panel. Each button on the control panel was labeled for a specific task like, backward and forward. It also included labels for specific body parts such a left arm, right arm, and left and right legs as well. To finish it off, they used a black marker to draw a rectangle onto the robot’s body as the spot for pinning the battery on the robot. Once that was completed, they made a battery from cardboard, then glued on black construction paper cut to fit the cardboard. Next they glued velcro to it’s backside, as well as to the rectangular spot that the battery was to be pinned to already drawn on the robot’s body. Voila, There you have it. Just tape it up on the wall and let the kids have a blast!

Robot Wrap

This is a really fun activity and it was this activity that swayed my son from wanting a Chuck E Cheese party to doing this party instead. Its the same concept as the mummy wrap done at Halloween parties only you use aluminum foil to wrap the kids in rather than toilet paper. What a blast everyone had doing this! We coupled everyone up. Beforehand we had made large sheets of aluminum foil from an industrial sized roll. Each couple got one sheet for the body, each arm, each leg, the body and head. Make sure to make the pieces of foil larger than what you actually need for good tight crimping so it stays on well, over doing it won’t hurt! Then the pairs of kids took turns wrapping each other with the foil. A couple pairs were very creative with their head pieces which made things interesting. One of my oldest daughters was the judge and she found it really hard to pick the winner, all of them were so cute! Everyone will have a lot of fun with this activity, trust me!

The Robot Dance Contest

To wrap up the games we ended with a robot dance contest. We played music that sounded similar to what a robot would sound like, I let my older girls decide what those songs should be. All the kids tried so hard to impress the judge with their moves it was really hard for me as the judge to pick the winner.

The cake was homemade, and was made into a robot as well. My husband made this tried to tie it in to looking similar to the robot that was made for “Pin the Battery on the Robot”. He was shaped like a robot with white frosting. Then we made his control panel and face from candy Jujubees, Crows, and small cinnamon candy. This cake really turned out great and my son couldn’t stop talking about it!

This party theme was a winner for us, I know it will be for anyone else who wants to try it too! Have fun!

For children, birthday parties are an occasion of celebration where they can frolic around with no worries and the one where their parents do not restrain them from doing anything that the please but leave them out to enjoy this moment that comes but once a year, speaking of which, it has become all the more difficult to envisage birthday party ideas for each year because kids’ demands keep on increasing as they grow up and they want their birthdays to be grander and grander every year so you can imagine the plight of parents in thinking up innovative stuff for the sake of their child’s happiness.

Things to Keep Away from the Bathtub when Young Kids Bathe

Emery

I don’t think anything of it when the kids want to take a bath, I usually just show them the hot and cold faucets in the tub and let them know where the soap, shampoo and conditioner is and lay out a few fresh towels and let them splash around in the tub with reckless abandon. However, the younger kids have taught me a thing or two about what to put out of reach when you’ve got kids in the tub, and what to put out for them instead. 

Unless you want a 6 year old shaving their legs with your razor, it’s best to put that sucker away when they’re bathing. Also, remove the bar of soap so they don’t slip on it or pop it out of their fingers so it lands in the toilet. Instead, supply an anti-bacterial pumping hand soap for them to bathe with to avoid bathroom mishaps.

Take away the nice shampoo and conditioner YOU use, unless you don’t mind your expensive products being poured all over in the water so the kids can have a bubble fest after they get bored washing their hair. Supply a cheaper product (like VO5) or a kid’s shampoo and conditioner that you don’t mind them dumping out all over so you don’t have to replace your $40 bottle of shampoo after a half hour adventure in the tubby.

Supply water bath toys so the kids can have fun in the tub. I have little rubber ducks that the kids can play with, and grape bubble bath that keeps them from whining in the tub. I also take out my body wash, nice wash cloths (I replace them with older wash cloths) and put away my blow dryer and straightener so the kiddies don’t get any ideas about trying to blow dry their own hair when they finally do pop out of the tub. It also keeps them from getting water all over my plug in accessories.

Hide the body lotion. Trust me. It WILL end up everywhere. Keep hair gels, hair sprays, and perfumes out of sight as well, and for that matter, any feminine hygiene products unless you don’t mind seeing your tampons ballooned out in the sink like big white fish.

Check on the kids often to make sure they’re not up to mischief. If you hear thumping around in there you better check it out. I caught the 6 year old bathing the cat in the water once, towels scattered all over the place to dry the sprawling, freaking out cat with. There was a towel in the toilet as well that got dropped in there when she was reaching the towel rack and dumped all the towels over.

Basically, my new rule of thumb in the bathroom is to clear it out just like I do when I bathe my dog. Anything I don’t want drenched, knocked over, dumped out, or ruined I put away before the kids hit the tub. The essentials I provide for them now (after trial and error) is a single towel, a cup for rinsing and playing, bath toys, a pump soap, a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, and an old wash cloth. I clear the counter space of anything that will draw interest and knock on the door every 5 minutes to check up on the adventurous bather. Putting up the toilet paper is a great idea as well if you don’t want a new sopping roll hanging off the holder. The less you have out on display in the bathroom when you have younguns bathing in there, the better off everyone will be.

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