Parents often struggle with the boundaries of their children's privacy. When a mother is cleaning a child's room or putting away some clothing, the temptation to look at that crumpled stack of papers on the desk or flip through an unlocked diary or poke around the closet can be too strong to resist.

Especially if there's any cause for concern. And what do you do if you actually find something? Will you destroy your child's trust if you admit to an invasion of privacy? These are tough questions. I believe it is important to respect a child's right to privacy but only up to a point. Your child's safety is always the primary issue and concern.

Of course, the difficulty is trying to determine if your child's health or survival is actually at risk. Therefore, you need to be educated about the signs of substance abuse or depression such as marked changes in behavior or mood and/or onset of sleeping or eating problems.

Learn as much as you can so you can recognize the serious problem that probably your teenager is hiding. One of the best ways to manage this is to spend time alone with your child. This will provide opportunities for your child to share, when he or she is ready, what is actually going on.

Remember, teens are scared and they will want to talk to you if they can believe you will really listen and not judge them harshly.

Privacy is important. Teens want special space, usually their bedroom, which will reflect their moods, interests, and search for a sense of identity. However parents need to set some guidelines up front. Tell your child his privacy will be respected unless his behavior strongly suggests there is a serious problem, which he is denying.

Open communication is always the priority. But, if there are strong signs of trouble then you have to be strict and firm. Thus respect their privacy as long as it is not harmful, but a sign of trouble you must take the problem head on.

Source: Seasons India

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