In Favor of Child Privacy

Parents, It’s Time to Stop Going Through Your Child’s Phone


Lily Timmer

Teens use technology for lots of things, including communicating with peers, and parents should respect the privacy of that communcation.

Lily Timmer, Staff Writer

We all know that feeling. You’re handing your phone to your mom to show her a funny picture, she puts on her glasses, squints, and says, “I don’t get it.” You knew she wouldn’t, but as you try to take your phone back, she starts swiping. 

Your heart drops dead. It is your phone, your pictures, and your contacts. It is a look into your mind, an extension of yourself. It is too intimate for someone to look at the pictures that you took with your friends on your birthday, read the text messages you sent when you were angry and upset, and look through your strange search history which is your endless curiosity. It is unjustifiable, especially when there is no reason for your parents to look through your phone. 

When there is so little trust between a parent and their kid that the parent has to look through their phone, then someone is doing something wrong.

The older I get, the more outraged I am when parents read their child’s text messages or go through their phones. I feel that parents often don’t have a good reason to even look through their child’s phones in the first place. 

Personally, my father and stepmom have looked through my phone and they had no reason whatsoever to do so. It was simply because I had offended them by missing my bus and going to the library with my friends. It was ridiculous that they even took my phone, since the situation that had caused them to take it was a situation in which I desperately needed to be in contact with an adult or parent. Even more ridiculous was the idea that two adults spent that night reading through a teenager’s texts who had never before shown any dangerous behavior. 

I understand that blocking certain sites on Safari will stop young children from having damaging experiences online; but honestly, after that, there is no reason to look through a child’s phone. When parents are constantly monitoring and hovering over their children, they will not be able to grow and have their own experiences. Come adulthood, their kids will not be able to function on their own and will have to rely on their parents in everything they do. Kids are going to do things that their parents don’t agree with, but they still have to form their own opinions and find their own path in life. 

Teens spend a lot of time online, but that doesn’t mean they’re up to no good. (Lily Timmer)

It’s like all teachers say, “People learn from their mistakes.” Despite the world’s insistence on this idea, no one wants to admit that mistakes are necessary. Parents will still suffocate their children into getting top-notch grades and being picture-perfect families. If they cannot give us a little free reign, a little freedom, then we will never be able to flourish in this new technological world. If we learn from our mistakes, then let us make them. 

Even if a parent tells their child that they are going to look through their phone, that will only cause excess stress and distraction. Teenagers are already dealing with too much to have to worry about their own privacy and parents. We have jobs, school, drama, and so much more going on. This is the time where we find ourselves and figure out what we love and what we don’t, not worry about our parents stalking our phones.

A parent shouldn’t expect their child to come to them for comfort if they are reading through their texts. If a parent wants to be closer to their child, just let them come to you. It is better to form a natural relationship than to force it by betraying their faith and taking away the safe house and the warmth of being able to talk to a parent with confidence. 


When there is so little trust between a parent and their kid that the parent has to look through their phone, then someone is doing something wrong. If a parent is so concerned, then at that point it is a job for the police. A phone is a very personal device, and I feel that to look through your child’s phone is to break trust with them. 

There is so much going on in teenagers’ lives, and parents may never truly understand us and what we go through considering how quickly things can change from year to year. Without assurance, respect, and privacy, a healthy and strong bond will not be able to be formed between parent and child. Be adults, be reasonable, and let us just be kids again.