How would you handle this dilemma regarding a daughter's confiscated cell phone?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Middleman, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Middleman
    Offline

    Middleman Defender of the month

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,907
    Thanks Received:
    289
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Northwestern United States
    Ratings:
    +289
    I'm trying to establish better communication with my 14 yr old daughter, my youngest and last child. She's fallen down on the job, as she's starting to spread her wings in her first year of High School. She's a great kid, strong-willed, highly intelligent, plays soccer, responsible student, and very pretty, blue-eyed blond adorable.

    So, because of the fact that she failed to get approval for going to her friend's house after school, I took her phone away for one week. I could have imposed a harsher judgement but chose to be rational and not over react.

    She's taken it well, we had a good talk about. The only thing is, I looked at her phone, and she's put a lock code on it, so I can't check it out to see what she's been up to. I feel that this is a continuation of her tendency toward secrecy. I'm sure she would be concerned about her privacy.

    So, I can either take the phone to the closest U.S cellular technician who has the ability to retrieve the code (60+ miles away), without my daughter knowing I was snooping, or else I can tell my daughter that I want the code. The third option is to continue to allow her to keep her privacy. I've never thought of snooping before.

    The issue with these cellphones is that, unlike earlier times when all calls came to the house, and parents knew who was contacting their child, these days it's much harder for parents to keep tabs on their child.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  2. Revere
    Offline

    Revere BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    7,427
    Thanks Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Watching you in my profile page
    Ratings:
    +415
    You have the phone. Who can contact her?

    Why not wait until you give it back to her?
     
  3. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    Unless you have reason to think she's in danger or doing something very bad, stop.

    She's at the age that she wants to appear secretive, it's part of separating. You could though, when you return the phone explain that your feelings were hurt that she seems not to trust you. Give her an example that works in reverse-information you wouldn't share with just anyone, but do with family.

    I used this a lot with my kids regarding the common courtesy of letting each other know where we are, this of course when they were adults living in my home during university breaks and such.

    Now if you have cause to think the worst, as the adult you have every right to curtail privacy for her. Then again, if that were the case, she wouldn't have the phone to begin with I assume.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  4. zzzz
    Offline

    zzzz Just a regular American

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,072
    Thanks Received:
    422
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Location:
    Yountsville
    Ratings:
    +429
    Trust. Do you trust your daughter? If you do you leave it alone. She may have the lock in case it was lost or stolen or to keep snooping peers from checking it out. It could also be her way of having a little privacy. When you get to that age you are feeling like you need a part of your world that your parents don't know about. Its part of the aging process. You start to feel independance.

    But it comes down to trust.
     
  5. California Girl
    Offline

    California Girl BANNED

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    50,337
    Thanks Received:
    8,960
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +8,965
    Sit her down, have a talk to her - honestly - about the issues you're concerned about regarding her cell, then hand it back to her. I think you're right to be concerned but if you lose her trust - you'll never really get it back.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  6. Baruch Menachem
    Offline

    Baruch Menachem '

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    14,204
    Thanks Received:
    3,235
    Trophy Points:
    185
    Ratings:
    +3,305
    YOu have the phone bill? All calls to and from are logged on the bill.

    As are all text messages.

    Unless you are afraid she is sexting (kind of early for that with a 14 year old) I would just check the bill. Which is what you should be doing anyway
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  7. Kalam
    Offline

    Kalam Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    8,866
    Thanks Received:
    773
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +773
    I wouldn't pry unless you have reason to believe that she's up to something. There's no point and doing so will only drive a wedge between you and your daughter. Unless parents intend on monitoring their children 24/7, children will always do things that parents don't necessarily approve of behind their parents' backs. I assume you did this, too, because I certainly did -- I think it's part of growing up as long as it doesn't involve anything dangerously illegal.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  8. Big Black Dog
    Offline

    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    22,912
    Thanks Received:
    5,108
    Trophy Points:
    260
    Ratings:
    +5,714
    I don't share the same joys about the marvels of the modern day cell phone as do most. For example, what does a high school kid need with a cell phone? One might argue that it's for the young girl's protection, ease of contacting the parents, etc., etc., etc., and a whole host of "good" reasons to have a cell phone BUT along with the potential good can come much concern and in some extreme cases, possibly danger. My wife was injured very badly in an automobile accident when a young person was texting while driving and that person drove head-on into my wife's car, killed himself in the process and has disabled her for the rest of her life. She nearly died because of her injuries. I would want to know explicitly why your daughter felt putting the lock on her cell phone was necessary and why she would not want you to openly know what her activities were regarding the cell phone. My reasoning is that if it has to be "secret" it is most likely involving some activities that you would not approve of. Who pays the cell phone bill? Is it you or is it your daughter? If you pay the bill, in my opinion you have every right to know what goes on with the cell phone in addition to the knowledge you should have as a parent. Your daughter is at a very impressionable age. Wanting to fly, but not yet ready to leave the nest. I think you need to be a bit more controlling for a while and that means demanding that she give you the code. If she refuses, then keep the cell phone until she does.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  9. SmarterThanHick
    Offline

    SmarterThanHick Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,084
    Thanks Received:
    240
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +240
    She's a teenage girl with a right to privacy. It doesn't matter if the things she does with that privacy is approved of by you or not at this point, you STILL can't intrude upon it. The teenage years are when we as human being try to establish individuality and social identity. This is in distinction to the family structure she has been defined by her entire life. The well known rebelliousness of teenagers comes as a result of parents attempting to prevent that inevitable search for social individuality. It's REALLY hard even without obstacles, and constrictive parents make the process even worse.

    So you're probably feeling a little helpless. That feeling, the reason you decided to ask complete strangers on the internet for help, is because you are a good and CARING parent. Don't let anyone, your daughter included, tell you differently. With that being said, you're probably wondering based on the above paragraph whether you should just be hands-off completely. The good news is that you have options to remain a helpful resource in her life. The bad news is that it can't be how YOU want to do it. It has to be only what she allows.

    Think of it like any other major event in her life, be it taking a big exam or playing a big soccer match. You're there to support her and cheer from the sidelines, and pray she kicks the winning goal without stumbling too much along the way.

    So that doesn't mean hands-off completely. You still have a number of awkward conversations to have with her. Without lecturing, she needs to be gently reminded of the short term consequences of the world. She's going to be exposed to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Her wings will not be the only things that she'll be spreading. You need to address these topics maturely and WITHOUT the premise of punishment for disobeying.

    Because she's a teenager. She's going to do what she wants regardless of how hard you fight it, and this is no different than times before cell phones. You can make life mildly more frustrating for her, at best, if you try to constrict her. Or you can give her the support and resources she needs to make her own good decisions.

    You're the parent. You're a GOOD parent. Your baby is not leaving you, so much as finding herself. Help her, and you'll both come out better for it in the end.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  10. geauxtohell
    Offline

    geauxtohell Choose your weapon.

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    15,125
    Thanks Received:
    2,153
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Out here in the middle.
    Ratings:
    +2,155
    I don't have kids, so take my opinion for what it's worth. However, I don't really see how you want to establish a relationship based on trust with your daughter while you are also spying on her.

    Why don't you just tell her that you don't appreciate the secrecy that has been going on when you give her the phone back which respects her privacy while also putting her on notice about your fears/suspicions/whatever?
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2

Share This Page