He goes through my phone, my computer and my room. I have a right to my privacy. I password protect my stuff and have fake social media so he won’t follow me. I don’t want to have to worry that he’ll see something and take it wrong. I want him to trust me, what can I do to get him to stop snoopin’?
Sick of it
Dear Sick of it,
First, the hard news! It is your Dad’s house - he has a right to know what’s going on in it. That’s just the way it is. Second, privacy is a privilege, not a right. Who said that? Oh yeah, my mom…. Anyway, it’s been this way since time in memoriam. Snoopin' that is, not the phone and computer thing.
Your dad, like many parents, wants to know what’s happening in your life. It’s likely that your world stopped revolving around him. He may miss that and be curious about what is taking you away from him. That coupled with being bombarded with news and studies about youth suicides, missing children, STDs, shootings, drug use and cautionary tales, it can weigh heavily on parents. They want to protect.
Ask yourself, would your Dad intentionally hurt you? If you are locking down your phone and social media, of course, he is going to be suspicious, and will wonder what’s going on. Sure, there are probably things that could be misconstrued and, if it comes up, use it as a teachable moment. Find out what he’s concerned about and when he tells you, listen and take it seriously. Take that opportunity to remind him that you were raised well and that he can trust your judgement. Try to put his fears to rest.
So here’s some real talk parents may not want to hear. It’s not okay for parents to snoop! Snooping is an indication of communication breakdowns. It breeds resentment.
Parents who justifying snooping on their kids are not taking into account that their child is capable of making their own decisions, and of doing pretty much anything at any time. What parents can do is to open up uncomfortable, and non-judgmental dialogue. Lead by example. Remember a child is another person and not a version of you to be molded into being the person you always wanted to be.
Keep in mind that trust and communication are two-way streets. Trust that Dad has your best interest at heart and be open to conversation. As far as getting him to stop snooping, I recommend you start by not hiding things from him. See how that goes.
Thanks for writing in.