Privacy is a complicated issue in parenting, and for a good reason. A parent like you has an inherent desire to see your child safe and happy all the time. If it means keeping your eyes peeled 24/7, you will do it. The only problem is that while your intentions are good, the impact this will have on your children isn’t.
Hard is it might be to accept. Your children are their own persons. This applies to every stage of their lives, regardless of the amount of help they’ll require from you as they go along. The best you can do as a parent is to teach them to be responsible for handling their privacy.
How can you do this?
Equip Their Privacy
Children need their own space to be alone. House rules like No Doors Shut steals from them opportunities to feel safe with their own thoughts. Giving them a room that they can call their own and design to fit their personality goes a long way. You can still ask them to keep from locking the doors, but you have to give them an explanation that they can agree with. This applies to all other rules you’ll impose. Children are better able to cooperate with their parents when they understand what the rules are for.
It’s not only from family members that children will need privacy from. If you’re residing in a crowded neighborhood where houses are in proximity, you’ll want to take safety measures. Don’t flock security devices stores just yet. Consider simple alternatives, such as installing a window film. Use blackout curtains, and teach your children to keep the windows closed at night or when they’re changing their clothes.
First comes practical means and discipline, and then the cool devices. Not the other way around.
Respect Them on Social Media
Social media is a complex platform. It’s intended for entertainment, but it’s easy to turn it into a source of a bitter family feud. One such feud that often occurs between parent and child is the uploading of not-so-flattering photos without permission.
Parents often try to get away with the excuse that they did it because they want to post happy memories. They were proud of their children’s accomplishments. They wanted their family and friends to know. While these are normal sentiments, they don’t validate overlooking a child’s permission. You have to ask, and they have to agree. After all, it’s their face that will be on social media for hundreds of people to see. Imagine your reaction if the tables were turned.
Invest in Good Communication
Children’s privacy scares most parents because they have poor communication with them. Those who spent time and effort to built trust in their relationship won’t have trouble giving their children space. It’s a rude awakening for most parents, but it’s essential to work on this while they’re still young. The older they get, the more they are likely to keep secrets. Worse, if they have trouble trusting you with their confidence, they’ll also make a habit of lying to get out of trouble.
Build trust. Develop healthy conversations. Their privacy won’t alarm you so much when you have these two things.
Love Them Anyway
Just as you messed up once in a while as a kid, so will they. Love them anyway. A child’s formative years, as well as their teenage struggles, are the times they need you the most.