Why Parents Should Spy on their Children

Me and James would make the perfect team. I sit like this in my house all the time. Watching, waiting with my gun. So I can shoot twisted, dark forces that are out to drag my children into dark pits of despair.

I spy on my children. I do it shamelessly. It’s true and I’m not going to hide it. I am the MOTHER agent of all CIA, FBI, MI6 and all the other kinds of abbreviated intelligence operations you can think of. “Bond, James Bond” and me would totally rock together. (Especially if he’s the Daniel Craig version.)

I firmly believe this world is a very twisted and dark place. There are pitfalls and Satanic traps lying in wait for my children in every dark corner of the school hall, every text, every innocent internet site, every smile from a member of the opposite sex…There is danger EVERYWHERE. Muggers, rapists, stalkers, druggies,child abductors, porn filth, sex videos on YouTube, teenage girls, teenage boys, playground bullies, even music with siren sexy lyrics. The list is endless. Which means, that I have to be vigilant. On guard. Pyscho ninja-assassin-censor-bodyguard-bouncer mother. That’s me. Because let’s face it. Kids can be really dumb. I used to be a kid, so I know. Kids are easily manipulated, coerced and led astray. They can be too trusting of their cool friends. Too smartass to listen to their parents. Too quick to jump when they should run in the opposite direction. Yes, kids can be really dumb. Even if they’re frightfully intelligent and responsible ones like mine. That’s why I have to spy on them.

I stalk them on Facebook, Bebo and hotmail. I hack into ‘secret’ accounts. I check their cellphones for phone sex messages. I scan computer history for porn sites. One of my son’s BEBO friends had a topless photo of herself as a profile pic. I told him – “Either you unfriend that girl and block her from your page, or else I’m calling her mother. Banning you from the internet.Carrying out a drive by shooting.” The photo was swiftly removed and the girl shamefacedly apologized. (Side note for parents, please if your daughter is online can you check if she has all her clothes on? Thanks.)

But I don’t just let it rest there. I know ALL of my kids friends. I have personally ‘interviewed’ each one of them – by inviting them over to my house and plying them with homebaked goods. I know their parents. I talk to their teachers. I don’t believe in locking my kids up ( get real, I live for the moments when i can offload them somewhere) But my children dont go ANYWHERE unless I go there too. And check it out first. They don’t sleep over at anyone’s house. They don’t ‘hang out’ in malls. They don’t go on teenage roadtrips. I know when all their school assignments are due and what they are/arent doing to complete them. I am the elite of all secret agents and it is my mission to know where these children are at all times and make sure they have everything they need to stay safe.

Some people say I’m too nosey. They say I’m trampling on my kids freedoms. “Your children need their privacy!” Rubbish. They can have all the privacy they want when they’re 21 and move out of my house. In the meantime, I believe parents need to be involved in their children’s lives. Be supportive, be encouraging – yes. But be James Bond too.

Why am I like this? Because these five children are my life. They are my sacred responsibility. Even when I’m sick to death of them. They are the most precious and divine blessings I will ever have. And I will do everything I can to protect them. Guide them. And prepare them for when they have to walk in this wild, tortured world by themselves.

(So JB and Sade, if you’re reading this? I love you. And I will never stop stalking you. So there.)

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19 comments

  1. I love this post! I feel the same way. I used to get so annoyed when my parents wanted to know everything about where I was going, what I was doing, who my friends were, but, like I tell my mom.."You know, I'm not quite sure, but I think you get smarter, every year…Now that I have kids, I realize that the nosy parent is, most often, the parent who cares a whole lot about their child. I will be nosy. And, as a bonus,our life stories will be turned into short stories and books..Nosy and a writer…how lucky are they? *insert evil laugh here*

  2. I rate this post right up there with the best of them. I feel you, sister. I (will soon) have 4 girls. They will all be teenagers at the same time, can you IMAGINE that? I want to be just like you and make it my sacred responsibility to protect my children from the wild tortured world as much and for as long as I can. Amen.

  3. Amen, Agent Double-oh (Size). I am totally on your (and James') side on this.I can't understand how parents let their primary school aged kids have Facebook accounts, especially if they don't monitor them! I regularly go through my 8yo sister's account and note all her "Friends" that aren't family and make sure they are immediately unfriended!And those innocent sites with online games for kids? My goodness, the spyware and porn spam that comes with them.Spy away, Detective. And know that I will be seeking your professional advice when it comes times for me to start spying on my kid.

  4. My kids are still young, but I'm the same way already. I give them room to breathe and feel free, but I'm always watching to make sure the are safe and out of trouble.

  5. Suppose you read their journals too just like someone else we know did. And look where that got to? Years of counseling. Nope, suggest you stick to badgers badgers badgers….and oh yeah. MUSHROOM!

  6. Hilarious Lani! I fully intend to shamelessly spy on and stalk my child (whose right to privacy is trumped by my right to protect, any and every time). One of the things I really admire about your parenting is you have the same rules for the boys. This is something I am trying to convince my partner of as he wants to lock up our future daughters till they are 25 yet encourage our son to have notches on the bed by 15 (I may be slightly exagerating and he may be teasing me but still!!!)

  7. I'm a young father – 23, and my daughter is turning 4 soon. But as soon as my daughter was born, suddenly the scales fell from my eyes (Like Saul in the bible). Immediately I understood everything my parents had been telling me. I now knew that they were right EVERY single time.My sister, 9, watches Disney channel most days. At first, I thought this was ok, until I actually watched it myself. These kids on TV are not much older than her, but nearly every program for "children" invloves some kind of sexual theme, or involves them pursuing relationships. We are not safe!I didn't plan to be a father so young, but I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I’m loving every minute of it. But now I understand what parents have to go through. I agree with you 100%. In a world that accepts promiscuity as an everyday thing, and accepts that sex, drugs, alcohol is accessible to children, we need to be “spies.” If we don’t do that job, no one else will. It’s better to prevent, that to regret. Keep posting things like this!

  8. Hahaha!!! This is great and I'd be doing the same as you. I have a 5yr old right now, and I watch him like a hawk. I'll be stalking him for the rest of his life, and I'm already letting him know that 🙂 Great post!

  9. I did this too. I installed Spector Soft on all our computers and followed my children everywhere. I looked at their sites and their friends' sites. I definitely got the goods on some of these friends. I told the mother whose daughter had the secret myspace page showing her nearly naked at a party where the attendants took pictures of themselves drinking and drugging. Her response? "Her friends set her up." Give me a break.But I have to say that I ended up with some mixed results and a child who ended up rebelling pretty hard.I still think that it is a parent's duty to not turn a blind eye, but I no longer believe that I can keep my children from making bad choices if they really want to make them.

  10. Lani, we stalk random unknowns on the internet, why not our own kids? I wish more parents were like you. Or even half like you because then there wouldn't be so many unsavouries roaming around the streets. I agree that kids need their freedom and it's not like you go to class with your kids and sit there with them all day (at least I hope not!)but there really is something to be learned from parents who are involved in their kids lives. Stalk away!

  11. Im glad that others agree with my approach – except for ANONYMOUS who keeps harping on about badgers and mushrooms (Thats my little sister by the way, everyone meet Pele the Beautiful AnonBlog Stalker.) Hey, Pele/Anon dont forget that it wasnt the fact that my mum read my journal when i was little, its the fact the MY LITTLE SISTER read my journal when i was little! *poking my tongue out at you*Paige – my children are really tired of me writing about them everywhere. Although, now my teenage son actually reads my blog – because some of his friends do and they tell him its funny and cool reading. (which makes him suspicious…thinks everything is about him of course…LOL)So yes, i agree being nosey abt our kids will give us heaps of writing inspiration.Bina – I continue to be shocked by how little so many parents know about their children and what they are up to. All the kids i see wandering the mall at 9pm, and walking the street past midnight – they must have some parents somewhere dont they? I was internet clueless until i realized i better get with it so i could know what my kids were doing on there.

  12. Andrew I loved hearing about your experience with parenting. I remember when Disney movies were the only thing me and my brothers and sisters were allowed to watch because my parents KNEW they would be G-rated family material. (which is why i know alllll the words to all the Disney classics) But now? Ohmigosh, Disney is pushing skanky hos and love/lust affairs as comedy entertainment. Ouch.TeineSamoa, the reason Im probably so vigilant with both my son as well as my teenage daughter is because…I know what my husband was doing when he was sixteen! LOL Im thankful my daughter isnt 'in' to boys yet. She still thinks they're stupid and childish creatures. And I like the relationship I have with my teen son. He's pretty open with me about stuff and I hope he will always feel like he can talk to me about everything.

  13. I had the opposite. My mother stalked me as a child and actually is still trying. She listened in on my phone conversations on a secondary line, read all my mail (outloud to others), searched my bags daily. My bedroom door wasn't allowed to be closed or locked. I wasn't allowed in my bedroom except to sleep.Friends were only allowed to come to my house and I wasn't allowed out of the room with them. They could only speak to me with here there.Thank god for school. Its why I didn't go insane.Never let me go anywhere without an adult relative even in my teens. She cried for months because I wanted to go to college and i had to blackmail her into letting me go. She called so much at college, my roommates complained and blocked her from the phone.So then she just showed up at the door because she couldn't reach me for the third time that day. I was 19 at the time. When I moved away for my own sanity, she sent the police to my house twice because I must be dead I wasn't home after dark on a weekend. It was around 8:30pm one evening.This was before the internet. I can only imagine how much fun that would have been. So spy but remember to let your kid breath as well or they'll hate your guts. I am an expert at subterfuge because it was the only way I could get any air when I lived at home. Tirz

  14. OMG…Go on with your bad self double 0 7..hehehe..seriously though, there is evil lurking around everywhere we turn these days. There's even a porn video of Elmo feat Katie Perry..I'm serious. And scarily enuff..you sound like my mother…#1 stalker aka undercover FBI agent..those were her names back in the days..and still uptodate. Even as a granma she still spies on me..i'm sure she's lurking around online reading my crazy psycho blogs as well..choohoo..And I will definitely be spying on my boys when they grow up..I'll put a passcode on everything and check their phones every chance I get..whooopps..watch out..psycho mother alert..

  15. I agree that we have to be involved in our kids lives. When we were growing up, it was easy for our parent's to "overhear" our phone conversations because we only had one phone in the house. With the internet, text messaging and such, our kids are able to have much more privacy. I monitor my kid's facebook pages, I glance at their texts sometimes, but mostly I try to talk to them. I definitely ply their friends with pizza, cookies and chips. Our house ALWAYS has lots of food and sodas. I try to let them have fun and not freak out when 10 teenagers are running through my house, still wet from the pool. When the kids hang out at your house, you know pretty much everything that is going on. It's amazing how much their friends will spill about your kids to you. My kids are getting older, 15 and 17. I try to talk to them a lot, spend lots of time with them, and help them make good decisions. My spying is lessening.

  16. Tirza, wow that really is the scary extreme! I dont think I could go that far. I think thats the challenge we face as parents, to find that line where we can walk – being involved in our childrens lives without being pscyhotic suffocaters. I know there have been times where I messed up and crossed the line and thankfully my kids have forgiven me for it. But I (hopefully) keep learning and keep getting better at this.Talli – Last year I did a stint of teaching at my teenagers school and was blown away by the porn that students were getting caught with. And this was in Samoa, a very 'sheltered' country compared with the USA and other more 'modern' countries. Jill, I like that. I have a good friend whos house is THE teenage hangout in the whole town. She's firm with the kids but she's so welcoming and friendly and always happy to have them over that kids always to go there. She does this because she would rather her children WANT to stay at home and hang out with their friends then go somewhere else to hang out. This is what Im trying to do. Its my goal to be the most coolest, friendliest teen house in West Auckland….I continue to be grateful that I took the time to talk to my children about their lives etc when they were little because now that the older two are 16 and 13, we are able to talk about most things. I hope that continues.

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