Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Parental spies or active participants in kids' lives?

Regarding "New era of snooping parents" (Feb. 21): It's interesting that the parents profiled seem to equate the concept of "snooping" with "involvement." No mention was made of what type of involvement these parents have in their children's lives. Snooping on kids is a whole lot easier and less time-consuming than actually being involved with their activities and interests.

I have three children, ages 22, 12, and 9. I have spent as much time with them and their activities as I have spent with my job. It would be nice to see an article about parents who make sacrifices to be involved in their kids' lives. Lee B. Zimmer St. Louis

I am a 32-year-old mom of a 12-year-old. My parents grew up in the '60s and were what was considered "square." I, however, started smoking and drinking at age 13. By 10th grade I, as well as most of my beach buddies, had experimented with marijuana. And my parents had no idea.

My daughter knows about my past and she knows my actions were wrong. Being open with your kids is not saying it's OK to break the law - it's telling them you know what to look for and they are less likely to get away with things. If you instill values in your children and talk to them, no matter how uncomfortable the topic, your kids will have a good head on their shoulders. Ask them daily "who, what, and where" about everything, and they will talk to you.

Kari Shafer Tacoma, Wash.

Of course I spied on my children. Parents have a responsibility to know what's going on in the lives of their kids to control and manage them without being overbearing.

In my house, there were no confrontations. When I found cigarettes in their room, a few days later we had a casual kitchen conversation about the negatives of smoking, ending with my saying, "I'm so glad you kids don't smoke." The cigarettes disappeared.

I made plenty of mistakes, but I can guarantee there were no guns, or unread diaries in my house. …

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