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Put a Spy Cam in Your Teen's Room

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One expert says it's a BAD idea.

Mom viewing kids from monitor

When we heard about the 15-year-old teen girl who died of alcohol poisoning at a sleepover over the weekend, we wondered: How are parents supposed to know what goes on behind closed doors, and keep our kids safe? Is it ever a good idea to put a spy cam in your teen's room?

We asked teen expert Vanessa Van Petten, author of You're Grounded: A Parenting Book from the Kid's Perspective, for her thoughts on the matter. Here's what she had to say:

• Always think about how it will affect your relationship. If your teen finds out you are spying and they are NOT doing anything bad, it could equal the end of the relationship as you know it.

• Think about what will happen if you catch them doing something wrong, and then they find out how. They can be punished, but they will lose a huge amount of trust in you.

• The threat of a camera can have way more benefit than an actual one. Say, "A couple of the parents in our group of friends have considered cameras in the rooms of our house. I don't want to do it, but I know it is happening. I trust you ... is there anything else I should know?" This builds trust, because you are being upfront and honest. Just the threat of a spy cam possibly being installed will curb a lot of bad behavior.

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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
matt December 8, 2009, 5:07 PM

you crazy christian moms just need a study to tell you something is wrond dont you, you people are so stupid to even consider that spying on your children is a good idea

mom of 2 December 9, 2009, 1:14 AM

Sorry but I am not a christian. I also know that my first job to my child is to be her mother not her friend. My mom did not become my friend until I was out on my own. Privacy was a privilege and my parents could and would go through my room whenever they wanted, its their house don’t like it to bad. Act up and get your door removed, no phone, no friends period.

Oh and my parents also learned to investigate every one of my friends, who their parents were, past history of any trouble, if they felt it was a bad idea to hang out with them it was not allowed end of discussion. Those I was permitted to hang out with my mother made it a point to know their parents, have their numbers and if I said I was going to be there you can be sure she would call at anytime to make sure I was were I said I would be.

I credit her for a lot. I see those girls I was friends with that when they went down the wrong path my mom put a stop to the friendship. They did not graduate high school, are hooked on drugs and can’t even hold down a job. While I went the military, did 8 years, four as a federal agent, completed my degree and have a very good family. Sometimes invading their privacy will save them from making those mistakes that will effect the rest of their lives. I did not like it then but I am so grateful now for what she did.

Cheryl December 9, 2009, 3:46 AM

It is ridiculous that a parent would have to resort to a spy cam in a teens room. When I was a kid, my parents opened my door whenever they wanted, with a cursory knock beforehand, not leaving enough time between the knock and door opening to hide any contraband. Not to mention, I was not allowed to entertain my friends in my bedroom. We had to stay in the kitchen or living room or den, where they could see exactly what we were doing. It seems like parents these days are afraid to confront their children and their behavior, and that is why some are willing to do this passive-aggressive, covert nonsense.

Gail Cooke December 9, 2009, 1:26 PM

Taking their door off of their room is an effective way to ensure behaviour modification. Also, some supervision of home activities and banning activities in certain areas would be good. I think that a camera would be a last possible resort.

Matt, it’s rude to criticize someone who is a Christian or any other rreligion for that matter. Have some respect for people. I don’t think Christianity or any other religion is even relative to this.

John December 22, 2009, 9:41 AM

It’s a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you see your daughter or son undressing.

Anna December 25, 2009, 4:51 PM

Even the thought of putting a spy cam in your child’s bedroom is disgusting. Respect their privacy. If my mom ever did this to me, I would hate her. Pretty sure my kids would hate me for doing that to them.

Plus, what would happen if you caught your kid changing clothes or whatever? That is classified child pornography whether you mean to get off on it or not.

jill January 1, 2010, 1:16 PM

the lady that just said she is christian but just called someone crazy and being judge mental of other people sounds like she just made a mistake and let the devil get her tongue so why wouldrnt her children make a maske also kids are going to try thing no matter how u raise theam i think it is a great idea

Sarah April 20, 2010, 8:53 PM

this is rediculous. I am a 17 year old girl and I for one keep my nose clean, however, it has not always been that way. Back in my “rebellious stage” (I went through it early) if my parents used a security cam and punished me for things I had done, it wouldn’t have curbed my behavior; I would’ve been more open with it. I remember saying that if my parents were to take my door off, I would walk around the house naked. I was a bad kid, and it didn’t have anything to do with the parenting, because now I am a straight-A student with a steady responsible boyfriend and I am drug and alcohol-free. I was raised old school but experienced severe depression and had suicidal tendencies which caused me to be apathetic towards rules and ethics. This comment was kind of scatterbrained but I thought I should give you insight on a rebellious teenager’s perspective from this day and age engrossed in technology and freedom.

Archie June 11, 2010, 11:24 AM

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

IP network camera September 30, 2010, 8:55 AM

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Sarah November 20, 2010, 7:46 AM

If you would want to put a spycam in your teens room think again how would you feel if someone was watching you? Every1 needs privacy. what if they were to be undressing?? That would be classified as child pornography. What is wrong with this world!!!!

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:29 AM

It’s good too read your site again buddy, i see some interesting updates here…

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