Should parents search their children’s phone?

Mika asks: Should parents search their children’s phone?

Hi Mika –


This is a really tough question.  Of course parents should do anything and everything they can to keep their children safe.  And if they’re truly worried about something happening on their kid’s cell phone (for example, creepy adults contacting their kids, or something about drugs), they absolutely have every right and responsibility to check.


But then I hear other cases, like a letter from abcdefg I got a while back, a parent who had been looking on her teenage daughter’s cell phone and wanted to know what to do about the relationship she’d discovered.  You can find it here on this site if you like.


The real point here is that cell phones are like many other things in our world – public items that involve privacy.  Humans can keep people from reading their Facebook page, they can put blocks on their kids’ emails, etc.  It’s all very difficult.
So without my knowing more, my sense is that, once a child has proven they’re mature enough to live without their parents checking on everything they’re doing (say, around 12 or 13 years old usually), as long as they don’t unprove it, I would think there’d be no reason for their parents to break into their private world and read their texts or call histories.  But if the kid is not showing that maturity yet, then the parents might well want to look, just to make sure that that kid, the most important person in their world, is safe.






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