My son is 14. This is a pivotal age. I remember being 14, and it wasn’t pretty. 14 is ugly, messy, and awkward. 14 is confusing.
My son is finally coming into his own and has this group of friends who seem to give him joy. I want him to feel free to enjoy his teenage years, which is why I don’t look through his phone.
I also trust my kid. We have a relationship that gives him the freedom to talk to us, when he wants. He is still an angsty teenager. He spends 99.9% of his time locked in his bedroom in the basement. He grumbles when we ask him to leave his dungeon to join the family for the evening. He talks back. He’s mean to his sister. But, he also talks to us.
And I don’t want that to stop.
I want us to have trust in one another, and so far we have had that. He has never given us a reason to mistrust him. And I don’t want to give him a reason to mistrust us.
Everyone deserves privacy. Even my teenager. Especially my teenager. Being a teenager is hard enough without someone butting into your business all the time.
I’m not naive, I’m sure he says stupid crap to his friends. I don’t think my child is perfect by any means. But, I also know that my kid is human. He has a right to tell his friends his mom is being a bitch without worry that I am going to go behind him and read it. Because guess what… He’s probably right. I probably was being a jerk. You know how I know? Because I’m a jerk sometimes. And he’s a jerk sometimes, and I vent to my friends through text.
I don’t ask to read his text messages because I trust him. I trust that when things get hard he will tell us… because he does tell us. I trust that if life gets messy he will ask for advice, because he does.
I trust my child because I raised my child to be trustworthy. I raised my child to be an adult. Not a child.
I’m not willing to lose his trust because I’m worried he might ask his friends about sex. Or say curse words. Or complain about me. But, he also knows that we have rules, and if I ever feel (or hear) that he is being shady, I will snatch his phone up and lock it securely away in a heartbeat.