I can’t be solitary in having parents who, seemingly unintentionally, feast their eyes upon my laptop screen when they trot by. A word to describe it: pesky. Of course, this is a low key example of the kind of spying parents dwell into, but let’s keep it a light starting shall we.

The Daily Mail came up with a few thought provoking statistics:

Take these stats with a grain of salt; the Daily Mail is no stranger to fabricating for the purpose of mass appeal. But the bottom line here portrays a good proportion of parents hell bent on stalking their children. They do it all in the name of good faith, but I beg to differ; not their motives, but the impact it leaves behind.

The question of morality that comes into play can bifurcate into two simple questions:

Is it fair to the those who are being scrutinized?
No. And this is an answer that I have come up through a process of reasoning, not through bias (Although the latter did instigate the former). Yes, there is a possibility of a teenager being exposed to wrongdoing; yes, there is the risk of cyber bullying; yes, Kim Kardashian is still breaking the internet. But snooping around a teenager’s browsing data is not the panacea to these vulnerabilities. Such behavior only promotes an environment of mistrust between the child and the parent. In all frankness, a parent going over his/her child’s whatsapp messages is aptly commensurate to doing the ‘duck face’; it’s embarrassing, it’s demeaning and, let’s not pretend, it’s childish (irony detected?).

But isn’t it fair to the parents?
This neatly framed question pilfers a bit of the charm from the former question. I’m not going to slyly demote the status of parents because that would be nonsensical. They remain quite tenably at the top. But keeping all eyes on a child’s internet activity benefits neither the child nor his/her parents. It’s a lot like having ‘Active Boards’ or ‘Smart Boards’ in class; they might ‘seem’ like the right thing to have, but it helps neither the teacher nor the students. Children going through their vicious cycles of puberty are still connecting the dots when it comes to individuality. Having overarching, almost godly figures (yes,parents) dictating the right course of action will not be fruitful. What can be done, however, is parents putting a candid effort towards fostering better relationships. By spending brief, yet quality time together, a lot of difference can be made. Teenagers may even be open enough to reveal what’s going on in their eventful lives. Similar, if not same, results can be achieved by taking the high road.

So next time your parents, under the guise of ‘parental supervision’, decide to go Sherlock on your virtual life, you’ll be armed with the necessary reasoning to retaliate. If that fails, you may use the below article to lend yourself an air of authority. Just map an exit route as a plan of contingency.

Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

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