It is normal for every child to hide things from their parents. But if you suspect they are involved in something that may affect them negatively, it is your right to help and protect them. They should be given age-appropriate freedom, but you should also be involved in their lives to make sure they don’t get hurt.
Watch for Signs
Every kid that starts to do things their parents wouldn’t approve of will have a sudden change in behavior to try to cover up their actions.
Try to keep an eye out for new behaviors like dressing differently, making new friends you aren’t aware of, more browsing online, whispering during calls, and other odd things. Also note things that they might have stopped doing.
Communicate with their friends’ parents
This way, you can get more information on your kid’s behavior. If you need to find their contact information, go to your child’s school and ask their teachers. The teachers will also tell you about any unusual things they notice about your kid in class.
It might feel wrong to snoop through their things but, being their primary protector, you need to know if something is wrong. You may never know if you need to protect your child from themselves or someone else.
Check Their Room
This should be the last resort because invading their privacy can mean great deal to them, and will result in them being angry with you. If you decide to do it then go through their drawers, check the clothes, look underneath the bed, inside books, and bags among other places.
Check Their Mobile and Computer
Living in the digital age, kids hide things in their mobiles. Be sure to go through their social media and messenger apps. You child could be the target of bullying or unknowingly talking to child predators, among other things. Install an app, like mspy, to keep track of any messages they get secretly.
How to handle it
You should know at this point if there, in fact, is a serious problem. Your kid may be involved with a wrong crowd, being harassed, being targeted, or is thinking of self-harm. Here is how you should talk to them.
If you have found alarming things, tell them why you searched and have open and friendly communication with them. Trying to trap them in lies and scolding will do more harm than good.
Try to listen to your kid’s problems even if they accidentally say something about themselves or their friends that is unsettling. Unless the issue is life-threatening, try not to lecture them because you want to be their friend.
Try to Learn About Them
Instead of asking questions that they might lie to or feel uncomfortable about, try to construct it in a nonjudgmental way. Asking this way will help you understand your child better, and nagging will make them shut down.