Raising kids is not for wimps

By Mir
October 9, 2013

I have two sort-of-parenting-related things for you today:

1) I’m coming clean and I’ve donned my fireproof suit; over at Alpha Mom I’m explaining why I feel justified in snooping on my children. Now I just sit back and wait for someone to explain to me why I’m a terrible person, right? Because that’s how the Internet works.

2) While I am merely angering random people online, some other folks are doing awesome charitable things while being rockstars. For the entire month of October, my friends Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh (co-authors of Minimalist Parenting) are donating 100% of royalties from books purchased via this link to WOMEN AT RISK, an Ethiopian organization that helps women lift themselves out of prostitution. Their book is fantastic, anyway, and this is an easy way to extend your charitable reach for a worthy cause. Go buy a book. Heck, buy two—they’re small.


  1. StephLove

    You are at terrible person.

    (I haven’t actually clicked over to read yet, but I think I’d get it over with and say it ahead of time.)

    • Mir

      Thank you. ;)

  2. Kendra

    I will be honest I have tried giving them their privacy with my oldest. Lets just say lessoned learned and my other 3 girls will not be getting cell phones until they move out. Secret lives are a very bad idea and unmonitored cell phone/social media = secret lives. Still dealing with the fall out 3 years later………………

  3. meeshie

    I’d call you a terrible person but.. yeah.. you’re not wrong. When i was a teen, back in the paleolithic area, we had pagers but.. that was about it for technology (the 80s/90s, how I miss the bad hair styles). Well, only drug dealers had pagers according to most parents but.. some of us had pagers anyway darnit. And.. some of us were drug dealers.

    All of us were mostly ‘unsupervised’.

    I’ll use an average here but out of 10 of us.. 6 of us are still alive. Almost all of us have one bad divorce from a horrible life partner choice in our teens. The 6 who survived all managed to become productive adults though 1 or 2 probably have alcohol problems.

    Not a great average. I’ll be paying better attention to my kids as they get older.

  4. Robin

    I completely agree with you ! I don’t want to be one of those Mom’s that’s so “in the dark” about what their children are doing and how they act that I miss a big red flag in the name of privacy.. My children have as much privacy as they earn.. and they know they are always subject to”spot checks”

  5. js

    I had so much privacy when I was a kid, all alone in my room, all the time. I say in all seriousness, I do not want my child to be the kind of teenager I was. I have no problem snooping, taking the door off her room, whatever. I care about keeping her safe. And, I don’t care what other people think.

  6. Anne

    I don’t think you are terrible. I think you are being smart. I clicked over and read the article.

    I think the parents that are terrible are the ones who are willfully oblivious. the Columbine killers parents’ would be an example.

    But on the other end of that spectrum, my parents were completely oblivious to my serious depression – or should i say wholly indifferent?
    They would have only have invaded my privacy to be judgmental, not because they had the slightest empathy.

    The whole text-iphone-facebook thing today is dangerous. Creating strangers who call themselves friend on a piece of metal/plastic is not the same as hanging out face to face and truly having friends. Clearly I’m a dinosaur.

    If I had kids, I would snoop on them either to make sure they were safe and not going out with someone wholly inappropriate or because I didn’t want them to be suicidal and me to only find that out after the fact.

  7. elainepill

    re: the snooping, you should read this posting by the yarn harlot: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2013/10/04/the_meanest_mother_in_the_world_.html

    best part:
    I care what a kid feels, but when push comes to shove, my job is to do what I think is best for them, not what they feel is best for them. I mean, c’mon. I’ve had at least one teenager who had some pretty strong “feelings” about their privacy and how I shouldn’t be all up in their business, and you know what? I didn’t care. Until your frontal lobe is developed all the way, you get privacy in your room and privacy in the bathroom, but I get to know where you’re going and what you’re doing, and if you want to keep a secret about where you’re at from me, you’re going to have to work hard at it, and it doesn’t really bother me if you’re upset about that.

  8. Pip

    I think snooping on your kids is a good idea, I will have no doubts about it when I actually, y’know, have kids.

    When I was a teenager, my mum set parental controls on each of our accounts so we couldn’t do chatting online. Since this was 95% of what I did online (usually operating under a fake name, giving a fake location, and saying I was older than I was), I rolled my eyes, logged into her account, and changed myself back to an adult.

    She probably should have changed her password after she told us what it was…

  9. Rachel

    Yeah I don’t think what you are doing counts as snooping. Snooping is when you don’t tell the kids you are doing it.

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