Mom defends going through kids’ phones because she pays for them

As a parent, you’re never going to get everything right.

However, at the same time, there’s no harm in always trying your best when it comes to guiding your kids to make the right decisions.

At least, that’s what this North Carolina mother has been doing when it comes to monitoring how much screen time her teens are getting per day.

In fact, every night, at around 11:30 pm, mom Laura Muse, follows a routine with her teenage son Cohen, tucking him into bed with a kiss before confiscating his cell phone for the night.

This nightly ritual is just one of the many ways Muse manages her children’s screen time and online activities, ensuring they get adequate rest and behave responsibly online.

Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty.

As a mental health clinician and the owner of her children’s phones, Muse feels justified in her actions, despite facing some criticism. “I own their phones, I pay for the phones. I can go through them whenever I want,” she told the New York Post.

While she does recognize that many parents may view her actions as an invasion of privacy, Muse sees it as a necessary part of parenting.

Muse is not alone in her approach. Under the hashtag #RaisingTeens, parents on social media proudly share their tactics for monitoring their teenagers’ online behavior. A survey by Malwarebytes found that 54% of parents use multiple methods to supervise their teens’ online activities, ranging from GPS tracking to reviewing texts and social media posts.

Muse’s vigilance began when her children first got their phones at age 11. Initially, she conducted random weekly inspections, but now, with her children in their teens, the checks are less frequent. Although she does trust her children, Muse believes that monitoring their digital behavior helps prevent them from engaging in inappropriate activities and protects them from online dangers.

Credit: Leon Neal / Getty.

Her interventions have sometimes revealed concerning behavior, such as her son posting inappropriate content on social media. She says that addressing these issues directly with her children when the situations arise mean that she can turn them into teachable moments. Moreover, she believes that open communication and boundary-setting are crucial in guiding her children’s use of technology.

Many other parents have taken to TikTok to explain why they choose to go through their children’s phones, which has garnered significant criticism from those who believe it’s not the right thing to do.

“This is not okay,” a user wrote underneath one mom’s video.

Another added: “You don’t have to go through her phone.”

Someone else chimed in with: “I hate parents who can’t respect boundaries.”

In Muse’s household, her children have come to appreciate her involvement in their digital lives. She views her interventions not as a breach of privacy but as a way to nurture and protect her children.

What do you think? Would you do, or have you done, the same with your own children? Let us know in the comments!


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