Being a responsible parent is never easy. Each new generation of moms and dads faces new problems and barriers to overcome, all while making decisions that they believe are best for their children.

Parents in today’s culture, for example, face challenges that parents in previous generations did not face. The internet comes to mind, as does the usage of cellphones and the ongoing debate about proper screen time.

In any event, anytime subjects about parental choices emerge, you can be certain that they will be fiercely discussed. Just ask Laura Muse, a North Carolina mother who sparked outrage a few years back when she admitted to looking through her children’s phones to keep track of what they’re doing and who they’re communicating with.

Parents are finding it more difficult to keep their children away from cellphones. Let’s face it: phones have become a tool utilized in almost every part of life, and youngsters are well aware of this as they get older.

Of course, it is best to wait as long as possible before purchasing such a gadget for your son or daughter, while keeping an eye on what they are doing with the sudden access to any website in the world.

But where is the line between wanting to be cautious as a parent and limiting your child’s right to privacy?

Well, one mother’s revelation about her attentiveness with her children and their mobile phones split the internet in 2022. Laura Muse of North Carolina admitted to frequently looking through her children’s phones, claiming that she had the right to do so because she pays for them.

Laura’s adolescent children, ages 15 and 17, are also required to turn in their cellphones before going to bed, since Laura does not want them staying up late browsing.

Laura told the New York Post: “I own their phones; I pay for them. I can browse them whenever I wish. People may think [it] is disrespectful or an infringement of their privacy, but this is how I run my ship.”

Laura stated that she began the weekly inspections when her children were 11 years old, and that it has remained a tradition even as they have grown into teenagers. She added that she trusts her children but wants to ensure that they do not engage in inappropriate behavior when using their cellphones, as well as keeping an eye out for online fraudsters and possible predators.

The 41-year-old, a mental health practitioner, stated she discovered her son had uploaded a shirtless photo of himself online.

“If I do find something that’s an issue, we talk about it and turn it into a teachable moment,” she told me. “I’m not perfect; I don’t expect my children to be perfect, but it’s important to keep an eye on things.”

While Laura’s approach appears sensible to many individuals, some online have denounced such parental monitoring as a violation of privacy.

“This is not okay,” one TikTok user commented on a video of a mother looking into her child’s phone.

“You don’t have to go through her phone,” another said.

A third user stated, “I despise parents who cannot respect boundaries.”

In 2022, a TikToker called Gillian Margonis had 5.6 million views for a video in which she chastised parents for looking through their children’s phones.

“Just like your room, [your phone] is your own private space, and they shouldn’t be looking through it because you deserve privacy,” she told me.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Do parents like Laura have the right to peek into their children’s smart phones? Please let us know in the comments.

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