A mum has asked if it’s ever ok to have a look through your child’s phone as a way of keeping them safe…

A concerned mum has taken to Mumsnet to ask if it would be unreasonable for her to go through her teenage son’s phone. The mum says that her son has always been honest with her, but she still feels that she is unable to protect him completely without knowing who he is communicating with.

Crossing A Line

The mum said her son had never been protective about his phone until recently. “My son is thirteen and I’ve always spot checked his phone,” she wrote. “Recently he has asked me not to as he feels embarrassed and wants privacy, so I said ok but that he was not to change the passcode as trust works both ways, which he hasn’t.” Despite telling her son that she understood his need for privacy, the mum admits she is struggling to stick to her end of the bargain. “Recently he has shown me texts from his so-called friends calling him a skunk, a fat c*** etc,” she said. “I want to go through his phone but part of me thinks that if I do it will break his trust in me.”

All About Age

Comments on the mum’s post said that because her son is thirteen, checking his phone would not be entirely unreasonable. “Nowadays things appear on phones that have consequences in life and school,” one parent wrote. “As parents I feel it is our responsibility to, at the least, try to ensure we know what’s on his phone.” “Don’t most professionals recommend that you check young person’s phones?” another asked. “Our fourteen-year-old son knows we can check his.”

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We have to agree that looking through your children’s phone is definitely dependent on their age and whether you feel they could be at risk. That being said, it is always important to make your child aware of what you are doing and why rather than going behind their back.

Do you check your child’s phone regularly? Let us know in the comments!

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  • No I don’t and wouldn’t, unless there’s a serious reason for it.


  • For me, if I had a kid with a phone part of the agreement to letting them have a phone was that I had to be able to monitor it. So for me it is a yes. I would of course, sit them down with me and we would go through it together. I trust my child but don’t trust others.


  • It would depend on the amount of trust you have with your son. Explain to him what your concerns are and let him know you are there for him.


  • I did used to go through my son’s phone intermittently. It was based on history and things that had happened to him, and that he had done wrong. He has ASD so I needed to use some situations to help him manage them. We had rules around passwords, etc. and I would often discuss what I had done and how he felt about some of the content on his phone. I took it all as teaching moments and learning experiences for both.


  • Perhaps if you don’t trust your child to use their phone responsibly, then they shouldn’t have a phone at all.


  • It is akin to going through a young persons diary. I would prefer if one could talk openly to her and not feel the need to invade her privacy.


  • Every child is different and I appreciate the mutual trust they have but I would still feel the need to spot check my teenagers phone.
    My children aren’t that age yet, but I do have access to my nieces instagram Account and all I have to say is, thank god as the Conversations going on required adult intervention


  • My children don’t have phones yet as they are still way too young. However, I don’t believe I would go through their phones unless I was certain there was a real issue that they weren’t sharing with me. If I suspected they were doing drugs or engaging in other illegal activities then I wouldn’t hesitate to go through their phones. But honestly, I feel this mum is either over protective or just too curious for her own good!


  • My children don’t have phones and won’t until they are much older, we will have rules and regularly check them until a responsible age for safety reasons.


  • Mine are too young for phones, but I have no issue with going through them if I felt there was a genuine reason. If i’m paying I own it and its content


  • I think its hard Until we are In that situation


  • Not had this problem yet as my 16 year old hates mobile phones. Yes she does have one for security but it is only used for phone calls. My older children are too old for me to do this. I think it is a trust issue and if a child is letting you know what is going on, then you have to trust them that all is alright.


  • Given the circumstances I’d say yes. My biggest worry would be that his ‘friends’ would be mean enough that it led to depression. Maybe there is a trusted uncle or something that he could go to?


  • Up until about 15 or so, yes.


  • absolutely, if i thought i needed to, luckily my kids are pretty open with me but we will see what happens with my younger kids


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