From “Parents Shouldn’t Spy on Their Kids” by Kirsten Weir in Nautilus.
A parent’s desire to spy might have less to do with keeping kids safe, and more to do with a burning desire to lower his or her own anxiety.
“We can trace a path over time from feelings of privacy invasion to higher levels of secrecy to parents’ reduced perceptions of knowledge about their children,” says Skyler Hawk, a social psychologist who studies adolescent development at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“If parents are engaging in highly intrusive behaviors, it is ultimately going to backfire on them.”
And covert spying, Hawk adds, isn’t likely to stay covert for long. Most kids are more tech savvy than their parents. Odds are good they’ll discover those tracking apps and figure out how to hack the system—leaving their location-tracking phone in their locker when they ditch class, or setting up a second (secret) Instagram account.