To snoop or not to snoop

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Josie, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Josie

    Josie Guest

    If you know or think your child is doing drugs, do you snoop through their room regularly?

    My husband seems to think at least when she is 18, I should stop doing this, if not before. I feel like I want to know what the situation is. Will this just drive me crazy?

    Her apparent drug of choice though is pretty easily hidden and doesn't show up on the drug tests.
  2. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I'm a big proponent of snooping. If they are living in your house, you have every right to snoop. At age 10, 18 and even 25! That's YOUR room in YOUR house, she's just staying there temporarily. Think about it this way, if the cops showed up out of the blue and searched your home and found drugs or paraphernalia.... YOU would be charged! So tell your husband to ask himself if he's willing to take on that risk. My roof, my rules.

  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    My position is: *I* am responsible for the contents of my home. If I suspect that my home contains something dangerous, illegal, or life-threatening - then it is my duty to find it and get rid of it.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think snooping or not depends on the kid and situation. I always felt if there is a reason for me to feel that my kid is doing something dangerous then I should snoop, especially if they are not being honest with me. Otherwise I should respect their privacy. So with my son, who is a difficult child I snooped and found all sorts of things that were worrisome. With my easy child daughter, who was pretty open with me about her life, I never snooped. Never felt I needed to.

  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Having been on the board forever, I watched parents of teens deal with this when my difficult child was still little, so I definitely took a cue from the been there done that crowd. This is my house, my responsibility. The second I think any of my kids is unsafe, I reserve the right to search their rooms, read journals, check cell phone/internet postings, etc. On the rare occasions I felt the need, I did it when the kids were not here - no point in adding fuel to the fire, you know? I've never found drugs, did find knives under difficult child's bed one time, and have read some scary journal entries by my daughter, resulting in interventions.

    I do not snoop unless my mommy radar goes off.

    I don't think age 18 should suddenly give your daughter a pass. She's still living in your home and you are ultimately responsible for what takes place in your home. She doesn't like it, she can always make other arrangements.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I snooped and told her I was going to snoop as soon as Daughter did something illegal. Told her she'd lost her privacy rights as she was breaking the law. I was lucky I did snoop. I found a letter in which she was planning on running off to Colorado to meet a college boy she met online who she had never seen. She was underage, but I would have snopped even if she had been eighteen, if she still lived at home.

    We were able to call this kid and his parents and stop it from happening. My rule is you get the freedom that you deserve, at least under my roof. If you are unsafe, it is my responsibility to find out what is going on if you still live with me. After all, illegal activities can get ME arrested too.

    Also found bags of drugs and empty booze bottles stuffed under her bed and mattress so I knew her claim that she had stopped doing those things wasn't true.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Depends from the situation and your goals and also about what you are planning to do with things you may find. Snooping tends to have adverse effects in trying to build or maintain a positive relationship and trust. So if you are in the point where there still is something to try to preserve or build in that front, be careful. However if things are over the line where there is little trust from either side, that is not much of the concern any more. And if there is a clear safety concern, and something you can actually do to that safety concern, it is of course needed to go through things even though it may damage relationship. If there is nothing you can do with things you may find, there is of course much less sense even go to looking.

    And if you are doing it mostly to 'just know' try not to get caught.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Snooping has an adverse affect if you are snooping on a kid like Jumper, who has nothing to hide. The funny thing is, Jumper doesn't care if I go in her room, am a FB friend, etc. I don't snoop on her, but I could and she'd just roll her eyes. Julie was doing serious, dangerous drugs and the cops were dropping over and we had to make tough decisions as to how to handle her, as well as help her. In no way did it affect our eventually close relationship. In fact, she knows and has said she understands that we were just trying to keep her safe, now that she is no longer on drugs. Most of our drug using kids are unsafe and sometimes we don't know HOW unsafe because they don't exactly say, "Hey, mom, I tried crack today and I am going to do it again." They already don't trust us because drug users don't trust anybody because they are always on edge of being caught.

    I personally (and this is JMO) don't think that you should snoop if you only want information that you aren't going to act upon. All that does is cause yourself anguish and pain and it doesn't help your kid and it is basically for nothing in my opinion. But if you are trying to save your child's life, there is often no alternative. A policeman told us that if there was drugs in our house, even if they were not ours, WE could get arrested as there was no way to prove they were not our drugs. What if you have little kids that you still have to raise? You can't allow your drug using child to get into legal trouble and involve you...especially if you have young 'uns to raise.

    Once Julie left she was free to do as she pleased and she, as everyone knows, stopped using drugs. But it did take a while. However, since she was not in our house, she was no longer in any way our responsibility, including where she kept her drugs since we could not be held accountable.

    So there are many things to consider with kids who use drugs. Some parents are die hards about not going through their kid's things, but I'm glad I did. And it wasn't held against us.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think that the more important decision is "what consequences will result if drugs are found"? You have to be really prepared to do what you say you will do. If you're not ready to pull the trigger with consequences then I'd skip the snooping until I was ready. I, for example, never said "IF I find drugs you must leave our home" because I knew I was not prepared for him to live with his sorry friends. on the other hand I told him "I will be going thru your room because as much as we love you we are not prepared to lose our home if drugs are present." So I snoooped with permission and I found small quantities of pot.....until one day I found a larger quantity. Sigh. husband and I took the big bag and poured all the pot in a bleach bottle which we then tossed in a dumpster far from home. All Hades broke loose when he discovered that...the only time he ever yelled/cussed etc. in front of me.

    *The decisions are hard. He went to three s.a. programs. He still smokes weed but luckily has never had a deep interest in heavier drugs. I wish you well. I hate that part of parenting. Hugs. DDD
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My take on this is as follows:

    My children -- even my adult children -- have no "right to privacy" in my household. It is my household and I'm responsible for what goes on under my roof. I will go through rooms, bags, closets and pockets at will. All of my children, both the trustworthy ones and the non-trustworthy ones, know this and they accept it. It's not snooping in my view, it's looking after my family and being aware of what they're all doing.

    I know all passwords to all accounts, and regularly log in and see what they're up to. Computers are set up with logging and tracking software to see their internet usage history. This is all just a matter of course. It's not something I start doing when I think there's trouble, it's something I do all the time.

    When difficult child was in his teens, I used to toss his room at frequent, random intervals, at least twice a week. This involved taking his bed apart, checking between and under the sheets, flipping the mattress, checking for tears at the seams and searching inside them, searching drawers, cupboard, pockets, the insides of his shoes, backpack, etc. Everywhere he could possibly hide things (and even places where it seemed "impossible") would be searched. I even got the school Guidance Dept on board and they let me go through his locker at school.

    You do what you need to in order to keep your family safe.