DEAR READERS: Yesterday I printed a letter from an Ohio mother regarding a previously published letter from a "Snoopy Mom" who proudly described searching through her teen-agers' belongings.
Today I'll share a sample of the mail I received from teens. Hang onto your hats! Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I am a teen-age male who was infuriated when I read the letter in your column from "Snoopy Mom." I'm willing to bet that if she caught her kids going through her personal belongings, she would lecture them until the sun went down. And you know what she'd be then? A hypocrite! As soon as her teen-agers left the room after telling them that snooping is wrong and that they should respect privacy, she'd start snooping again.
I hope God is on her side, because she is going to need His help if they catch her! –- JEFF IN CHICAGO
DEAR ABBY: There is a difference between invading your children's privacy and noticing if they spend their free time building bombs in the garage. Violating their trust by searching their rooms without justification while they are absent is reprehensible.
A child's diary is a child's diary. In it, a child records innermost feelings and what other kids share in confidence. I'll bet "Mom" wouldn't appreciate it if her kids went through her most private things.
I feel sorry for the children of "Snoopy Mom." They have to spend every day with this callous, irrational, distrusting and insensitive person. She never should have had children if this is how she treats them.
I now realize how fortunate I am that my parents are intelligent enough to respect my privacy and, at the same time, steer me in the right direction. –- RATIONAL 15-YEAR-OLD, BAYSIDE, N.Y.
DEAR RATIONAL: Many teens echoed your feelings. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Conspicuously absent from "Snoopy's" letter were comments on the result of her behavior -– the quality of her relationship with her children. It can't be very good, since her children are probably aware of her atrocious lack of trust, respect and common courtesy. I hope knowing every detail of her children's lives now will make up for this mother's being shut out of their lives when they're older –- JEANA L., AGE 19, IN OHIO
DEAR ABBY: I pity people who feel they must violate their children's trust in order to learn more about their lives. I hope parents understand that once your children learn you do not trust them, they in turn will not trust YOU -– and you'll never be able to rebuild what has been so carelessly destroyed.
Some people may call it "concern," but I call it lack of parenting skills. –- REBECCA (AGE 14) IN WASHINGTON
DEAR ABBY: I realize that parents should know what their children are doing. It's their right to make sure they're not getting into trouble with underage drinking, drugs, premarital sex, etc. But everyone is entitled to at least a little bit of privacy. "Snoopy Mom" gave her children none.
Do her children know she's doing this? Unless she spent a lot of time placing things EXACTLY where they were before, I'm sure they've figured it out! -– TRUSTED TEEN IN TACOMA
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