Father Reads Through My Emails


I’d like to apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors as I am just writing under much stress and anger.

So today I was working on college emails and my summer assignments for my upcoming AP classes. I had recently received an email regarding my practice essay for a summer assignment which would affect my decision to stay in that class. I was planning on discussing it with my parents later as the grade was lower than expected.
While I was away from the computer to get some food my father snooped on all my emails, personal and business, then yelled at me for not discussing with his the contents of my emails. Then, he began to lecture me on the importance of sharing the contents of the email regarding my AP class. However, no matter how much I stated I was planning to discuss this later with them, he wouldn’t listen.
Now, he has gone off the deep end and is making my mom accompany me to my English/Writing tutor to discuss the email, forward it to him and print it out.
I can understand his frustration since I didn’t share this ‘vital’ information the second I got it, however, he went through all my emails and invaded my privacy.
I mean, when he doesn’t log off of his email I don’t snoop around, because there could be information that I’m not supposed to see.
Anyways, comments would be great. I am not thinking calmly and effectively at the moment, so assistance on what to do would be great. Thank you.

Category: Tags: asked July 11, 2015

5 Answers

Yes, he is your father. He is entitled to feel concern over your life. But he is raising YOU, a fellow human being, a child, not training some monkey or cultivating a plant for stock. You are not a piece of clay for him to mold and manipulate to his liking. That's not how parenting works. You are the one who gets to make the decisions in your life. The only one. And this breach of privacy, this micromanagement of your life, is not okay.

Information about almost every issue that parents think they have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to their child. But when parents invade their child’s privacy, they communicate three things:

1. They do not respect your rights as an individual.
2. They do not trust you to navigate problems or seek help on your own.
3. They probably haven’t been listening to you.

He needs to know that this sort of behavior is not okay, and that if he expects you to trust him, he needs to trust you, as well. He may be responsible for you as a parent, but parents are raising human beings, new humans who have to think and understand things and live their own lives. He's not helping you, he's ruining your sense of trust and taking away a safe space that you had created just for yourself.

It's reasonable for you to feel so angry. He's violated your trust and looking through your personal, private things without your consent. I'm certain he, like all other humans, has some level of a personal space bubble and isn't interested in sharing every last bit of information of himself with you, from his last use of the bathroom to the last time he had sex.

Talk about this with him. He needs to understand that this is horrible parenting. It doesn't matter if "he just wants what's best", it doesn't matter if he's "just doing this because he loves you". No. You are not a puppet, and he shouldn't expect you to do everything he wants you to like a puppet would. You are a human being with thoughts, feelings, and your own (pardon my language) damn life, and you deserve to have privacy and to have everyone respect that privacy.

By the way, if FencingChick22401's dad ever snoops around and finds this: If you violate your child’s privacy in this way, you’ll never earn their trust, and you won't stop them from lying to you. You’re just creating a better liar, and creating a huge rift between you. This is not something your children will “understand” later; you will not be forgiven, you will not be confided in. You will create trust issues for your children for all of their future relationships. There is nothing about this that is ok. This is not how you treat other human beings, and it is not you teach your children to respect you.
I could probably imagine that your parents just want you to do well in college and get the best education you can and I think the fact that the result you received on a pretty important essay probably concerned him quite a fair bit, practice or not. That's understandable and it's great that your parents want that for you. However, I'm not quite sure why your father's gone off like that. Is he very strict in general? Have you not done very well in school / college overall? Some parents also believe that, up to a certain age, they are responsible for every aspect of their child's life and that goes for personal emails and letters. Especially if that child is still living under their roof. There must be some particular reason why he's gone off like he has. Only he can tell you so I would genuinely sit down in a calm, mature manner (not saying you won't btw ;) ) and discuss it with him. Unless he's the kind of person to not respect other people and their wishes, there's nothing you can't discuss and problem solve. Now, about the privacy and security of your email. I can only suggest, whenever you leave your computer, to log out of your email account / lock the computer / anything to prevent prying eyes from logging in and reading through.
Your father seemed to have cross some boundaries regarding reading anything after the AP email. It is understandable he would be angered, (whether you were about to tell him or not), over the AP email, however, he did to a level invade your personal privacy reading other emails. He is able to see who the sender is of each email, and unless it is a concern of him based off of who sent it then, or the subject, he should have no business reading your personal emails.
However, it is his choice of parenting, and I cannot make much of a judgement on it due to the fact I do not know him in person. Discuss the matter with him.
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