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Friday, July 29, 2022

Searching Your Kid's Room

     A few years ago in Tempe, Arizona, a cleaning lady discovered what looked like an improvised explosive device (IED) in an 18-year-old boy's bedroom. She took the suspicious-looking object to the local fire station where it was x-rayed and determined to be a live bomb capable of detonation. Members of a bomb squad disabled the device. While not a big IED, the bomb was powerful enough to  destroy property and even kill people.

     The cleaning lady, when questioned by detectives, showed them photographs she had taken of other items in Joshua Prater's room that included bomb-making materials. Police officers, after searching Prater's room took him into custody. He was charged with possession of an explosive device. Bomb making is dangerous business. This kid was lucky he didn't blow up his room and himself.

     According to media reports, the bomb-marker's parents told detectives that their son's friend taught him how to make the IED. While it's hard to imagine parents who would allow their child to build a bomb in his room, it was not clear if these parents knew what their son was up to before the cleaning lady took action.

     Several months after Prater's arrest he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. The judge sentenced him to one year probation. 

     Do parents know what their children are up to?  Should parents regularly search their children's rooms? 
     Studies show that most children have high opinions of themselves. They also feel entitled to things they are unwilling to work for. They can also be notorious liars and profoundly ignorant of how things work in real life. They think they know everything because they know so little.

     In a parent's home a child has no legal right to privacy. In the domestic environment, parents are the cops, prosecutors and judges They have a right to know, and the duty to find out, if their kids have drugs, pornography, guns or bombs in their rooms. And the only way to be absolutely certain that they do not possess these things involves periodic searches. Children should not be allowed to lock their doors. If they do have locks parents should have the keys. Kids need to know that privacy is for adults. When they live in their own places mom and dad can be locked out.


  1. Nope!
    I trusted my daughters and our parenting. My daughters told me everything. Literally everything. We had absolutely no reason to spy on them.
    They knew that once trust is gone you never get it back, so why chance it?
    I was in so much pain in my teen years. I was anorexic, clinically depressed and I couldn't tell my folks anything!
    I drank, I did copious amounts of drugs and worse and I never once thought of going to them with my problems, and I had problems.
    So if my kids wanted to try something I pretty much knew because there's very little I didn't do. And best of all, they told me!

    Trust. It's all about trust.
    And if you go through their room, phone, closets, computers, what exactly is it are you saying? You are explicitly saying "I don't trust you OR my parenting so I have to sneak around and spy on you." Not a good way to instill respect and trust of adults, at all! Treat them as intelligent humans, with trust, expectations,responsibilities and choices and they will in turn treat you with respect ~not be afraid to come to you with problems or tell you things and hide problems they need help with.
    Good parenting means you DON'T have to spy on them because they'll have nothing to find you don't know about!

  2. Good parenting means adjusting your parenting to your child. There is no one way to parent. This kids actions had to tell the parents, in some way, that he was doing something he shouldn't be doing.