Should You Snoop On Your Kids?

Inevitably, your teen wants freedom, but with that freedom comes dangerous temptations.

Parents want to know what their kids are up to, but should they cross the line and spy on their children?

ABC News contributor Lee Woodruff talked to some mothers, whom we are identifying by first name only, to see what they thought.

"Their job is to try to get away with things, my job is to catch them," said Manuela.

"You cannot be your children's friend, you have to be the authority," said Elsa.

"I don't want to be a parent in their face, I don't think that's really going to let me in," said Bonnie.


"Who checks? For example, if you think your daughter's smoking or whatever, would you or have you checked a purse?" asked Woodruff.

Many moms don't agree.

"Looking through her purse and snooping through her drawers is a backdoor approach to really saying, 'Are you drinking? Are you smoking pot?' I should be able to come up front and say to ask her what she's doing, not do it in a roundabout way," said Bonnie.

"My actions, like for instance, I would smell her fingers and smell her breath when she came home from parties, she said stopped her from doing a lot of things that her friends were actually doing, indulging in. And she didn't because she says, 'I gotta go home to my mom and she's gonna smell me.' It gave her that excuse," said Elsa.

"Oh, my attitude is completely different. I don't want to be the policeman in my house. All I want is to know that my kids are safe and that they're doing things responsibly. I think you teach a lot by example," said Manuela.

"I've told my children right from the beginning, 'Whatever you are planning on doing, I've done it before,'" said Elsa. "My daughter is 11 years old right now and I have talks with her of what I expect her and not expect to do. And smoke, drink and have sex is not any of those three things. Not that I'm naive."

Should you trust your kids? When is it all right to search through their things? Weigh in with your thoughts on our comments board.