Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Last night, i found out that my dad went through my phone, and i mean he went through everything. Every message, email etc. He promised me a while back he would never do this. I got shouted at alot because of some things he found and i just feel he violated my privacy. Am i right or is he? ~M
Ask Sam


Hi M,

Thank you for writing to me.

It sounds like you’re in a really tricky situation. Your dad reading through everything on your phone is a real invasion of your privacy. I can hear that you are feeling violated, especially as this is something he promised not to do.

It is really difficult to say who is right and wrong in a situation like this. Sometimes adults don’t know how to talk to young people and ask what is going on in their lives. This can mean they end up looking through emails and messages instead. As a parent they might need to do this to make sure you are safe in some situations. It can be very hurtful and lead to arguments and rows when they do this though. I can see why you feel like he has violated your privacy.

It could be worth talking to your dad or a trusted adult about how this has made you feel. Perhaps you could come up with an agreement about your privacy and what things you feel comfortable sharing with him. It sounds like in this case he hasn’t tried talking to you and hasn’t asked you about his concerns first, which would have shown more trust in you.

Having open and honest relationships with important people in your life can be really positive and help develop trust, but it can be difficult to know where to start. You might find our new page on talking to adults helpful.

You might also find it helpful to chat to one of the counsellors here about your privacy. You could tell them a bit more about your relationship with your dad and the sort of thing he’s read that has made him react badly.

The counsellors will never judge you - they are there to listen to you and to support you. You could speak to a counsellor by phoning free on 0800 1111 or by having a 1-2-1 chat. You could also check out the message boards and see how other young people have dealt with similar situations or even start a new thread about your experiences.

Take care,


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