Every night around 11:30 p.m., mother-of-two Laura Muse kisses her teenage son Cohen on the cheek before tucking him into bed.
Then, he takes his cell phone and leaves the room.
Confiscating the device to make sure her 15-year-old son gets enough rest for school the next day, instead of texting, tweeting, and watching TikTok videos all night, is just one of Mom’s nosy mom moves. Muse.
The Greensboro, North Carolina, mother also routinely checks the phones of him and her 17-year-old daughter Kylie, going through their personal mail and social media activitiesto make sure their high school students behave behind their screens.
“I own their phones, I pay for the phones. I can go through them whenever i wantan unapologetic muse, 41, told The Post.
“People might think [checking my teens’ phones] It’s a sign of disrespect or an invasion of their privacy, but that’s how I run my boat,” added Muse, a mental health doctor.
Parents are increasingly moderating and controlling their children’s online behavior. Under the hashtag #RaisingTeens, which has over 216 million and counting impressions from TikTok, Muse and others. generation zer parents proudly admit that he snooped. A recent survey by the software security seal malwarebytes revealed that 54% of parents monitor their teens using two or more mechanisms: either tracking their phones via GPS, reading their emails, monitoring their web browsing history, checking texts, monitoring social posts, leaking computer games and spying on YouTube activity.
Muse’s children received their phones at age 11 and she has been tracking them ever since. Initially, she directed surprise inspections weekly. The then-tweens would complain a bit, but then willingly give up their devices, knowing that random searches were the price they had to pay for phone privileges.
Now well into her teens, Muse’s checkups have become more sporadic; she is randomly testing only a few times a year.
And while she trusts her sons, who are star athletes with huge social media followings, the hawk-eyed mom feels that monitoring her brood’s digital activities prevents them from engage in inappropriate feats and protects them from online predators and scammers.
In the past, he’s caught Cohen posting shirtless photos and using profanity on Instagram. She immediately instructed him to delete the taboo content.
On social media, other parents share their illicit discoveries.
A mother garnered nearly 5,000 views on TikTok for a video revealing she found out her 15-year-old son was exchanging nude photos with his girlfriend.
Another delivered audio of a man yelling “What the hell?”, to show his dismay after going through his teenage daughter’s device. She captioned the clip of her, which garnered more than 105,000 views, “wtf i just saw”, choosing not to reveal the details of his disturbing discovery.
In response to the nosy mom’s post, commenters issued scathing rebukes, writing, “This is not cool,” “You don’t have to check her phone,” and “I hate parents who can’t. respect the limits.”
Gillian Margonis, a Gen Z TikToker from Nashville, Tennessee, garnered 5.6 million views on a video attacking nosy moms and dads.
“Like your room, [your phone] it’s their own private space, and they shouldn’t be looking through it because you deserve privacy,” he told his followers.
But while privacy and boundaries are important, Manhattan psychotherapist Kelly Nadel tells The Post that phone monitoring isn’t inherently bad, as long as parents clearly and honestly express their motives and concerns to their teens.
“My guidance for parents is to meet with your children, let them know what is and is not appropriate to share over the phone, and think of ways that you both feel safe about using your phone,” Nadel said. .
She added that including her son in the phone monitoring process, which will allow them to feel like the inspection is a team effort rather than extortion, can create a sense of bonding.
“Prioritizing the parent-child relationship will allow the teen to make wiser decisions about technology as they get older,” Nadel added.
And just as much is true in the house of Muse.
She says her children have learned to appreciate her snooping. In fact, she says that she has made them a closer family.
“If I find something that’s a problem, we talk about it and make it a teachable moment,” Muse said. “I’m not perfect, I don’t expect my children to be perfect, but it’s important keep an eye on things.”