The other day I was wondering about that uneasy feeling of finding out too much of what doesn't concern me about my kids - in facebook (say). And Nancy made a comment about the invitation she got from her son which made her "feel this polarity of wanting to be connected, but not wanting to know lots of stuff that I can see ".
Then I heard an even more creepy thing from a friend whose son has recently gone on an exchange visit to stay with a family in Argentina. She's from Germany and the exchange is paid to and organised by a German organisation. Most of the visits are one-way i.e. Germany to Argentina, where not very wealthy host families can make a bit of money from the stay.
Anyway, son's first time away from home and my friend is casually hoping to find information about the family from Google. In her search she stumbles across a blog kept by the teenage daughter of the family. There's no doubt it's the right blog because there's a photo of her son on it; he's standing on the road outside the host family house.
Of course my friend reads the blog even though it's in teenage Spanish slang. She understands enough to see that it's where the girl pours out her secret thoughts, with the latest post being one about the invasion of a German boy into their family space.
So my friend dilemma is this: Does she continue reading the blog posts? And at what stage of intimacy does she stop reading about her son from a teenage girl in whose family home he's living in Argentina? Should she disclose to the girl that she is reading her diary? And to her son? What's worse is that although my friend reads Spanish, it's not easy to understand the slang and she may be picking up only enough to let her imagination create the stories.
So for the time being she has tagged it "son's own learning journey" but I don't know if she has resisted the temptation to read the blog again. I'm wondering what I would do.