Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Spying on Your kids

The technology to spy on your kids is out there. But should you?

Invasion of the Privacy Snatchers continued...

"I think electronic spying, if used at all, should be limited to kids who are on 'probation' because of serious offenses against parental trust," says Betsy Schwartz, of Arlington, Mass., the mother of a 4-year-old. "A curfew and a cell phone should do it for most kids."

Sorting out appropriate and inappropriate uses of technological aids means tracing a fuzzy line, Hilfer says. "When are you doing something useful and helpful for your child's well-being? When are you indulging your own suspicious or intrusive nature?"

A Matter of Trust

If a day care center integrates a webcam into their work with parents, that probably feels good to everyone, says Jonathan Brush, PhD, a child psychologist with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. "Children may feel pleased that their parents can see them while they're at work."

But there has to be a clear distinction between young children, who don't have a great sense of privacy, and teenagers, who're in the process of separating themselves from their parents.

"Young children don't have so much need for a private life," Hilfer says. "But in early adolescence children begin to experiment with more freedom. They need to become more independent, and now they have the emotional tools to begin that process. They make mistakes, but that's how they learn, so a parent has to give them space."

In general, Jonathan Pochyly, PhD, agrees. But when an adolescent has already broken rules and seems to be in trouble, then these devices may play a useful role.

"When I see these children in the office with their parents, they often disagree about the facts, so a source of additional objective information is helpful," says Pochyly, a staff psychologist at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

But parents shouldn't use these devices on the sly, Pochyly believes, and they should never spy on their children.

"But these devices could be part of an explicit program to recover lost trust between parent and child," he says. "The parent should discuss the issue with the child, and explain why monitoring is needed 'until I can trust you again.'"

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy