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Should I Read My Child’s Text Messages? Yes, And Here’s Why

Agnes W Linn

It’s true. Parents read text messages. Not just their own. Their kids’ text messages. And they do it without them knowing.

As parents ourselves, we think this is a smart idea. Kids communicate by text message — and not just with their close friends. Strangers too. The truth is you never know who they might be texting or what they might be saying.

If you’re wondering how to go about reading child’s text messages, we’ll get into that. But first, let’s look at the history of how kids have communicated with their friends. When you stop to think about it, it’s amazing how much has changed — and how fast.

Table Of Contents

How Kids Have Communicated Over the Last 50 Years

  • 1970s: If your child wanted to chat with their friends, chances are they’d ring their friends’ doorbell and ask them to come out and play. Communication happened on the playground or in the wood panel basements of suburban homes.
  • 1980s: While the telephone wasn’t exactly a new invention, touchtone phones pushed rotary phones to the sidelines and the answering machine started to gain popularity. Kids found themselves chatting with their friends more and more over the phone.
  • 1990s: In the latter part of the decade, households started to gain internet access. Online chat rooms gained in popularity, but only tech-savvy kids knew how to access them. For the most part, kids were still communicating and chatting with each other in the real world. Reading child’s text messages wasn’t even a thought for any parent because texting just didn’t exist.
  • Early 2000s: Cell phones became more widespread, but texting wasn’t exactly easy. There were no smartphones, so if you wanted to text someone, you had to use your numerical keypad to type out the words. It was a long process. Office workers had Blackberries, but most kids didn’t.
  • Late 2000s: The invention of the iPhone changed everything, ushering in an era of fast and easy communication by text. Kids could reach out to friends to make plans, all from the comforts of home. And at the end of the day, when they returned home, they could continue those conversations.
  • 2010s: Smartphones became more advanced, and the evolution of social media meant kids could meet strangers from around the world with ease. Growing those new relationships through texting was easier than ever.
  • 2020s: While kids use social media apps to chat with one another, texting from phone number to phone number is still wildly popular.

How to Read Your Child’s Text Messages Without Them Knowing

If you’re concerned about who they’re texting and what they’re saying, take a close look at mSpy. The advanced monitoring app is designed to let you read everything in your child’s text message app.

Just install mSpy on their iPhone or Android and you’ll have access to every conversation. You can see what number they’re texting, the name of the person if they’re in their contact list, and every sent and received message — including photos.

mSpy also lets you read the texts they’re sending and receiving in social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Tinder (not that they should be using that last one).

There’s a lot to love about mSpy, but the real magic happens when you do some exploring on your own. Check out the free demo on the mSpy website and see how parents read text messages with mSpy — and so much more.

Wondering what they're texting about?
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What the Law Says About Reading Your Child’s Text Messages

Is it legal for parents to read text messages? In most jurisdictions, you’re legally permitted to do so. There are a few caveats, though. First, your child must be 17 years old or under. If they’re 18, they’re considered an adult. Second, you must be their legal guardian. If they aren’t living under your roof, you don’t have the right to read their texts.

Why Read Children’s Text Messages?

Should I read my child’s text messages? It’s something we get asked a lot. If you’re still on the fence, consider these 4 reasons.


When you were a kid, bullying was limited to the schoolyard. That’s no longer the case. Kids bully other kids by text message. So, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I read my child’s text messages?” and you also believe they might be prone to bullying, do yourself a favor and check out their texts.

Sharing of Information

Your kid might be getting straight A’s in school. But that doesn’t mean they’re digital smart. Kids don’t realize that personal information needs to remain personal. And they could easily fall victim to a spam text message and reveal information that should never be shared.


Got a teen? You probably don’t want to hear this, but you might need to worry about sexting. Whether they’re chatting inappropriately or sharing photos that just shouldn’t be shared, you need to know about it so you can put a stop to it.


Should parents read their children’s text messages if they’re not concerned about any of the above? Absolutely. When it comes to self-harm or suicide, kids often keep their thoughts to themselves. However, reading their text messages could be a gateway into their mind.


With the evolution of technology and the potential dangers that come along with it, it is important for parents to stay informed and involved in their children’s digital lives. By monitoring text messages, parents can prevent kids from sharing personal information and address concerns related to sexting, bullying, and self-harm.

mSpy offers discreet access to their child’s text messages, adding an extra layer of security and supervision. When used responsibly and with your child’s best interests in mind, this reliable monitoring app helps create a safer digital environment for your little ones.

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Agnes Linn was born into the family of an eloquent preacher (parish priest), with the inevitable passion for writing. She received classic education in Philosophy, as well as Modern Mass Media Management; married, mother of one kid.

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