Return to the Stepfamily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Privacy

Posted by helpwiththis (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 17, 08 at 21:32

How much privacy should a child have? As I read the post on anger/jealousy I noticed that the topic of privacy came up. Some people were against reading letters that kids write to their OP, and some were for it. At times I read the diaries of my dd and my sd when they are out of the house. They are in those pre-teen years and I worry about them. Do I believe that my dh and I are raising them right, of course. And I do feel we have good communication with both girls, but I do feel that we are not hurting them by reading their diaries. If I ever found anything disturbing in them I would not tell them I read their diaries, I would instead lead them to the topic in conversation. I do not believe that makes me a bad parent. I know that both girls have had a little drama with their op and sometimes they talk about it, but other times they don't. I like to read their thoughts and make sure that they are okay. They both have e-mail and I know the passwords. Our computer is in our familyroom, so I can see what they are doing online at any time, but I do on occasion read their e-mails secretly. I like to make sure they are not sending or receiving any innapropriate e-mails. At times I have read their e-mails to their op. Why is it such a huge deal?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Privacy

Because it is wrong. It is such an obvious violation of the trust, honesty, and openness that are absolutely essential to have in one's relationships with people you love. Without trust, honesty and openness you don't have love - you may have obsession, you may have possessiveness, but you don't have love.


 o
RE: Privacy

If you see an email to their parents and you read it wihout permission you not only violate privacy of a child, you violate privacy of the other parent who does not know you read their letters.

If you have an agreement with the other parent that you both will be reading each other emails, maybe it could be viewed differently.

DD's SM would never read my emails to DD and if she would go crazy and do it, X wouldn't allow it. And why would she read my emails or DD's emails? What would she be afraid of?

You do have to monitor to a degree especially if you suspect something fishy going on like kids talking to sex predators. You can sometimes catch something I guess (I didn't monitor DD and didn't read stuff but I did talk to her a lot about what is appropriate to put on the Internet). She is grown now and wasn't troubled. But i can see how some accidents can be prevented in troubled children.

But there is a big difference between preventing abuse and deliberatelly reading their parents's letters to them (without permission). It is just plain morally wrong and is kind of a control issue. Control freaks do that.


 o
RE: Privacy

I think its morally reprehensible for you to be reading your kids diaries. Kids write their deepest most personal thoughts in there, and you have no right to violate that for your own amusement. You can pretend all you like that its because you are concerned, blah blah blah, but unless the kids are acting a way that they are appearing to be involved in somethign wrong, your pre-emptive snooping is an abuse of trust, and while it may not make you a bad parent, it certainly makes you a bad person . IMO of course. Monitoring web access is far from the same thing as secretly reading someones diary. It is necessary to monitor how your kids use the net. It is not necessary to read their emails, It REALLY isnt necessary to snooop in their personal journals. Half the things written by preteen girls are gross exaggerations anyway.

The fact that you say you wont ever let them know you read their diary if you happen to find something you dont like in it PROVES that at some level you also know its wrong. You just dont care.

Sorry if I sound harsh but I have no patience for snoops and control freaks. Your daughter, as a teen will have every reason not to trust you, and you will probably be shaking your head wondering why.


 o
RE: Privacy

I am not a control freak, I am just a concerned parent. My sd has so many issues because of her bm and she refuses to go to counseling. We would bring her and she would not talk to the counselor. After a while we got tired of wasting our money on appointments that turned into a stare down. We noticed that she consistently wrote in a diary, so we began reading it to see what was in her mind about everything. She does open up to us at times and tell us things, we do our best to keep communication open. I do not feel like what we are doing is wrong for us to do, but I know that she would feel violated by it so that is why we do it secretly.

As for reading what her mother writes her, well her mother is nuts. She tells her things that are completely inappropriate at times, other times she has no communication for a month or so at a time. Her mother has told her lies about her father and I and my sd has gotton so upset with us over these lies. Then she finds out later that they were not true. So if we read these e-mails and see this ridiculous stuff we know what is going into her mind and can somehow approach these issues in another way so she isn't walking around so upset.


 o
RE: Privacy

You would do something that you know makes her feel violated - and yet you do it anyway.

You do NOT NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS IN HER MIND. IT IS HER MIND, and if she wants to keep what is in there private, that is HER business.

It makes no difference if her mother is insane. She still has a right to privacy. Mentally ill people have rights too.

This is just so inconceivable to me that people actually think this way. I just had no idea... I have never run across this IRL, not in the well over 50 years I have been around.


 o
RE: Privacy

If you decided that children are traumatized by something parents write to them, you should inform both paernts that you will be reading their mail. Or maybe it is even better if you talk to mom and dad of a child and let them decide if they want to read each other mail. Or maybe even better report abuse to the police or CPSs. Nobody gave you an authority to read somebody else' mail. Reading other people's letters was morally wrong behavior since people first started to use written language. Unless it is addressed to you, who gave you a permission to read it?


 o
tos

Same here. I am in my 40s and I never knew that so many people actually find it normal reading what parents and children write to each other. And I am not talking about accidentally coming across a letter and reading few lines by mistake, of course it happens. They are talking about deliberate consistent reading of other people's mail.

Honestly, it does shock me. I did ask my DD today (in email, and no, neither X nor anyone else read it lol) what she thinks of it. She was like: "Huh? They do what? SM would read what you write to me? Why would she? Or your SO would read what my dad writes to me? What the..? Who does that?"

When DD was younger whenever coming across crazy parents or stepparents of her friends, she used to say "thank you, mom, for being normal". ha.


 o
nuts

I agree that often Xs of our loved ones are nuts, but let's face it every story has two sides. You think she is nuts, but I bet you she tells everybody that her kids' SM is nuts. And then she adds: "And on top of being nuts she also has no life. She reads my mail!"

SO's X actually is mentally ill-diagnosed with manic depression and she does bizzare things. But I don't think it justifies my reading of her private mail. She probably wouldn't hesitate (she never returned a spare key from the house and SO didn't think of changing the lock. She knew that no one wass home and tresspassed and took few things) But does it mean i have to become nuts like her and go to her level and read her mail?


 o
RE: Privacy

I think the main reason step-parents "invade" the SC's privacy is to keep the kids safe and healthy. For me it was necessary for my DD, the oldest of 4, to be MONITORED. Even when she was a senior, it was more necessary. She had choices. She could have cleaned her room every 2 weeks, she chose not to. I let her know if she didn't clean it, I would look at whatever was left on the floor and anything I found was fair game, including diaries, notes to/from girlfriends, etc. That's how I found out she'd been going to the mine pits to keg parties. That's how I found out she and her girlfriend were hanging around with a 40 year-old convicted sexual pervert who later kidnapped the friend for about 6 months when friend was only 15. Her parents and the FBI couldn't find them for a long time. Things like that.

With youngest DD who moved out on her own at age 19, I wish I HAD "invaded" her privacy. I had to clean up her room after she left. I found a notebook she kept as a diary that contained hatred and anger at the world, kind of like the Unibomber's manifesto. If I had only known how troubled she was, I could have gotten help for her. It is our job as parents to keep our kids safe. That's how I found out oldest DD was smoking during school time and how I DIDN'T find out youngest DD was smoking.

If the Columbine Massacre perpetrator's parents had been nosy, perhaps, just maybe, some innocent kids might have been spared. It might not have made any difference, but we'll never know.


 o
RE: Privacy

The fact that OP asks plaintively....Why is it a huge deal?, says everything.

And then later you say..."I do not feel like what we are doing is wrong for us to do, but I know that she would feel violated by it so that is why we do it secretly. "

so its okay to violate her? geezuz

Do you read their snail mail too? STeam the envelopes open? Oh , wait, THATS against the law.

ITs a shame that your relationship with your kids/stepkids is so poor that you have to resort to sneaking into their personal thoughts, instead of being able to communicate with them.

You know its wrong, or you wouldnt be secret about it. Any time someone invades someone elses space without knowledge or consent, its wrong, and its immoral. How would you feel if someone listened in on your phone calls or snooped in your lingerie drawer? Maybe opened your bank statements before you got them? I bet you would be FURIOUS.

People who snoop on their kids destroy trust. As hard as you try to find a reason to justify it, there is none. You can make a case for monitoring internet use. You can make a case for reading emails to strangers if you suspect there is a problem. BUt there is no possible justification for reading something as personal as a diary, particularly when you claim there are no real problems.

Tell your daughter and stepdaughter this evening, that you have been reading their writing. Thats the least you can do...inform them that something they consider deeply personal and private is no longer so. THen they can decide if they want to keep the journal any longer. YOu at least owe them that respect, but I imagine you are getting too much personal payoff by being a sneak.

You, and some others here who think that its okay to search a room without cause or read a diary, or read emails written to the childs parent, make my hair hurt.

One of the first things that happens when a woman flees domestic abuse and goes to a shelter, is she is given a room with a pin code that no one knows but her....the REASON is so that she has PRIVACY over her possessions, which is something lacking in an abusive home.

In my opinion, its abuse to violate your childs privacy without a damn good reason....and a damn good reason is NOT.." We noticed that she consistently wrote in a diary, so we began reading it to see what was in her mind about everything.

btw this goes for everyone, not just stepfamilies. I know many parents who are still married that also have no qualms about deceitfully spying on their kids personal thoughts. These same people would freak out if someone were secretely monitoring what they write down or talk about. Go figure.


 o
RE: Privacy

Reading someone else's email, in the absence of a compelling safety issue, is unacceptable. It will lead to a lack of trust. And reading a childs email to a parent will breed lack of trust by the child and the parent.

It is bizarre to me how stepmothers complain about lack of trust and then would read emails, especially emails from a child to a parent.

That so many SMs here think it is fine to read emails makes me distrusting of any SM.


 o
RE: Privacy

God KK - can you get past the SM thing? Many bioparents have stated they read their kid's private things. Did you forget about that, or it that okay for them to do? Perhaps you should distrust biomoms too? Care to respond to that?

I'm not saying I agree with reading things without good cause as I don't, but dirty brings up a good point about Columbine. I'm sure there were signs there for the parents, and perhaps history would be different if they had cared less about privacy and more about their children and done some snooping. I call that situation *with cause.*
"ITs a shame that your relationship with your kids/stepkids is so poor that you have to resort to sneaking into their personal thoughts, instead of being able to communicate with them." Come on Kathline - do you really think either of those kids would have just spewed out their plans if their parents tried to communicate with them? Obviously there were years of issues that built to that horrible day, but I have the believe that it may have been preventable if those kids were given less privacy. Kid's reading bank statements does not compare to parents reading emails, if it is done with cause. It is not the kid's job to keep the adult safe.

I see it this way - I'd rather be immoral and have my children angry at me but safe than looking down at me from heaven saying "thanks for never reading my diary, mom."


 o
RE: Privacy

JNM, I know very fews parents who read the child's mail to another parent.


 o
RE: Privacy

I wouldnt argue that most likely the columbine kids were showing serious signs of being in trouble and there was cause there. If you read what I said, you would understand that I think there is a time when it is justified, for cause.

But the OP claims to have a good relationship and good communication with her child and stepchild. There are no real problems with them. ANd yet she sneaks into their personal journal when they arent home, KNOWING that the kids would feel violated if they knew. Its not to prevent problems, its to satisfy her own curiousity, no matter how you try to sugar coat it.

The very least she should do is stop sneaking and admit to the girls that she is prying into their deepest thoughts without permission.

Parents who sneak cant be trusted any more than teens who sneak. Its hard to justify telling your children to be honest and upfront , while you yourself are a sneak. Snooping into a diary is showing that you dont trust your child, regardless of whether or not they have given you reason. ( again, I agree there are times its justified) By doing so you are showing that you also are untrustworthy.....

If you want to know what is on your childrens mind, spend more time with them in a relaxed non judgemental matter. I havent had communication problems with any of my four kids, my three foster kids who are now all adults, nor my two stepkids. Why? because I listen, I dont judge, and I respect their privacy.

And snooping in a childs letter to a parent is never justified, imo. If the kid wants to talk about how they feel, they will, when it comes to parents. No kid, step or not, can feel safe and respected when their thoughts are being viewed without their consent. Its their child, and the person they are writing to is their parent. I hear a lot of horrible birth mother and horrible stepmother tales on here, but that of course is one sided info. I am sure if the other person were asked, there would be some horrible tales told on the other side too. A child has absolute right to privacy in their conversations with their parents, and most judges will make that into a court order if requested.

In our case, my stepdaughter must save her emails for her stepfather to read through before she sends them to her father. Her stepfather then reads my husbands answers to his daughter before he allows her to read them. Tell me how this is morally or in any other way correct?

All that has happened is my stepdaughter created another online mail account that her stepfather knows nothing about and uses that for her email.

Is that what you want? to drive a child to learn to hide and dissemble? I want my kids to grow up to be honest and upright, and the best way to do that is to model it for them myself.

Children do learn what they live


 o
RE: Privacy

I think if a parent has genuine cause for concern that the child might be hurting himself/herself or planning to hurt others -- then yes, the violation of privacy is outweighed by the responsibility to be a good parent. A child who's depressed, angry, withdrawn, uncommunicative -- if the parent can find some clues to help the chld...

But if it's just to make sure the child isn't saying anything malicious or untrue to the other parent, then it's just snooping and will backfire on the snooper.


 o
yah, what sweeby said

lol Sweeby,

You just said what I was trying to say, only in a lot less words!


 o
RE: Privacy

I have a problem with parents or stepparents deliberatelly reading mail or emails or textmessages obviously addressed to the other parent. It is a control issue. Preventing crime or tragedy is entirelly different story. What tragedy would take place if children write to their parents whatever they want. It wouldn't be under SM's control, but it hardly is a tragedy.


 o
RE: Privacy

sexualization of a child is wrong and it has to stop. you have to document it, but adults websites and sex clubs are legal, it is not against the law.


 o
RE: Privacy

I do not read through my kid or skids e-mails or diaries, but I do not think helpwiththis is awful for doing so. If she is genuinely concerned about her sd's emotional state (which refusing to speak to a counselor is pretty serious!) then I think that it is okay. Who knows, sd could get so upset about situation with bm that she could think about hurting herself. Most kids who seriously think about suicide do not discuss it, and some even don't show many warning signs. So, if helpwiththis thinks that she is preventing disaster by reading a diary or e-mails when nobody is around to see her do it then I do not think sd will lose trust for her---she will not know! And if it saves sd from hurting herself then it was for the best. Also, if bm has said and e-mailed inappropriate things to sd in the past then I do not see a problem with e-mails being monitered! I read the thread about the information that bm shared with sd about sex and I was appauled! If these are the kinds of things bm shares with her then I too would be monitering contact!


 o
RE: Privacy

What's wrong with refusing to speak to a counselor?? If the child doesn't want to go to a counselor, or the child thinks the counselor is prying into matters that the child thinks are none of his or her business, or the child simply doesn't like the counselor, refusing to speak to him or her is the logical thing to do.

I don't understand why several people have acted as if it doesn't matter if you violate a child's trust just because they don't find out about it. It is no less wrong. It is ok to steal from your mother's wallet if she never realizes any money is missing?

Let's say I am concerned about my child's physical well-being. She would be much less likely to get sick if I never let her go to school, to group activities, to the mall, to the grocery store, etc. Do I have the right to keep her home all the time? Of course not.

You can't violate someone's right to privacy unless there is a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. Vague concerns about her emotional state just don't cut it.


 o
RE: Privacy

Clear and present danger has been present in my sd's life when it concerns her mother. She has been in her mothers care and seen her mother get beat up by bf. She has been in her mothers care and had to speak to cops about physical fights mom and her bf and his friends have gotton into while she was there. She has been in clear and present danger when she has layed in bed at night crying herself to sleep and the next morning saying she is sick and does not want to go to school. She is in clear and present danger when she bottles up her feelings inside and is visibly sad and depressed but won't talk to us or a counselor about her feelings.

She will tell us about her day at school, her friends, and other things. But, when it comes to her hurt from things that have gone on with her mother she bottles it all up inside and doesn't want to "betray" her mother by telling anyone too much.

We do not have vague concerns! There is a huge difference from theft of money from someones purse and reading thoughts that are written or typed because your concerned about that persons well-being. If you do not see the difference then I feel sorry for you. Though, I am sure you can see the difference but choose not to because I am a sm.


 o
RE: Privacy

It would also not be right for a biological parent to read a child's diary or communications with the other parent.

You obviously missed my point - there is no difference between saying it is ok to steal as long as the victim does not know about it and saying it is ok to invade someone's privacy as long as the victim does not know about it. The victim's lack of awareness does not change whether your actions are right or wrong.

I don't blame her for not sharing any information with you. You obviously can't be trusted.


 o
RE: Privacy

Because I enjoy playing devil's advocate almost as much as I believe TOS does, I will ask . . . . what constitutes clear and present danger?

Let's take the Columbine boys as an example, as we know they truly were a danger. At what point should their parents decided the danger was clear and present? Where is that line?


 o
RE: Privacy

Perhaps in 1997, when the police where notified that death threats had been posted on one of the boys' web sites, available for the world to see. This web site included a blog in which one of the boys talked about building explosives.


 o
RE: Privacy

The way to get a sad and depressed teen to open up and talk, is to spend more time with them, and build the kind of relationship that helps them trust you.

Someone who deceptively violates another persons private space, and then attempts to justify it as a loving act, isnt the kind of person who knows how to build a relationship like that.

Simply put, what goes around, comes around. If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy.


 o
RE: Privacy

kathline, how old are your kids/Skids?


 o
RE: Privacy

imamommy,

I have four birth sons, 24, 23, 19, and 14. I have three foster kids who are still part of my family, two boys and one girl. The boys i got when they were sixteen, they are now in their early 20's. THe girl i got when she was fourteen, she is now 21, and married with a baby of her own. They lived under my care until they were adults. My step kids are a daughter , 12 ( almost 13), and a stepson 8. We have my stepkids pretty well half time, in a joint physical custody situation. Originally, mom had full physical custody, but lost it a few years ago when she was reported to the CPS by stepdaughters school, for biting stepdaughter all over her arms leaving huge bruises. Mom was given a conditional discharge and placed on the child abuse registry and we were given joint physical custody.

Both my husband and I are on the same page as far as parenting style. We are not authoritarian parents, but we arent particularly permissive either. Our list of rules is fairly short, but those rules we do have, are to be obeyed without exception, and there are consequences for disobeying.The older they get, the fewer rules there are. We have family meetings, informally called in the kitchen, and our family slogan is that everyone gets to have a say. We get the final say but in our kitchen meetings, every child can feel safe to say what they think, what they want to do about it, and know that their opinion carries weight. We have a baton ( a plastic spoon) that the person speaking holds when they are speaking, and when you are holding the spoon no one can interupt you. Family rule.

WE also go out to eat or have everyone over as an extended family once every two weeks, at which time a lot of issues are brought up. With the exception of the youngest stepson, every one of my kids, foster kids and stepkids have told both my husband and I that they think we are the wisest people on the planet and know that we will give them good advice, even if they dont want to hear it. I take that as a tremendous compliment. In fact, when we moved a few years back so that we could maintain the joint custody, ALL of my children and foster children also picked up roots and moved close to us, across country. They didnt want to be away from us, or their brothers and sisters. We are extremely close knit.

Of course every family has to develop its own way of communicating, I just really really oppose the sneaking into peoples private things. I think that if you are going to read someones diary, you should tell them, then at least they can modulate their opinions. Both hubby and I still keep a journal, and all of our kids do as well, as a way to put thoughts in order and to express emotion. Most therapists s uggest it as a great tool to help you understand what you are really feeling, since emotions can be so overwhelming at t imes. But to invade that of someone elses.....it really hits me wrong.
One of my sons, the one who is now 19, had adjustment problems for about a year, when he entered his early teens. I had the attitude thing with him, the lack of ambition, the wanting not to go to school etc. One thing we did do , was talk and communicate without anger or judgement even when I wanted to pull my hair out. We had a great therapist who helped us both to understand how to do that. He is doing fine now, and has been for the last few years.

My foster daughter, when she came to me, was promiscuous and using drugs. Within six months, we turned that around as well, again with the help of a godsend of a therapist.

Now my stepdaughter is disinterested in school, lying about her homework, and hiding things from her mother and stepfather, although she is being open with her dad and I. It upsets her biomom when stepdaughter hides things from her that she freely talks about with us, but some of the things that biomom, or more particularly her husband are doing , are bound to cause mistrust. For instance her mom DOES search her room regularly. Her mom and stepfather both openly compare her to her stepsisters, who are on the honour roll. Her stepdad reads her mail. She isnt allowed to have unmonitored phone conversations. She has been told nothing about periods , or sex, and didnt even know how babies are made until I broke down and told her.

My stepdaughter has done nothing to cause her parents mistrust, other than to lie about grades and homework (which she does because she gets grounded indefinitely for not getting a good grade).

Her biomom and stepdad unfortunately dont deal well with frustration , and thinks cracking down harder is the answer to a problem. Its making it worse, although we dont have any problems with stepdaughter when she is with us. Mom resents the fact that daughter is so easy with us and so secretive and withdrawn with them. Its not mom, its stepdad, according to stepdaughter. But biomom will have to see that for herself.

I try to stay out of it as much as possible, because its not my place to critisize how mom raises her own daughter. YES, i think she is making big mistakes, but they are mistakes common to a lot of parents. Parents tend to forget that when kids are young, I SAID SO is a valid way to deal with them but as teens, you are dealing with young adults who are their own person, and rules without relationship lead to rebellion. A lot of people are totally in shock when their youngster stops being intimidated into doing exactly what they are told. The teen years do get easier with each child, because you have experience with it, as of course you know since soem of your kids are grown. BUt for someone dealing with a teen for the first time, it can be very bewildering. Your young cub grows teeth :)

As I have said before, Praise works better than punishment, and if you want them to trust you, be trustworthy.


 o
Kath

"My stepdaughter has done nothing to cause her parents mistrust, other than to lie about grades and homework (which she does because she gets grounded indefinitely for not getting a good grade)."

That's awful, Kathline!
I'm all for rewards/consequences for grades, but I think they should be reasonable - and that's totally unreasonable!
One of my older brothers didn't do all that well in school, so he was "grounded" to an hour of studying each night if he got a bad grade, until that that grade came up again. But he was still allowed to go out and have fun and all that - he just had to do his studying too.

PS - I love the baton at the family meetings! It doesn't work for everyone, but if it works in your family, that's wonderful.


 o
RE: Privacy

I was visiting my sister in florida and she was reading thru my personal journal and making copies of what i wrote down and sending them back home to my parents and has caused alot of emotional harm she is destroying what was already a rocky relationship and my parents act as if she did nothing wrong please help i am deeply hurt by her and my parents reaction


 o
RE: Privacy

Here is my rule of thumb at home:
As long as I have to go in and gut my SD and DD's room because they havent cleaned it anything not put away I will probably look out....leave a letter on the floor, and if I am the one having to pick it up, than I am gonna look at it, I dont go into diaries I feel those are private just as anything put away in a desk drawer etc.....HOWEVER if I ever suspected drugs,abuse,alchohol, etc... I would prob read their diary because of the saftey issues that surround those subjects...


 o
RE: Privacy

"I wouldnt argue that most likely the columbine kids were showing serious signs of being in trouble and there was cause there. If you read what I said, you would understand that I think there is a time when it is justified, for cause."

This topic has come up many times before and I think last time I used thet Columbine story as an example of parents who gave their children WWWWAAAAYYYYYY too much trust and privacy.

I agree with Kathline that you shouldn't read your kids personal diary or emails just for the sake of reading them BUT if there is very obvious red flags waving a room check may be needed. I wouldn't sneak either...I would straight up say what I intended to do and the reasons for it.

If I thought for one second that my child was involved in drugs or something similar do not think for one second I would not search their rooms with them standing right next to me. I would rather know they had a problem than respect any stupid ass boundaries when it get's that serious. Better to have a pissed kid than a addicted kid who winds up pregnant or dropping out of school.

Also if they gave me any reason NOT to trust them their privacy would be history. Respect, privacy and trust are earned. If I thought they were being sneaky or getting into trouble the bedroom door would stay open, phone conversations would be held in a family space and computer use would be haulted untill behavior improved.

I am also seriously against computers in bedrooms. I don't want my kids stripping for strangers on a web cam thank you very much. Too many sicko's in the world. I want to KNOW what they are doing on the family computer.


 o
RE: Privacy

I wouldn't read a person's diary. About the email, I don't let my child (almost a preteen) use the computer without me being there. Too many weirdos and cyberbullying on the internet.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Stepfamily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here