can anyone give me some guidance over this.

My parents are still together but for years now my dad is micro managing this entire family. He has installed security cameras everywhere in and around the house except in our bedrooms. Some days when he is not home he will phone me and tell me to switch this light off or close that door (which he sees by logging into the cameras) and when i disconnect the wifi it is literally not even 10 minutes then he phones me and asks me to check the wifi (because he can't log in ofcourse. But he won't tell me that)

That doesn't sound so bad? Here is more. He has an app on his phone which tells him which room in the house has movement from our infrared alarm system and it tells him if the alarm is armed or not. The alarm wasn't on but he sends me a message asking "is the alarm on?" (I know he knows its not.on but he wants to see if i will lie to him?) I said no not yet. I went outside to have a cigarette and he phones me yelling at me saying "i told you to switch the alarm on. Stop smoking and go do it" (so he knows exactly what i do, when i do it and what i dont do and that the alarm wasn't armed) i am 22..

For years now when my family of 6 sit at the dinner table, he won't look up at us to talk to us. His head is mainly facing his plate while he eats but then every bite he takes, he looks at our plates. And if someone is not eating something he will tell them to eat it.

4 days ago i bought a new car. Yesterday he phoned me and the first thing he said was "i see you are driving around a lot these days" like WTF?? Assuming he has some sort of tracker in my car or phone i told him last night i am visiting my friend. I lied. I went to the grocery store and stood there for a few minutes having a smoke. (I'm not allowed to smoke he gives me a lot of shit and kicked me out when i was 20 for smoking a cigarette OUTSIDE by the driveway) i mean i don't drink, don't use drugs, don't sleep around. Anyway. This morning first thing he asked me "where you at your friend's last night or not?" I said no I went to the store.

I find it really hard to become independent like this. And this is just the past week's issues except the dining table one which has been like that for years. He does this to my entire family. I don't know what to do and am very frustrated. Note: talking to him makes him very defensive as 80% of our conversations are only serious stuff like what we must go do, what we shouldn't do you get the point. There is no conversation with him just about anything else like life, news, sports etc. He is a very serious man and i have seen psychologists too many times. I'm very frustrated...

  • 1
    Hi! I'm really sorry for your situation, I'm 21 and I'm having a difficult relationship with my dad too (which at least is not controlling as yours) and i really don't know what would I do in your place. I can't help you on the human side of the issue but if you give me your phone brand and model we can try to understand together if it might be spied, even the better commercial phone trackers leave many indicators of their presence. Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 10:55
  • How old are you, and in what country? Some of this would seem enough reason to get the police involved to me.
    – Remco
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 12:43
  • Have you given any consideration to moving out?
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 19:47
  • 1
    @Remco Getting the police involved is a terrible idea, you should always try to talk out stuff before taking drastic action.
    – IloneSP
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 8:46
  • Your father clearly has mental health problems, but of course that doesn't help you. I don't know where you live, but in the UK, this is categorised as "controlling behaviour", and comes under the remit of abuse. It is actually illegal in the UK, and if the police were to find out, they'd do something about it. That might give you a small idea of how serious this behaviour is. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:39

2 Answers 2


First off, this kind of behaviour is, as you say, thoroughly out of the ordinary and liable to mess up your ( I assume younger) siblings!
It's the sort of thing that leads to paranoid or insecure adults.
That may be an avenue to talk about.

It's unlikely he's tracking your car, though GPS tracking tags are very much a thing you can buy. More likely if you didn't buy your phone yourself, it's got some child-minder app on it somewhere that reports its location.

Alternately Android phones have a "Family Link" function for the same purpose, you may be able to at least find out if that's enabled. Disabling it is a matter of googling how to do it with your specific model of phone.

Maybe take the opportunity to "upgrade" and replace it with a phone you bought yourself.
It may be worth having a look for a GPS tag in your car too, but they can be quite small and easily concealed, you probably won't find a well hidden one without specialist equipment.

Regardless you definitely should take action.
It seems to me that there are a number of things you can or should do here.
So a few steps.

Get the rest of the family on your side.
This is the strongest and easiest step. You won't be the only one feeling this way.
Talk to your mom, she likely has the strongest leverage with your dad for making him back off.

Talk to your siblings about how unpleasant it is and see if they'll support you.
Address your dad at dinner when everyone is around, make your feelings unignoreable. Make it clear you don't feel comfortable in your own home and you're feeling paranoid and stressed out. If you've garnered support, maybe give your mom or siblings an opportunity to chime in with agreement.
Don't accept shutdowns like "I'm trying to enjoy my dinner" or "Lets not do this now", If not now, then when? Dinner is when you're all together in one place!

Do not accept the "if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear" argument, it's an easy win for your dad if you do, being spied on is unacceptable.

Ask and Demand that he stop micromanaging and spying. Don't skirt around it, make sure your position is entirely understood by everyone present.

Push back
The Aggressive Approach.
It's time to establish your new ground-rules.
Tell him you aren't comfortable at home because of his behaviour, in the one place you should feel comfortable and it's a constant source of stress.
Tell him flatly that you won't support his spying, if he behaves like Big Brother, you'll ignore him entirely.
Then follow up on it. if he texts you and uses knowledge he garnered by remotely checking up on you, ignore the text. If he gets upset about this, be stubborn about it. You're doing this for your siblings, not just for you. He's the one being unacceptable.

If he asks where you've been, you have zero obligation to tell him. Next time he wants to know, turn it back on him and ask why he wants to know. Be mystified why it matters, not angry or defensive, you're not doing anything wrong.

Stay Away More
The Passive approach.
Spend time with friends rather than be at home if you can, take up hobbies that keep you out of the house.
Hang out elsewhere.
By being away more, you will loosen your dad's hold on you, especially if you're not communicating with him when he spies on you.
If asked, say you feel more comfortable in places where you're not being spied on.
Feel free to express it in those exact terms.
Make your dad understand that he's driving you away.

Get out
His trump-card is "my house, my rules".
You're in your 20s, more than old enough to be living and working elsewhere (depending on your own health/circumstances of course) Why are you still there? especially when things aren't comfortable at home!
You can use this as you leave, make it clear that the surveillance-state nature of your home is driving you away. Feel free to guilt-trip your dad as much as you want on the way out.
Perhaps that will give your siblings ammunition when they inevitably reach the same frame of mind you're in now.

Honestly it's very likely that this micro-management and spying behaviour is pretty entrenched. You probably won't make much of a change in it without a lot of drama.

For your own purposes, that last option of leaving is probably your best recourse.

  • 1
    The "push back" option should be the last option. You ideally don't want to turn the coexistence in the house into a hell where the father is angry all the time. And leaving is tricky, he'd need to have enough savings.
    – IloneSP
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 12:00
  • True enough, still, barring chronic conditions or other major reasons, Noah's goals probably include leaving home at some point anyway! Making that a priority for reasons beyond merely "outgrowing the nest" feels like an appropriate action to me. Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 12:10
  • 1
    Maybe he needs to go see someone. Or our entire family needs family therapy even though its going to be focused more towards my father. My ultimate goal is just to become independent and leave this country. Thanks for the advice!
    – Noah
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 13:42

I don't know if your father has an aggressive personality, but definitely what you're describing is a gross invasion of privacy. He isn't micromanaging your family, he is constantly watching you and that is pretty toxic.

Maybe you can talk with your mother and ask her opinion? If she agrees with you, you could sit down with your father and try to explain to him that you need to set boundaries. Because, yeah, you're living under their roof, but you also have a right of privacy and not getting your father breathing in your neck all the day.

It seems that your father is very possessive and controlling, so it'll probably be hard. Good luck!

  • Thing is we all know he is controlling us. We just can't get through to him as he is very stubborn. Like today he went up to my sister's flat which is on our yard and snooped around. God know what he was looking for. I remember one day asking him why he is so heavy on us and he just turns around and points out things i do wrong and eventually finds way to spite me till i am quiet like taking my car away he loves that because he knows i love my car. Here in SA we don't have much privacy rights within families. He is not physically aggressive. Just verbally a master in pushing us down.
    – Noah
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 13:55
  • 1
    Well, verbally pushing you down is also aggressive.
    – IloneSP
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 15:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .