Do you read your daughter's journal?

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Crystal - posted on 07/24/2012

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Something to keep in mind, my Grandmother told me this 30+ years ago, NEVER write down something you don't want the whole world to see. It can and will come back to bite you at the worst time. Someday someone is going to see it unless you destroy it first. To this day I live by that. I had to go through my Grandmother's personal things when she passed away and understood what she ment when she said someday, someone would see what was written. Yes privacy is important, however, I choose my kids safety over their privacy anytime.

User - posted on 07/24/2012

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It depends. If she's behaving erratically or secretive, moreso than the normal teen beavior, then yes I will read her journal. Otherwise I give her the space needed.

Megan - posted on 08/18/2012

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I still remember when I was 12 my mum read my diary and I spoke to her like we strangers after that. Even now I hardly know her anymore. To put it the best way think of it like this: Someone reading your diary is like having them know every deep, dark secret you have and it absolutely shatters any trust you used to have. If you are really worried about your child then think if you would be willing to destroy your relationship with her because that's what will happen. For children reading their diary/journal makes them think that they have no privacy anymore and that will make them become paranoid. They will not share secrets and they will become more distant from the world. I personally would never read my children's diary because I know for her it's like going into a new world and if I were to read it that world would be shattered and so would she.

Emily - posted on 07/14/2012

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I was a silly child and wrote in my diary about emotional abuse I was experiencing from a family member. Said family member read my diary and made my life a living hell....I will never read my child's diary, unless their life is danger

Jean J - posted on 12/02/2012

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I agree with Melissa. I have had a daughter with her life out of control and yes I read her journal. I would do anything to keep her from harm, and no one ever died from having a concerned parent. It's what you do with the information that matters.

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Josselyn - posted on 10/08/2012

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My 13 year old daughter has a journal and she has had one since she was 12. I've never once read it. It's more like a diary. It has a lock and she has a key to it that she hides somewhere. I'm not really that interested in what she puts in there, it's her personal thoughts and I don't want to interfere with them.

Bobmusicgirl4 - posted on 09/18/2012

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I would never read my daughter/son's journal. Why? Because some things should be kept private. If you have no secrets.....you are not human. That is why. You should have a place to put down your thoughts and feel comfortable knowing they are for your eyes only.

Megan - posted on 09/02/2012

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@Jess I completely agree because basically I think (and this is just my opinion) you have two options when you feel tempted to read a daughter's diary - 1: you read it obviously or 2: you actually talk to her about and I hear from so many people that their daughters won't talk them about these things but to me that just sounds like an excuse. Simply because you can easily pursue her to talk about it and if she doesn't just give it time. This is actually a lot better than the outcome of reading her journal.

Jess - posted on 09/01/2012

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NO! im 14 and i think u should not read ur daughters journal/dairy there are many reason for this for starters she would feel like she cant trust u anymore and might even do things just to spite u for it, you should talk to ur daughter and have trust in her to tell u the truth, think about when u was a child and what u would do if ur mom read urs, tell her about the things that can happen and make sure she knows what is going on in the world. So just talk to her and see what is going on in her life, i can tell u now it makes a good relationship between u and ur daughter.

[deleted account]

When I was 12-14, I kept a diary about all my personal problems. You know, school, boys, friends, and what not. I was very alert and made sure my parents could never get to it. Not that I wrote bad things, just I wrote my personal feelings in there because they were things they didn't need to know. Diarys/journals are private and should never be read. It's a great way for your children to express themselves, and an even better way for them to gain your trust. Hope this helps!

Melissa - posted on 08/20/2012

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I guess I'm just confused on how (if neccessary) reading your child's journal can have such a horrible impact on your life; as to run away and to never speak to your parent again. I had my journal read as a kid. Guess what? It wasn't the end of the world. I have an amazing relationship with my parents today-- 15-20 years later. I can call my mom or dad for anything. I wouldn't read it for just any reason (like what happened to me), but if there's something going on in your child's life and you need to figure it out then you do what you have to as a parent to care for them and protect them. If you can do that by checking out the journal then do what you have to do. I haven't had to read mine child's but if her life was spiraling out of control you can bet your ass I would do anything and everything to save her.

Ellie Richardson - posted on 08/19/2012

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no.I personally have no interest in reading it.Thats just me though.To each his or her own.

Crystal - posted on 07/24/2012

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II read my daughters emails, texts and facebook. There are to many predators out there for me not to take an active roll. She knows I read them as well as that is part of the deal of her having those want to haves.

We are legally responsible for these kids as well, so it's a moral & legal responsibility to protect them. Beside I love my daughter and try to keep her from harm.

Melissa - posted on 07/24/2012

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@Melanie - how does someone reading what you planned on publishing anyway cause you to run away??

Freda - posted on 07/24/2012

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@ Melanie there was a point of time she offered me to read it and I said No....

And you ran away just because someone read your journal....Wow! you must have been doing something very wrong to make a move like that...

Freda - posted on 07/24/2012

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How it makes things better?



So that I can make the right steps to make her feel comfortable and if something crazy was going on..I'd know if she wouldn't ever tell me....



I wouldn't read her journal anymore so there is no reason to attack me...I did it out of concern..She is not being abused and I wouldn't even want to read it again...



**I wouldn't read a persons journal I wouldn't no..that is down right crazy, this is my daughter we are talking about here first of all...A stranger and my daughter cannot be compared** that's just my opinion....

Melanie - posted on 07/24/2012

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Just a tip, mine was read, and I ran away. I intended to write an autobiography, with my journal being the rough draft. After my parents read it, that dream was over, ... and several more. The idea of having a plce to escape, to figure things out on my own, and to relaease all my tension and fear were gone, forever. You can never imagine the pain. I am 52 and still will NOT begin a journal, and am thus in major therapy which may have been avoided, if I could have just felt like I had a secure place to vent. THINK BEFORE YOU BETRAY YOUR OWN CHILD. It can be extremely devastating.
Memaw

Melanie - posted on 07/24/2012

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So how in the world does this make anything better? You have interfered in her VERY personal life. If I were her, (and found out) I would NEVER trust you again, and run away. Where in the world can she go now, to have her OWN LIFE? You have single-handedly ruined her writing. Trust me, I know this happened to me, and I did leave.
Even if she never finds out, you gotta look in the mirror.
If I had you as a visitor in my house, would you look through all my drawers and closets? Some places are NOT for your nose.
Memaw

Melissa - posted on 07/23/2012

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Mine is only 12, so we haven't got to the point of her going off without us knowing, but we've had to have the discussion of inappropriate clothing and inappropriate texts. We have a rule that her journal is hers, but the phone is ours and she is not to delete any texts and we can read them at any time. Same goes for her email. Once something is said on the internet or text it can't be taken back. We wanted to make sure she thinks before posting. She also knows her journal is hers. It something that the whole world can't judge her on so we won't either. With that being said it really confused me as to why she would write lies when no one sees it except her. Does she really think it happened or did she write it hoping someone would see it and believe it just because it was in her journal. Makes me a little nervous what else is going on in there (the journal) .... :/

Freda - posted on 07/23/2012

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@ Melissa I totally agree....because the only thing that set my daughter off that day was she was punished for leaving town with someone without our permission... and if something would have happened I wouldn't have know where she was....She needs to think before just saying yes and being excited to go and do something....



I always teach her to ask me to go anywhere before she makes a decision to do something like that...

Melissa - posted on 07/23/2012

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My step daughter left her journal sitting open one day and in big letters it said "I hate my dad and Melissa." I only read that page but she had downright lies in it. She wrote she was on crutches -- she's never been on crutches. She wrote that I had done something to her and I wasn't even home during the incident she was talking about. Just because the child is going off about a parent or step parent doesnt mean that there is abuse. Jumping to the conclusion that there is when there isn't can cause just as much damage to the family as if there was actual abuse going on.

Freda - posted on 07/22/2012

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@ Robin..I think I will now after reading what I read....Thanks for the advice...I rather respect her..but I get respect anyway,...

Robin - posted on 07/22/2012

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I would never read my daughters journal unless she offered it to me. The reason is if I did she how would she be able to trust me when she really needed me. you need to trust and respect your kids or they cant trust or respect you in return. I have 5 kids 2 girls and 3 boys, the girls are more open to diolog than the boy with me as mom, but when the boys really need it the will come to me with their problems. If I might add none of them have done drugs, smoked or drink.

Tiffany - posted on 07/22/2012

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I'd be more concerned about why your daughter's private feelings are so very different from those she expresses to you than about finding things to punish her for. If she's acting out in inappropriate ways at that age, it seems to me to make more sense to try to find the root causes and figure out what it is that she's looking for and help her find healthy ways to fill those needs than to try to squash her into submission. The important thing her journal told you isn't that she doesn't like your husband, but that her inner emotions are very different from what she's exhibiting to the world (or at least in front of you and other authority) figures and she's making a conscious effort not to let you know how she really feels or what her inner conflicts are. That's a huge danger zone, much more so than a specific behavior or feelings toward a particular person. I'd stop thinking so much about what she's doing wrong and what you'd like her to see and start trying to figure out how you can make her comfortable showing you who she really is and admitting to her negative feelings.

Freda - posted on 07/17/2012

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What has your relationship been like with your daughter...is it enough to talk personal..When it comes to this subject my daughter and I can talk about sex opening. If I ask her if she is having sexual feelings she would tell me yes...Then I would go on about the risk behind the decisions of having sex.

Teresa - posted on 07/17/2012

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Hi Letasca, I see your dilema, with your daughter and her tex messages, I would not be to concerned at this stage as at her age peer pressure is a lot to do with the decsions she is making, and may be she is trying to seem to be 'popular' with her friends than actually thinking seriously about sex. Having said that its not a subject you should avoid, I would suggest you start by taking her out somewhere away from home so that it does not seem such a big thing, that you want to discuss, maybe start by asking if she has an interest in dating boys or if she has gone on a date, and lead into has any of her friends got boyfriends? Dont get to panicky if she says she has a boyfriend or likes a boy from school. just suggest that you might like to meet him or invite him out with your family for a meal? If she closes down the conversation and refuses to even talk about it, dont push her on it, just say I am here if you need me to help you with any decsions about what you feel you want to handle this, and its important that I can help you make the right choices. It may be a idea to have some of her 'girlfriends' of the same age over for a sleep over or meal and make it a sort of party night, and casualy start talking about 'boys' its suprising what girls will talk about with their friends even when their parents are in ear shot.
If she does not want to talk to you about it maybe some other adult in your family she is close to and near to her age could address this for you? I would also suggest you casualy leave some information leaflets maybe from her school, about contraception, and safe sex, none of this means she is actually having sex, from experiance I would think she is probably talking about it more than taking the step. However its best to keep aware and be available when she needs your support or advice. Good Luck

Letasca - posted on 07/16/2012

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No so far I have not read my daughters diary but recently I read her text messages only to find out my twelve year old is thinking about sex

Freda - posted on 07/15/2012

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I understand..We just don't want a pregnant 13 yr old...we mostly talk to her but when other punishment is what she needs that's what she gets. We teach her about how to dress appropriate cause you don't want to attract the wrong attention because she is very developed.

Emily - posted on 07/15/2012

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I know I don't know the whole story. I just know my experiences :) even now I still struggle with my stepdad almost 15 years later. And how many teachers/daycare workers know the signs but still manage to miss abuse in children they can know from anywhere from 5 - 7 years long? not being rude, it's just a statement.

Freda - posted on 07/15/2012

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but then again, you don't know the whole story...and I'm sure you have different point of views...I am studying to be a social worker and I do know the signs of abuse...in this case, their isn't any abuse....

Emily - posted on 07/15/2012

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Freda - I'm no expert - but I do have a stepfather myself that's been around for a long time and a better one than my father (who's basically a crack head) but this sounds like he's abusing her in some way. It's normal to feel anger for not having your biological parent (even if there's barely any memory of them) but this is extremely concerning. "He is overprotective about boys but she brought that on herself". That's a little weird, my stepfather left the dating rules to my mother because he knew he had no rights/permission to make the rules because of his life experiences. That can also be a sign of something not being wrong. I'd be interested to know the contents of that vile email. And before you say "it's not in her journal so it can't be true." I wrote about the anger I was feeling in my situation but never the specific incidents. Please, just talk to her, or get a counselor to talk to her and make sure there's nothing going on behind the scenes before you start punishments for her. Even if I'm wrong there is enough hate against her stepdad to warrant needing some therapy anyway.

Freda - posted on 07/14/2012

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I have a confession....I've read some of my daughter's journal...I try my absolute BEST to try and raise a respect child and I don't want her to be anything like I was as a child..But some of the things I see in her journal bothers me..For example, she doesn't like my husband which he has been in her life since she was 1 yrs old and she is now 12 yrs old.. He is a better father than her own father...She says things like when he gets older and she gets older she going to harm him because she will have an advantage..she hates him because I moved away and she thinks that its his fault but I forced the change of environment on him. She thinks he deprives her of her freedom in which she is liking boys now and he is overprotective about her being around boys but she brought that on herself. When we allowed her to have fb to keep up with family in Chicago, we found a very vile email back and forth from a friend she met through her aunt in Chicago and when she got home she was punished for it...I try my best to raise a GREAT child..She shines every where she is..she is respectful...she was class salutatorian..and is now going into the 7th grade..she has LOTS of talents....Most of her negative thoughts she keep from me...But I am the type of parent that I talk to her about EVERYTHING...because I rather her hear it from me than her peers...She doesn't know that I've read her journal..I don't give her any indication..I just talk to her like I normal do about life and respect and loyalty and independence and school...I'm so disgusted by her journal..



But then again those are her thoughts to let out...



I just wish she could see and understand if she doesn't...Maybe that is just how she feels at that given moment. IDK I'm lost because sometimes I think I don't know her as well as I thought I did...

Teresa - posted on 07/13/2012

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Hi Freda, all of my children (3 boys and 1 Girl all adults now), kept a personal journal at home, I encouraged them to write in it as much as possible, I never under any circumstances read what they put in there, I feel they needed a space to let out thier own true feelings and allow them to understand the changes that was going on for them, especially in their early teens. Having said that of course there were times when I had concerns over their choice of peers and what they were doing on their time away from home, however, I felt that the trust I had in allowing them thier own confidential space within their journals would show that even if they broke the rules and had kept things from me , I would still have thier trust that I did not break, it also taught them that in keeping a journal they can also look back and see how or when they may have made a bad judgement call or if the experiance they went through was something they want to share with their parents at a later time, recently my daughter and I were together and she very happily got out her old journals and shared some of the past with me, she had some difficult experiances which I saw she managed very well, but attached to this in brackets were( will tell mum when I am older! ) so we laughed about it and talked it through, and she said she was glad that I trusted her and gave her some space to work things through! she now has a daughter of her own who I am sure will also be given a journal to use.

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