Be honest!

Diary - diary
@Humbug25 (12552)
September 17, 2008 2:38pm CST
If you walked into your son or daughter's bedroom and there under their bed you can see the corner of a book. You are curious as to why it is on the floor and what book it is, you have never seen it before. You then realise on picking it up, that it is your son's/daughter's diary. They won't be home for another couple of hours from school so do you sit on the edge of their bed and read the entire contents? Do you flip through, reading the occassional page or do you replace it without reading a single word hoping they won't have noticed it has been moved?I can honestly say that I don't think I could help but read most of it in the hope that all is well with my child and they are not experiencing any problems they seem unable to discuss with me. Obvisously I would try to discuss any problems without letting on that I had looked in their diary as that would have extreme repercussions as I am sure we are all aware. So, would you ever read your child's diary? Have you ever read their diary? Did they find out?
5 people like this
20 responses
@emarie (5455)
• United States
17 Sep 08
i'd put it back. i may flip to see what it was if it wasn't clearly marked outside. i know my journals were just plain notebooks with no markings on it. i had my diary read by my sister when i was younger and i still remember the feeling. i wouldn't place that kind of hurt on my child. i would tell them that i found it but i didn't read it because i'd want an honest open relationship. if i didn't know they kept one i'd start a conversation like that because sometimes when kids/teens keep diaries, they need to vent or express what they're feeling inside. thats what i used it for, to express the sad and happy time, majority sad though. so i'd want them to know that instead of keeping it inside, they can discuss their problems with me if any.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hello emarie I honestly (there's that word again) wish that I could be like that but I really don't think I could. My eldest son is only 7 but he is so easily led and believes everthing out 12 year old neighbour says and so I worry about him so much. I have tried to bring him up the best I can on my own to have good morals and with great understanding of what is right and wrong but he makes rash decissions without giving any thought to the out come. He is not stupid by any means, he just doesn't seem to think before doing something! Thank you for your response
@emarie (5455)
• United States
18 Sep 08
my son is going to be 7 this year. they're still young. when most kids start diaries or journals they're about 10 or so. then, its simple things, but just being open and talking with them, asking them about what they talked about and what happened during the day. my i tell my son to tell me everything, and he does...talk talk talk talk non stop sometimes. i may not like it now but if i can keep this line of communication open until his teens then i have a better chance of him trusting and coming to me when he does have problems. now on simple things that won't harm your childs life like little lessons, you need to let them learn those on their own. teach them the best you can and just trust them. you know they're smart, have faith in your child. they haven't done anything to make you think otherwise. it was meant to be here. sorry i posted it twice.
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Thanks emarie
• United States
17 Sep 08
I have a 14 year old daughter. She regularly lets me look in her diary, I have all the logins to her emails and myspace accounts. We have a very open relationship. She also knows if I find notes in her pants while doing laundry I will most certainly read them. If my daughter didnt let me read her diary, I would still do it. Then I would bring up conversations in which we discussed any issues she might be having. I realize not all children are as forthcoming as my daughter, not that she is perfect. I also keep a diary, next to my bed. I hope someday my children do read it and it helps them understand their mother better when I am gone. I dont care if my husband reads my diary.
17 Sep 08
That's pretty impressive. But my question is: At what stage, and how, do you plan to teach her that the rest of world is full of people who will gladly exploit any information she leaves lying round?
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hi there LadyWinter I have always had a very open relationship with my own mother and hope that I have the same relationship with my 3 boys once they are older. It is your doing that you have this great relationship with your daughter and may you always continue to do so. Thank you for your response
• United States
18 Sep 08
This is in answer the the question how will I teach her that people will exploit any information she leaves lying around....No matter how careful you are there are certain people who will do whatever they have to to hurt others or even go as far as stealing an identity. In this case she is safe in her own home with any information she leaves lying around. She knows school is a different story. She is a teen and every teen knows what happens when things get around school. She has secrets...just not too many from me. Home should be a sanctuary.
@IsisGreen (556)
17 Sep 08
If you have another separate reason why you think there is something specific wrong, and you've failed to get it out of your kid by talking to him/her what it is, and you think reading the diary will help you come to understand so you can help: THEN you can justify looking in the diary. Looking in the diary to a) satisfy your nosiness, and b) 'just make sure everything is ok' are not good reasons. You are violating the trust of your child and you have no good reason for doing so.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hello IsisGreen Hmmm very interesting point of view you have and you, I assume, have no children of your own and therefore do not know of the anguish parents go through trying to make sure their kids are happy and safe, unless you yourself have recently put your parents through some difficult times. I would do anything for my kids if I thought it was going to help them in life and keep them safe and if that meant reading their diary that they had left out, then so be it. Thank you so much for your response and opposing view, appreciated!
17 Sep 08
You're right, of course, I'm not a parent. I very much doubt you will get many parents, and even fewer mothers, agreeing with me. But that's my very point. Because you want so much the best for your child, and rightly so, you're vision is clouded to how your child would see the situation. By doing what you think is best by them and looking after them, you risk alienating them; a case of loving too much perhaps.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26881)
• United Kingdom
17 Sep 08
Speaking from experience my friend, having been on the receiving end I would certainly never read someone's diary. I don't have children myself but when I was living with my ex, I used to write a diary every day! Well I always kept my diary hidden, but I must have gone out in a rush and left my diary on my bed, well my ex went in and found it and read it and there were stuff about my ex that I wouldn't want them reading, well it turns out that my ex read that I was planning to escape and you can imagine what happened next. It was very very unpleasant my friend. I was so angry that my ex had read my diary. After it had been read I burnt all of my diaries and have vowed never to write a diary again, too dangerous! So NO way! Diaries are PRIVATE! end of....
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hey wolfie34 I can totally understand from where you are coming from I too have made a simular mistake though it wasn't a diary but the outcome was pretty much the same. Obviously reading an adult's, (be it a partner) diary is something completely different and I would never dream of doing that. That is definately something private but a child cannot always make the right decissions and need help in that direction sometimes. I would only read my child's diary if I stumbled over it, I would never go snooping for it. Thank you for your response
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
No need for oppologies wolfie we are all friends here!! Like I said though an adult reading another adults diary is really unforgivable and you hear about it so much at the moment that when a young adult has taken their own life it is there in black and white in their diary!! Take it easy, friend
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
17 Sep 08
Ok, if I would see a book into my daughter's room and it would be the first time that I seen it then for sure out of curiosity i would read it and i would probably do the same thing you have mentioned that i will sit on the edge of the bed and start reading those funny moments of my daughter unto her diary i know it is not good to read anybody's Diary for it is secret but I would still have to read to know here better......
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there iyah10 I didn't look at it that way. Think of all those funny things that happen when you are not around and there it would be for you to read! Thank you for your response
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
18 Sep 08
I am thankful that I still have a small daughter that for sure so afraid the fact of life when it will come on here teenage life.......
@Hatley (162216)
• Garden Grove, California
17 Sep 08
humbug let me ask you would you want your kid to read your diary? well neither would i , do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I would never read my child's diary just because it was out where I could see it . that belongs to him, not me. I trust him just as he trusts me. and if I break that trust how will it make him feel towards me. I am his mom and I dont want him to feel he cannot trust me as usual. no I would not look in it or touch it in any way. it does not belong to me.
1 person likes this
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Hi, there i just noticed this post and i just want to say that i think if a person is a parent the dynamic is kind of different and its a parent's job to make sure there childs safe and unfortunately the child dosent have any real reason or right to view the mothers diary but of course i would want my child to trust me and looking at my kids diary would only be a last resort if i had a reason to believe my kid was not telling me something that could be bad for there safety or life, but i would first try and talk to my child before considering viewing the diary and there would have to be some kind of red flags but until there are signs that my kid might be in trouble i wont bother the diary but as i said before i understand why some parent's read there kids diaries because these days you never know and sometimes an other wise good kid can sometimes get in serious trouble, but im no authority its just my opinion.
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Thank you Hatley and apples99 for your contribution and the valid points you have both made to my discussion
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
17 Sep 08
Nosy me probably wouldn't be able to help herself, lol. My oldest is seven, so it's doubtful she is keeping one yet. She sort of had one a year ago but proudly showed me everything she wrote. Kind of cute... And then they'll probably outgrow it. I never read anybody else's diary (for lack of finding it, lol). But have gone through a pile of open mail of an ex-boyfriend that he had kept in a drawer...'just mail from a friend' turned out to be, yeah, regular letters from a girl that eventually and progressively turned into love letters (there were like twenty of them). I read them because I knew something was wrong and was looking for answers. I never told him I read them. I put them back exactly as they were. I don't think he ever figured I read them. Needless to say, we split shortly thereafter because he became heavily involved with her. Unfortunately for him, she only had been toying with him. Something I had already figured out from the letters. He was her admirer, and when he started dating me, she couldn't take it and did her best to lure him away (she lived in his hometown). They split a couple of months later when he moved back home.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hi there jonesy123 Wow what a story! I guess you had the upper hand eh? That is so hard though when you really find out what someone you love has really been upto, but then if he didn't want you to know why would he have the letters for your to read anytime you wanted to? Maybe he wanted you to read them so you would finish it with him instead of him having to tell you it was over, what a chicken!!
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
PS thank you for your response jonesy123
@sandra966 (269)
• Spain
18 Sep 08
I totally agree with most of the posters. I would read my child's diary if I came across it - although I wouldn't go looking for it unless I had a reason to do so. However, I wouldn't let on that I had read it, and if it did bring to light any problems, then I would bring up the subject in a roundabout way, without saying anything specific to what I'd read. I am extremely nosey - this I know. But I don't think it's such a bad thing in a mother. We have to make sure that our children are safe, and sometimes when they are not, they don't always come to us, no matter what type of relationship we think we have with them. Better nosey and them safe, then all of us sorry.
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there sandra966 I couldn't agree with you more. You think you know your child inside and out, after all you have known them all their ilfe, but sometimes, like anyone, they can do something really unpredictable and totally out of character and we have to be there for them when they fall but if we can prevent it then maybe, just maybe, they might not even trip! Thank you for your response
@esilanna (168)
• Malta
18 Sep 08
as i'm a really curious person i would definetly read some pages of their diaries. Although i know it's not a good thing i can't help myself with it. If i read that my children are having any problems that don't share with me i would try to talk with them about the related problems without mentioning that i read the diary. I think it can also help a parent to know more about their child, things that they are experiencing and that they don't want to share.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I would not read my child's diary, Humbug, unless I had reason to be worried about them...say, changes in behavior. I kept a diary when I was young and would have been disappointed if I knew my parents had read it. Not that there was anything really naughty in it, just that a person's diary is sacred to them. I only remember one of my daughters keeping a diary and I was never tempted to read it even though she did not keep it hidden. Private thoughts are private and should be respected as such.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there worldwise1 I think if we have reason to be worried and our children won't tell us what is up then we have little choice after that! Thank you for your response
@rainmark (4307)
18 Sep 08
Honestly, im going to read it,It's kind of situation that i can't resist not to read it. What if i flound important things in thier that emotionally they hate me or they feel upset on me, then i can make it right as early. But i would not tell them that i read thier diary, that makes them mad at me and embarrass. I keep that as my secret.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi ya rainmark Yes I would hope that I could resolve any problems from reading it but would too keep it a secret from them that I had read it. Thank you for your response
• United States
18 Sep 08
Humbug, Once a child is in middle school, you truly need to do anything and everything you can to know what is going on in their minds. Along with the hormone changes taking place, peer pressure hits them - big time! I admit that I read my daughters journal and a few notes that I found that had been passed among her friends. This happened while I was doing the carpet in my home and I found these hidden treasures. In all honesty, I read something that told me enough that I made up reasons for why I wouldn'tlet her stay all night with a certain girl mentioned. It's your call on this one! Act like you haven't read it unless something you find disturbs you and a confortation may be necessary. Hindsight comes in handy when keeping your child out of harms way.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hey there RhythmWalker1 I know I have a few years or so before I need to worry about such things but life has a funny habit of creeping up on you! Did you tell your daughter you had read them and how did she react? Definately no regrets for you on that one then?! Thank you for your honest response
• United States
18 Sep 08
I honestly will read my child diary ..because then i will how he or she feels bout the things that she or he is facing maybe i could help them with
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there livefree_diehrd007 Life is hard enough out there when you are growing up and I think that kids need all the help they can get these days. Thank you for your response
• United States
18 Sep 08
My mother and grandmother never read my jounals or diaries, but my brother read it. I chased him around the house afterwards wanting to get him for it.
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there rogue13xmen13 Sometimes that can more dangerous than your parents reading it, I mean think of all the bribing your sibling can do!! Thank you for your response
@emarie (5455)
• United States
18 Sep 08
my son is going to be 7 this year. they're still young. when most kids start diaries or journals they're about 10 or so. then, its simple things, but just being open and talking with them, asking them about what they talked about and what happened during the day. my i tell my son to tell me everything, and he does...talk talk talk talk non stop sometimes. i may not like it now but if i can keep this line of communication open until his teens then i have a better chance of him trusting and coming to me when he does have problems. now on simple things that won't harm your childs life like little lessons, you need to let them learn those on their own. teach them the best you can and just trust them. you know they're smart, have faith in your child. they haven't done anything to make you think otherwise.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Thanks again emarie for your response
• United States
17 Sep 08
there room is a special place but if your having the feeling that they are going through more then they tell you get in there and read the book look through the pages if they have anything out of the norm you take the book and sit down and talk to them and tell em to be honest about it personally i would sit there for about 20 minutes debating read or not but if i was concerned parent i would read if there not open to me about there problems then read on and be calm when you talk to them about it ok remember someday they might be taking care of you show them love all they youth and they will love you back in the future always be there no matter what
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hello nite1tiger I am lucky that my son is not old enough to write a diary yet but no doubt that day will come though he may never write one, who know's? Anyway if he did and I found it and read it, I would treat the situation with the utmos respect and my son too of course. Thank you for your response
@dookie03 (578)
• United States
17 Sep 08
Oh my i can't wait for that one. I have a 10 month old son so it doesn't really count right now but yes if he did have a diary and if i did find it i'd probably read it just because i was curious on what it said about me or what he's been up to. I mean seriously it could help you as a parent as well, what if it said something about him not trusting you as a parent or how mean you are here and there about some situation you had with him. You could get his take on it without even having to argue with him or sit down and have a heart to heart talk and you could just start working on these things for the future. You would have the heads up in a sense in what they are looking for out of you or better yet what they are looking up to you for. I think it would help you build a better relationship with your son or daughter. They just don't need to know you found it that's all.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi there dookie03 I think that once you had done it you would go back and read some more each week so that you would continuely find out what is going on but then I think you really do stand the risk of getting caught. Yes I think you could build a better relationship with your child because of this but then you could crush it with one foul blow when they find out!! Thank you for your response
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
17 Sep 08
Hi, there humbug25, i hate to admit it but i think i would read it because its important for parents to keep track of what there kids are doing especially during those crucial years because there so much peer pressure out there, i would feel kind of bad but some times you do what you have to do to make sure your kids are safe, but anyway thats one of the reasons i never kept a diary as a kid and i still dont to this day not because my mother red my diary it was the fear of the possibility that she might, not that i had anything to highed i just didn't want anyone reading my personal or private thoughts, but i understand why parents these days feel compelled to read there kids diary sometimes but if i ever become a parent i would try to make sure my child feels comfortable enough to talk to me about things in there life when i was young i talk to my mom about almost everything, but im no expert on child rearing and i guess i will never truly know how i would handle certain saturation's until i have my own but i do know how my mom was with me and i think i will most likely fallow most of my parents raising and parenting method's.
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@Humbug25 (12552)
18 Sep 08
Hi apples99 That is a good reason not to have one isn't it, so that no one can read it!! Maybe a lot of kids these days write them on the computer, I don't know. I do hope that my kids will be able to come and talk to me about anything they want but I guess having been a teenager myself, be it many years ago, that were things I certainly didn't talk to my mum about, mainly boys!!
• United States
17 Sep 08
Would you rather read the diary before or after something drastic happens to your son or daughter? I feel I am responsible for teaching and helping my children. Especially as teenagers. Teenagers are not normally going to come to you with their problems. Their friends are more important at this time. But it doesn't mean they don't want your help. If you child was going to jump off a cliff, wouldn't you stop them? If they get involved in something that might eventually kill them, it's our responsibility to stop them. But don't try to solve all of their problems. Sometimes writing it down is a means of handling it. If your kids are leaving their diaries out to be seen, I believe it may be a plead for help. If they really don't want us to read them, they will put them somewhere that it can't be found. That doesn't give us the permission to turn their bedrooms inside out.
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@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hi there roseygoodman I totally get what you are saying and you are so, so right! I am lucky that my kids are still only 3, 5 and 7 and are not able to write their own diaries yet but there will come a time I am sure and I will remember your words when they do so and I find them. Thank you so much for your response
• India
17 Sep 08
Hi friend, It is obvious and it mother's tendency to see what it is about.I think there is no need to shy about it.We have the right to touch our son's or daughter book,because as their parents we should take care of them.If i were a mother i would look at the dairy as what is their inside. Have a nice day.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12552)
17 Sep 08
Hi sudhajosyula50 I can't say that I wouldn't feel guilty about it but if they were having problems and could prevent something terrible from happening then I would be so glad that I had read it. Thank you for responding