Parenting: Should you look through your child’s journal?

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Parenting can be a bumpy roller-coaster ride. You can never really know or control everything your offspring does. All you can do is provide them with as much guidance and support as you possibly can. It is within this vein that the question of looking through your child's journal arises.

A journal is a safe place for venting. It is a book for writing ideas, thoughts, experiences and how they made you feel at the time. Usually, a journal is a no-holds-barred space to pour out emotions.

One characteristic of a journal is that the emotions expressed in it are not necessarily permanent. It is simply a record of how you felt at the time.

Keeping a journal can be a good thing. For one, it builds good writing skill. Writing consistently for a long time is a way of improving one's writing. Secondly, a journal allows one to introspect. Since it is a safe place, you can always go back to it to reflect, check for patterns, or remember why you took certain decisions. You can also go back to it just for laughs.

Should you go through someone’s journal?

The answer to this question is not cut in stone especially if the keeper of said journal is a minor and is under your guardianship. Sometimes, children hold back from the adults in their lives information that is important. Such information may include abuse, suicidal thoughts, questions on sex and sexuality, etc.

Keeping a journal can be a good thing. For one, it builds good writing skill. Click To Tweet

As a guardian, you are in the best position to know whether to read your ward’s secret diary or not. However, it will help to note three things.

1. Treat the journal with respect. Don’t go harassing the child for every information you read. As mentioned earlier, much of the emotions expressed in it are fleeting.

2. Create an environment that allows the child express his/her self freely with you. Parenting is having a relationship with your child where they know they can trust you with stuff.

3. If possible, when you read something, ask them about it in a way that doesn’t reveal that you have been in their diary. This way, you get them to talk without breaking their trust of having their journal as a safe space.

Has someone ever read your diary? How did it make you feel?

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