To Read or Not to Read a Teens Diary
Now days a diary maybe in the form of a journal in paper or electronically. It doesn't matter how it is, the main question is this? Should you read it?
Do you ever wonder if you can fully trust your teen? I guess most parents go through this. It's hard to know what they are really doing. I mean they go to school for so many hours a day and then do they go to a friends house? Come straight home? How do you know you can trust them. Easy. Trust is earned, not given freely.
After finding out a teen sneaks off to meet someone they aren't suppose to be around, forget the trust. They have to earn it back. You can't say oh don't do it again and expect them to listen. How should you judge it? Do they help around the house? Do they fuss when you ask them to do something? Okay not exactly good examples but it's a start. The main thing, do they go into a huge fit when you ask them what they are doing?
That's one tale tale sign they are up to no good. Now there are those that will lie and tell you something else. Until you know you can trust the teen, don't let them on a computer in a room by itself. If they have Facebook, add them. You would be surprised at the things you find out on there. Is it spying? No. Not when they know it's you. Sometimes if a person is depressed you can tell just by reading their status.
If you don't trust your teen, don't let them do things. Going out to a friends is a privileged, not a right.
Should you read it? Well that is a tough question and the answer is not a clear cut one. If you think your teen is doing something dangerous, then yes. If you find out they have been drinking or doing drugs there are other ways. Like discussing it with the doctor and then taking the child to have them tested. You don't have to embarrass them by telling the doctor right in front of them. Discuss it before hand that way they think they are having other tests done. A teen wants to be sneaky, be sneaky with them.
If you think they are sexually active, then yes. The last thing a teen needs is to become pregnant when their life is just starting. I am not saying anything bad about teen moms and have seen some great ones that accomplished great things. But if it doesn't have to happen, don't let it. Talk to them.
If your teen tells you everything going on in their life, then no don't read it. Some thoughts are private. And just because they are teens don't mean they shouldn't have the privacy. If you trust them, don't read it.
The bottom line of this is, some parents overreact when they find out things and then wonder why their teen didn't come to them to begin with. Well that was why. If they are afraid of your reaction then they won't talk to you. Learn to be calm and discuss things reasonably. Don't say things like you can't do that because I said so. They are teens and they want to experiment. Now I'm not saying they should, only that they will try. If you talk to them before it happens, it may stop it.
And for the love of your child and pride, if you are a strict parent, don't sit down with your child and say I just want to be your friend, talk to me. They won't believe it. They know the consequences. That's not to say not to talk to them. But keep in mind, if they do answer you, don't blow it by blowing up on them.