Is it ever okay to read your child's diary / journal? Can this act be justified?
This question sparked a heated debate during a family dinner, so much so that I had to see what my fellow hubbers thought. Please weigh in.
It is okay to read your child's diary/journal when you see changes in your child from the ordinary. Your child is making comments about wanting to die or giving away special things to friends. If you suspect drug use or if your child is being dishonest to you.
@ naomi's banner - i'm gonna play devils advocate here but if your child's already talking about wanting to die or is giving special things away - why not just ask them? why risk pushing them further away by violating their privacy - in this circumstance do the ends really justify the means?
As much as I would like to say "no never". I think there may be times when a parent should. If my child had been dishonest and uncommunicative with me, I think I would read the last three entries of her journal to find the answer to the questions I'd already been asking. I would never tell her I did. I would lie and say your friend told me.
If I noticed changes with my child I wouldn't head for her journal, that's violating her privacy and will shut her out further from me. But if I she was lying to me, showing dangerous behaviours, dissociative and not answering any questions I asked her, I would. I'd hate for my daughter to think that she would have to suffer anything alone. But that's just me.
I don't think I can answer this question from a perspective of a mom, not yet. But when I was a teenager my mom did read my journal. I made sure to take it always with me but once I forgot and left it at home and of course, she read it. To this day, I feel she had no right to do it.
i think it is, in a way okay bc if your worried about them and they are not saying anything then its time to find out threw other sources. if i ever have kids.. i will do what is necessary to ensure their safety even if they will sooo hate me for it.. oh well they will live.
It depends, if you suspect that they are doing something that may be harmful to them then I would say that for their protection, to enable you to be a parent then yes it is ok. If they were doing something silly and they died you'd kick yourself if you read it afterwards and it turned out had you read it earlier you could have prevented it. However if it's not a protection thing I would say no... as trust is an important factor to consider in parenting too.
If you suspect your child is in harm's way, from drug abuse to bullying to an abusive relationship, you have the right to read their journal. It is for your child's own good. However, if they are functioning normally and without problems, you should respect their privacy.
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