Positive Parenting is impossible without mutual respect between the parent and the child. Positive parenting does not come from a place of fear, or a need to control outcomes. Positive parenting relies on parents establishing healthy boundaries that will allow children to come to their parents in times of trouble without fear of receiving shame or punitive punishment.
Reading the journal or diary of another person without their consent lacks respect to the individual, even if that individual is a child or a teen. Would you read your spouses journal or diary? Do you require your spouse to tell you everything that is in their heart and mind? How would you approach your spouse if you were concerned with his or her actions, would you demand to read his or her private thoughts? Would you want your child to read your journal or diary? Your child deserves the same consideration.
Since birth your child has gradually exhibited autonomy over their bodies and lives. Positive (Authoritative) Parents have created boundaries which have guided their children along every step of the way towards independence. Reading the diary or journal clearly indicates that the parent does not respect the boundaries they have worked hard to create, and communicates a lack of trust in the child. If as a parent you are concerned about your child, ask them what is going on. If your concerns as a parent continue, consider therapy as an option to give your child an outlet for his or her thoughts and providing you with a professional who will alert you if anything dangerous is looming on the horizon.
While it is irrational to expect that your child will fill you in on all the details of their life (do you tell your husband/ mother/ friend EVERYTHING), parents should work hard to create open dialogue with their children from birth. Talk to your children, share appropriate stories from your life that will communicate that you understand the pressures and joys of growing from child to adult hood. Don't judge and never shame, listen, and provide feedback when appropriate. Your children might not divulge all the contents of their mind, but this is the best way to ensure that they won't shut you out and seek advice and counsel elsewhere.
As a parent how would you feel if your parent, friend or spouse read your journal? Does your child deserve to endure that violation of trust?
empathy proactive parenting healthy attachment respect