I just took a moment to scroll back through my posts on this blog, and I must say, I am quite proud of it. I love being able to watch my emotional growth unfold.
If you have a child, I urge you to encourage them to keep a private diary. One you won’t read. Give them the gift of a place to lay down the burdens they don’t feel safe bringing to you. Give them the gift of trusting your word. Give them the expectation and freedom of true privacy, even if it’s only between the pages of a single notebook in which to record their thoughts.
To this day, I catch myself censoring my writing, fearing the unexpected reader. It sucks.
And they will test you. They will write some secret and wait for you to confront them with it, or the more foolish ones, like myself, will be trusting, and believe that they had the luxury of honesty in their diaries, at least… until they are blindsided by their own words getting them in trouble, and losing their trust in their parents, unsuspecting to the very moment they’re cornered. If you fail this test… good luck. May you be blessed with either the first children that ever did nothing their parents would object to, or be blessed with a child who is smart enough not to write about it any place you will come across it.
Your trust with your children is sacred. Though I have no children of my own, I was that child, and to this day, it affects my relationship with my folks.
There are many ways parents screw up their relationships with their kids… an obvious one like reading a diary should not be one. Or at least, it should be a last, nearly life or death, resort.
I don’t know why this is coming forward for me right now… except the conversation I recently had with my mom about this very subject. I hadn’t realized the incident had affected our relationship to the extent it had. I guess I have some reflection and meditation to do about this.
Hopefully this post helps someone. If your parents snoop, leave no clues. If you’re a snooping parent, stop. Talk to your kids. They might be hormonal little jerks, but they’re still human beings, with human needs, and at least one place where they are free to be exactly who and what they want to be is what they need. If you take away a safe, home-based way to do that, they will find it other places.