February 5, 2012

Why I Won't Read My Daughter's Diary ... (Even Though I REALLY Want To!)

Elizabeth is seven and a half.  She's just begun keeping a diary in a little Disney Princess notebook she got years before she could write down her thoughts.

Can I tell you how badly I want to read it?!

SO BAD that I have to use bold, italics, underline, and all caps on the word so!

As her mom, I want to know her sweet inner thoughts; as her teacher, I want to see the writing and spelling she produces when there's no pressure.  Would it really be harmful to read it?  I surely could do it so sneakily that she'd never know, it would help me to know her better, and it's just so cute.  Right?

BUT I cannot read that diary because she has asked me not to.  Period.

*     *     *

Our children are people, just like us.  They are younger, with less worldly wisdom, sure.  But they are individuals worthy of as much love and respect as we would afford any adult in our life.*

Do you respect your kids?  Do you value their opinions and really listen to what they have to say?

I confess (but please don't tell anybody!) that I have an uncanny ability to tune out my children better than anyone else in my life.  I also speak to them in harsher tones than I would use with anyone else in my life.  And, as in this diary case, I can easily justify to myself that it's okay to invade their privacy.

Does the second greatest commandment not apply to how we relate to our kids?
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 

 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Yes, friends, it does.  Those that live under our roof with us are our closest "neighbors."  Let's consider today how we can love and respect these little ones just as our Lord would have us.  They are certainly precious in His sight!

PS  Please pray that I don't cave and read that diary.  The temptation remains!  :)

* I draw basis for these thoughts from chapter eight of H. Clay Trumbull's Hints on Child Training, Honoring a Child's Individuality, that I reviewed a while back.  Check it out for more great parenting wisdom!


  1. Wait till she's 14.

  2. Good reminder, thanks friend! And hopefully one day you'll all get to sit around while E reads it to you. I still have my diary from when I was 8 (it was a Ramona Quimby diary) and the stuff in there is Hilarious. Like I really wished my parents named me Alice. And if I had twins I would name them Shawn and Shauna. But wait for it, I'll bet she'll read it to you one day!

  3. Andrea, I'm hoping that practicing restraint now will help in the future! :)

    Jenny, those are hilarious things from your diary. I'll have to tell E to hang on to hers!