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Would you read your child’s diary?

(29 Posts)
PinotAndPlaydough Wed 13-Jun-18 19:00:57

You know your child has a diary that they occasionally write in. For whatever reason you are concerned about your child and when you’ve tried to get them to open up they aren’t talking. Do you read it to try and find out what’s going on?

flopsyrabbit1 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:05:49

oh thats difficult if you think something is going on

im a nosey bugger but i really dont think i would regardless of the circumstances

hope you get it sorted

WhereBeThatBlackbirdTo Wed 13-Jun-18 19:06:21

No. Absolutely not.

MamOfTwo Wed 13-Jun-18 19:13:29

It sort of depends on the age of the child, I think, and how seriously they take their diary writing. If they go to great lengths to protect it, then I probably wouldn't. But if they leave it lying around, maybe. One of my DC did this as she actually wanted to me to see something in it and help her with it (a health worry - I asked why she didn't tell me and she said "But I wrote it down" and basically implied she thought I would see it). Probably going to be vilified but I think I would read it in the circumstances you mention.

PinotAndPlaydough Wed 13-Jun-18 19:19:20

Child is 6.5 and diary is left around the house and not hidden away. When I’ve asked if I’m allowed to look the answer is “not yet......”

RebelRogue Wed 13-Jun-18 19:20:01

The depending on the age of the child I would,but I wouldn't bring it up unless it's something urgent/dangerous and I would give them a few chances to bring it up first.

My mum read my diary when I was 13. What made me angry was the fact that she used what she read against me in anger and her not doing anything to support or defend me about what happened to me.

gutrotweins Wed 13-Jun-18 19:25:54

My mother read mine when I was 18. She confronted me with what she'd read and I've never completely forgiven her.

Grasslands Wed 13-Jun-18 19:27:33

i did daily. daughter didn't know till many years (decade or so)later.
i found it helpful in guiding her through the terrible teen turmoils with friendships and socializing.
she an episode of wanting to die, a episode of not eating (trying to loose weight) several episodes of binge drinking etc etc.
all within normal but glad i had the inside scoop.

ERipley Wed 13-Jun-18 19:27:34


FaFoutis Wed 13-Jun-18 19:28:01

My mother did that too and I would never trust her again.
At age 6.5 I think you'd get away with it though, as long as the child never finds out you read it.

MamOfTwo Wed 13-Jun-18 19:28:37

Given the young age of your child, I would. A teenager I wouldn't as posts show that causes more issues. Hope she is feeling happier soon, OP.

DramaAlpaca Wed 13-Jun-18 19:32:35

My mother used to read my teenage diaries. Wherever I hid them she'd search & find them when I was at school. Far too much time on her hands angry I have never fully forgiven her & the trust between us disappeared at that point. I tell her nothing. Tread carefully OP.

MothertotheLordsofmisrule Wed 13-Jun-18 19:36:29


My base gut instinct is No.

But as the child is saying Not Yet suggests they want to tell you something.

NannyNameChanged Wed 13-Jun-18 19:36:45

Only if you were concerned they were going to do something to harm them self if someone else. If not no, I wouldn't. It's an invasion of privacy.

Cauliflowershower Wed 13-Jun-18 19:43:24

It’s so tricky. I would have been utterly mortified if my teenage diaries had been read but reading them again as an adult there’s nothing i’d find shocking now and I’m sure my mum would have found them mildly amusing and a useful gauge of my mood and needs!
I have read my daughter’s but she’s only 9 and it was a pleasant surprise. I’d never let her know and I know that at some point soon I’ll have to respect her privacy.

PinotAndPlaydough Wed 13-Jun-18 19:46:12

See if she was a teenager I think I would feel very differently and wouldn’t even consider it. I think as they get older things get more personal and I know I would have been mortified if my mum read my teenage diaries.

aaronburr Wed 13-Jun-18 19:49:06

My DD is 7 and if I were concerned about her and she kept a diary yes I would have a look.

I wouldn't let on that I had read it though.

iamthere123 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:52:15

YES! Do it my cousin being sexually abused as a child by a neighbour and has left her diary out round the house. My mum wanted to read it and my nan wouldn’t let her. When it all came out they found details of EVERYTHING in the diary, the psychologist said leaving it around was a cry for help. My mum’s never forgiven herself as the abuse could have stopped 2 years earlier if she’d looked.

MikeUniformMike Wed 13-Jun-18 19:52:28

Yes, but under no circumstances let her find out that you have read it.

drinkyourmilk Wed 13-Jun-18 19:53:04

At 6.5 yes I think I would if I had concerns.

rainbowlou Wed 13-Jun-18 19:54:19

My mum read mine and as others have said, the trust completely went.
My sister also read it once (she would have needed to turn my room upside down!) and showed my Mum, it was full of very personal things and I hated them both for it.
However, your child’s diary is left lying around and saying ‘not yet’ implies they possibly want you to see it/know what’s in it?

iwishicouldbelikedavidwatts Wed 13-Jun-18 19:57:43

as a rule, no. but it would depend on the specific circumstances and what degree of concern. unless life-threatening would try to make space for her to open up in her own time.

iwishicouldbelikedavidwatts Wed 13-Jun-18 19:58:28

their own time, making assumptions.

JessiCake Wed 13-Jun-18 20:10:01

I echo what pps have said. My mum read my diary when I was 14. I know this for a fact because one day she mentioned something about my best friend cutting her arms (which I had never and would have never told her, because we didn't have that kind of relationship and my mum hated her anyway) and when I said I didn't tell you that she said, with this horrible glassy smile that I still remember, 'oh, yes, you did, you told me all about it.'

The irony was that as young teenagers go I was practically a nun, I was very immature physically and most of my diary was just about celebrities and boys at school I had hopeless crushes on. I didn't smoke, drink, and she knew all of that, she just hated my friendships, hated that for the first time in my life friends were starting to seem as important as family and wanted to know EVERYTHING to remain in control.

I have a crap relationship with my mother, and I tell you this didn't help. I never told her much before but I sure as hell told her nothing after.

I stopped writing a diary too which was a shame because it was cathartic.

I will have to be seriously, genuinely, long-term concerned about my daughter's mental or physical help for me to ever read a diary she's written when she's older. Even then I'm not sure I could do it. THe thought makes me feel a bit sick. I would have had to have reached the end of every single other way of reaching out to her. I would get agreement from DH, I would ask my friends... I would never just casually read it for a bit of mild motherly concern.

It's partly why I go to such colossal lengths to let DD know she can always tell me anything and I won't be angry, she's only 5 currently so I realise it's a moot point grin and I know it's not easy with teenagers.

But I do think privacy is vital, and trust even more so.

JessiCake Wed 13-Jun-18 20:12:32

Oh god silly me only just realised she is 6.5.


Oddly, I think in that case I might say yes. Teenage years are totally different because it's a time when kids SHOULD be permitted independence, privacy, and they need to trust parents more than ever.

If you're concerned for whatever reason and if she's leaving it around then at that age I'd say yes it could be a way of her wanting to let you know about the thing you're concerned about.

Good luck.

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