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05/23/2010

Inside Information

J0439452 I did something awful.  I read my daughter's diary.

I thought I would find valuable information about the thoughts in her 11 year old head.  I thought I would find out what she and her friends are up to.  I know it was wrong to read her personal journal, but in today's world, I can't help but feel that parents need all the help we can get to keep our children safe.  I would do it again if I thought I would learn something that would help me protect her.

Although there was a little bit of information about her friends and about boys, most of her entries spoke of her disdain for her little brother and me.

It turns out that what I consider mundane requests ("Pick up your socks."  "Clean your room.") are actually quite bossy to an 11 year old.  By reading her diary I realized that my methods of trying to get her to be more responsible are making her feel like I treat her poorly.

I know that I am doing exactly what I should be doing.  I know that she is a great friend, a responsible student, a good athlete and a well-rounded, well-adjusted human being.  Her being upset because I told her not to leave her homework where the puppy could chew it up is ridiculous to me.  She needs to know that she can't leave important papers laying around where they could easily get destroyed.

But, on the other hand, her being upset is not ridiculous at all.  These are true, authentic feelings for a pre-teen.  She thinks I'm pushy.  She thinks I'm unfair.  She thinks I'm mean.  "Mom gave me a lecture about talking back tonight.  UGH!"

Maybe there is a way for me to teach her responsibility without being a nag.  If I can find a way to get her to stop leaving her wet towels on the loveseat without coming across as a mean mom, then I will have truly succeeded.

I know I shouldn't have done it, but I'm glad I did.  As it turns out, reading her diary didn't just teach me a little bit about her, but it taught me a lot about me. 

Mostly, I learned that the teen years?  Are going to be hell.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

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