Dear Diary. Those are two words that form the prelude to the spilling of the deepest secrets, struggles, crushes, and drama a person's life can hold.
Usually, though, those words are meant for only that one addressee: Diary. And according to any teenager writing about the injustices of curfews and the hot boy at school, those words are most certainly not intended for their parents.
But does that mean parents shouldn't read them? I can see both sides of the argument: respecting your children's privacy, trusting them to do the right thing, etc. But I've also heard stories of parents learning that their child is experimenting with sex or drugs by reading their journal. And while most journals won't reveal secrets that dramatic, maybe they will let a parent know that the child is feeling neglected in favor of other siblings, or being picked on at school, or struggling with his/her testimony.
These insights can be a huge help in the understanding your children and how to parent them more effectively, but is it worth it if deception is at its root? What about Facebook messages, emails, and text messages? Many parents have policies with their children that they have access to passwords and can check them at anytime; is there a difference between reading a Facebook message to a friend and a journal entry? You tell us.