Our children need privacy. We would even go as far as to say they have a fundamental right to it. Kids of all ages need the freedom to think their own thoughts without fear of being invaded. When we read our kid’s diaries, steal their phones to dig through their digital history or eavesdrop on their conversations, we are ignoring where we end and the child begins.
Our children are not an extension of us. They are their own people. We do not own our kids. We simply have the great responsibility and privilege of stewarding them throughout their childhood.
The goal in this process should be to create a trusting relationship built on a foundation of mutual love, respect and admiration between parents and kids.
Sure they are going to make mistakes — a lot of them! That’s part of the learning and growing process of childhood. But even when they make big mistakes (perhaps especially when they do), our belief in their ability to learn from those mistakes will help build trust so they can be transparent with us and, ultimately, be influenced by us.