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An_248511 posted:
I am a school nurse and the mother of 3 girls plus 2 step daughters. First of all you are not a bad mom at all. In fact it sounds like you are a really great mom who is concerned about your daughter and looking for answers so you can do the right thing.

A lot of people seem to be focused on the whole privacy issue and I believe this a choice each parent has to make on their own and come to an agreement with their children. For me personally I have a 17 year old, 2 12 year olds, an 8 year old, and a 5 year old. At 9 I feel some things are private like dressing and undressing or using the bathroom, but some things are not. I have no problem reading a journal or listening to a conversation or looking around in my children's room. I want to know what my children are doing, talking about, and thinking because I feel its my job as a mom to shape them, mold them, and teach them right from wrong. As my parents told me when I was growing up, you can have privacy when you are an adult and have your own house. Privacy comes with trust, and trust is earned. However, I can respect that some people may disagree strongly and raise their children in a different way. I believe it is just a difference in parenting styles so do whatever works for you, just make it clear on the front end.

To address your real concern here about your child's fantasy and thoughts I think it is right to be concerned but not alarmed. I have had a recent issue with my 8 year old daughter who I found out was searching for and looking at pornography on the internet. I can relate to your shock! You just want to compare what she is thinking and writing about with her developmental age. Children are maturing and learning about sex so much younger that we have to start talking to them at a very early age.

I would talk to her about it and if it were my daughter I would confess to reading the journal because I believe in being honest with children. It may be embarrassing to her, but will give you an opportunity to talk about so many things. I believe if you are open and honest with her she will be more open and honest with you. You should stay calm and talk to her in a nonthreatening way without making her feel she is being disciplined or without shaming her. Then you can also talk about the issue of privacy and agree to some terms for the future.
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