Upon reading Kim Bongiorno's "What I Found in My 5-Year-Old Daughter's Diary" on HuffPost Parents, I was immediately disgusted and felt violated on behalf of that little girl. I was so incensed and my first move was to post it on the page and let you all share in my feelings. Then I thought better of it. I don't want to drive up her traffic. I don't want to lend weight to her motives, because the end somehow justifies the means (in her mind).
So, let me break it down for you: her young daughter had been asking for a diary. She got one. She wore the key around her wrist and told everyone that under no uncertain terms were they to look in that sacred space. Her mom couldn't stand the curiosity. She read it. She posted pictures of and quotes from it on the internet for all the world to see.
It was full of sweet things, so I suppose Bongiorno thought it OK to post. Her daughter is young and may not remember or even be aware of what's been done, so I suppose Bongiorno thought it OK to do. Bullshit. And bullshit again. I'm so pissed for that little girl and at her mom. Who cares if she knows? Who cares if it's not her innermost secrets? Who cares if she remembers for life or forgets it all by next week? The fact is, it's her diary - hers, not her mothers. She specifically said it's off limits to everyone, which shouldn't even need to be stated, because everyone with the courtesy one affords a flea innately knows not to open another person's diary. I don't care if she's five, fifteen, or fifty - that is her private space and it is not to be violated by anyone for any reason.
Now, I'm sure there are those who will disagree with me. In fact, I know there are plenty who do. Let's take a gander at some of the comments on the original post, shall we?
"this is a cute! (btw, i have 2 girls 2 and 4 and would do the same) if you are close with your kids this isn't an issue, its called having a relationship with open communication. try it. you might have your eyes opened to the fact your kids would appreciate you wanting to know and caring about their opinions!"
"why would a mother, who found such beautiful writings, not express her joy to
her child for seeing what joy the child has for life itself....?
as I read this article, I see a mother and child in a moment of real bonding,
knowing that each loves the other unconditionally.... with that kind of love
comes great trust.... I choose to believe that the mother shared with the
child on a childlike level that she could share it with the world, to show others
what joy children can feel without shame and fear....
why is it so easy to blast the mother for 'invasion of privacy' when the issue
could just as easily be the opposite... one where they were all happy to
share with the world.... people are always so dern quick to jump on the negative....
what about the positives.....
and for all the naysayers out there.... sounds to me as tho they never had a real
bonding experience with their own mothers... 'sizeable nugget of resentment'
sounds as tho her issues go far deeper than just a diary to me....
in the end, I congratulate this mother in raising a child full of life, love, and awe....
if we could all do that... what a better world we would have..... thank you for sharing...."
"In this day and age many parents don't have or take the time to show enough interest in their children. I grew up in the 50's when life was much simpler. It was a occasional Saturday matinee at the movie or a day at the community swimming pool but it was also solo fishing with my father or going bowling with my mother just the two of us. I don't think it mattered what we did as much as the inter reaction that took place.In today's world the Xbox and it's counterparts replace the experience of close human contact. My parents were always open with me and I knew I could talk to them about anything especially with my mother who loved me unconditionally. Her role in my life was one of the most valuable influences in my life and I would have given anything I had to her including my most inner desires and thoughts. No need for the lock on a diary if I had once because everything I had was hers too. Good for you and don't worry about all the negative possibilities that might happen due to your actions. I think you are a wonderful person to show such concern as to the condition of your child's heart. If there is unconditional love between the two of you that is all that matters and there is nothing that can drive a wedge between the both of you."
"Wow, as a mother of a daughter who has written about things from the day she found a piece of paper and a pencil I was delighted reading this story as it reminded me of all the adorable notes, letters, songs, questionnaires, stories etc. that I have tucked away and bring out and share with my now 13 yr old daughter from time to time.
I was delighted until I got to the comments and most of you took me right back to the nasty world we live in. The daughter is 5 -6 yrs old for goodness sake, what soul shattering secrets could she be writing about. I myself found this adorable and I am happy she shared which in turn brought some wonderful delightful memories rushing back."
"I don't blame the mother for snooping, given today's Nabokovian 'entertainment' industry."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm so disgusted. I'm disgusted that there's even one person out there who thinks this is acceptable. I'm more disgusted that she has this much support and others who would do and have done the same.
Little people are people. Size, age - they don't matter. I'm disgusted by the lack of regard children get in our society because they're too young and too small to do much about it or to be taken seriously by most. I'm disgusted that in Bongiorno's original blog post she states, "I did not tell her I looked. She's my kid, and I need to be able to check in on her - she's not even 6yo yet, so in my opinion, she can't have too much of a say here" and that, honestly, I think there are more out there like her than there are like me and you. So, because she's your kid and she's just young and little, she gets none of the courtesy and respect you'd give any other human on the planet. Not only that, but you lied to her by omission. Bullshit, I say. And shame on you. (And yes, I know I very rarely cuss, but I'm extra livid right now and that's what's coming, so...)
Here's what that blog should've been:
"What I Found in My 5 Year-Old Daughter's Diary"
Nothing. Because I didn't, wouldn't ever look.
I told her I'd never look and I meant it. She's my kid and I need to be able to trust her, so I need her to be able to trust me in return. It's called mutual respect. She's not even 6 years old yet, so in my opinion, she has just as much say as anyone else in this world.
Would that have ended up in temporary fame via The Huffington Post? No, likely not. Would it have ended up in a lasting bond between child and parent? Ya, probably. I'll take the latter over the former any day.