Secret Diary Unlocked Study Guide: My Struggle to Like Me

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Unlock the diary together.

After unlocking a secret diary there is only one thing to it with your friends. With the help of pointed questions, pertinent group games, and purposeful sharing scenarios, this Companion Guide will turn A Secret Diary Unlocked into a group-changing experience.

Self-motivated girls, older sisters, youth leaders, and moms should take this book and dig deeper to find ...

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Secret Diary Unlocked Companion Guide: My Struggle to Like Me

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Unlock the diary together.

After unlocking a secret diary there is only one thing to it with your friends. With the help of pointed questions, pertinent group games, and purposeful sharing scenarios, this Companion Guide will turn A Secret Diary Unlocked into a group-changing experience.

Self-motivated girls, older sisters, youth leaders, and moms should take this book and dig deeper to find where Suzy's diary ends and where theirs begins...

Friends. Guys. Mom. God? God wants to be first in our lives--whether we are thirteen, twenty, or forty years old, and regardless of our boyfriend status.  He comes first.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802480804
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Edition description: Study Guide
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

SUZY WEIBEL is a graduate of Wheaton College and Northern Kentucky University. She spent six years as a middle school English teacher, two teaching high school English and logic, and five as a Director of Christian Education, yet she has found the past six years as a speaker and worship leader with Pure Freedom, a national sexual purity ministry for teens, to be her most fulfilling work. Suzy is author of Secret Diary Unlocked: My Struggle to Like Me and co-author of T is for Antonia and Crossroads: The Teenage Girl's Guide to Emotional Wounds. She lives with her husband, Jonathan, and their two daughters.
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Read an Excerpt


By Suzy Weibel

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2007 Suzy Weibel
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-8080-4

Chapter One



Enjoying a "getting to know you" session that visits both contemporary culture ... and the ancient world of the group leaders!


Games from your decade

DVDs of your favorite old movies (VHS or even Beta!)

Old music

Atari or Genesis video games

A corded wall phone, etc.


Read chapters 1-2 of Secret Diary Unlocked

Preview Study guide materials

Set up/decorate large livable space for a huge retro slumber party (music and DVD capabilities needed)

Name tag/arrival station

Leaders need to bring old photos/yearbooks to event

Leaders create "How I Feel About Me" collages

Rent an appropriate "time travel" or classic decade movie

Purchase lots and lots of slumber party treats!


THE GAME: NAME TAGS Time: 20 minutes The Rules: Creativity Party Supplies: Creative, themed tags THEGAME: PHOTO SHARE Time: 15 minutes The Rules: Leaders only Party Supplies: Old photos/yearbooks THE GAME: FAST GAME OF CHOICE Time: 30 minutes


Time: 50 minutes The Rules: No rules, just right

Party Supplies: A lot of creative art supplies


Time: 30 minutes

The Rules: Leaders choose all game options

Party Supplies: None

THE GAME: DISCUSSION Time: 40 minutes

The Rules: No stories leave this room

Party Supplies: Copy of Secret Diary Unlocked


Time: 2 hours

The Rules: Time travel

Party Supplies: Screen and DVD player

The idea behind this session is that the girls would get to know you as leaders and get a taste of what a slumber party might have been like "back in the day." Choose your theme! A fifties party with hair curlers and Frankie and Annette movies? The seventies, chock-full of black light posters and lava lamps? Or would your girls love a sports-themed night with a lot of active games and a viewing of A League of Their Own? Have fun ... and think outside the box!


As the girls arrive, have theme-oriented music playing on an appropriate sound system. How cool would it be to actually be playing records-yes, vinyl-as the girls arrive? Direct the girls to an area where they can custom-make their own name tag for the event. Try to keep name tags in line with the theme of the party; for instance, if your theme is the seventies each of the girls could make a beaded necklace that has her name on it, or let them design their own "pet rock." An eighties name tag could have a Rubik's Cube or Pac Man theme.


Welcome the girls to the party and take a couple of minutes to introduce the leaders. Have the leaders share a picture of themselves from their middle or high school years as part of their introduction, as well as a story or diary entry from that time of their lives. Tell the girls that tonight is all about girl time, getting to know one another, and a reminder that a girl is a girl is a girl ... They will soon see that despite any age differences, girls know how to be girls, and you never have to tell a lady how to have fun at a slumber party!


Kick the night off with a rowdy game of some sort. Sardines might be a good option (hide and seek, group style, in the dark) if you are in your church building. Capture the Flag could be fun in good weather. Keep-away in the pool? A big snowball fight? It depends on your girls, your theme, and the weather ... but make it loud, fast, and fun! Google the phrase "fun group games" if you want a plethora of great ideas!


Read chapter 1 of Secret Diary Unlocked: My Struggle to Like Me out loud to the girls. Have the girls circle around in their pj's, supply plenty of junk food-or health food if you think it will actually be consumed-in the center of the circle, and invite those stuffed animals to attend too! Choose a leader who enjoys reading and can communicate with a variety of vocal inflections to do this reading. You'll want to be sure the girls are fully engaged. Though girls often enjoy the opportunity to read aloud, they tend to process information better if an experienced reader is covering the material. If you want to include the girls, allow them to take turns reading the diary entries included in each chapter.

Allow girls a few minutes to complete the "My Struggle" journal entry at the end of the chapter. For larger groups, this session may be done in smaller groups of twenty girls or less.

Provide the girls with a huge supply of various art mediums paper, magazines, digital camera and printer, stickers, stamps, confetti of various sorts, noodles, ribbon, feathers, etc. Ask them to create an abstract art piece that reflects how they feel about themselves-physically, spiritually, socially, in their family, tonight specifically ... Show them your own artwork (prepared in advance) and explain some of the choices you made. You know, of course, the more vulnerable and transparent you are willing to be, the more the girls will feel free to be the same.


Play the most famous slumber party game of All ... Truth or Dare! Use the list found in appendix A or create your own, but be sure all questions and dares will be pleasing to God first and foremost. This is a game that needs to be redeemed for many of these girls, and you probably need to ask the girls if they have ever played a game of Truth or Dare that they have regretted.


Go over the My Struggle session on page 28 of Secret Diary Unlocked. Try to keep this time light and fun, keeping stories from your own past short and allowing the girls to have fun with your "old-fashionedness." They will love it. If you can, bring a few pictures along-pictures of yourself when younger (the more embarrassing and dated, the better), pictures made famous by a magazine such as Life during your teen years, and perhaps a few pictures of the big heartthrobs of your day. Bring in a high school yearbook or two and allow the girls to flip through these. And trust me, you don't need to be afraid to let them read the things written by classmates on the autograph pages. One of the best things I ever did for a student who was rebellious and making some big decisions about what direction her crowd would be taking her was to give her my diary, a bowl of popcorn, a big pillow, and a warm blanket and send her into my walk-in closet to read for a couple of hours. I was a mess back in '79! And yet her response was, "Oh my gosh ... you were just like me." She told me later that it was on that day she decided to trust me with her life.

After 20 minutes or so of stories and laughing, look together at the Your World section of chapter 2 together. Use the following questions for discussion, but before you begin, remind the gifts of the importance of this cardinal rule: What is said in this room stays in this room. There will be no sharing of someone else's story after tonight!


What kind of impact do the statistics in this chapter have on you? Do you feel scared? Astonished? Like "it won't happen to me"?

How aware do you think your parents are of the things you see and hear daily?

What aspect of a teenager's daily life, in your opinion, places her in the most danger?

How would you feel if parents became more technologically savvy? (It would undoubtedly ruin some of your friends!) Would you like parents to take more interest in what is on your computer screen, what you are listening to, and what movie you've just been to see?


I am going to read these verses again, and I want you to close your eyes and get a picture in your mind. There is a room in which you have gathered all of your friends-those with whom you hang out on a regular basis. It's a party room and your friends are free in this room to do whatever they please, whether good or bad. Take note of what your friends are doing as I read through these verses.


Ask: What were your friends doing? (Allow girls to respond either verbally or by what will inevitably happen-they will look at one another and giggle. Verbal chaos may even ensue for a moment!)

Tell the girls: A lot of you may have just seen your friends in obvious folly. While it may be best to separate from a friend or two whom you just observed in your mind, there is another action step you can take to avoid being a statistic. During the course of this Bible study we are going to deal with self more than with others. Back in the eighties this was kind of a taboo thing to say in the church, but we're beginning to see again that it is pretty important: We need to love ourselves. We need to know that we are loved by God, that though we have done nothing to deserve it He values us, that our lives have a purpose, and that He is madly jealous for our love. If all of the girls in your "party room" truly knew all of that, do you think it might have an impact on their choices? Do you think it might keep them safer? I think so. His love and our obedience to the One who loves us is the greatest shield we have ever had, way back in my world, and here in your world today.

Close this session by praying for the girls, that they would in the course of this study come to see how deeply and passionately they are loved by God the Father.


After a 20-minute snack and chat break, call the girls back into a common area and play a fun "back in time" movie to end the evening. There are a lot of time-travel movies out there your local video store clerk should be able to help you.



To help the girls plan a healthy balance in their lives


3 x 5 note cards

4 stuffed animals

One object covered in "fur" or soft cloth

One metallic object

Set of balances or two small scales

Marbles or landscaping rock

Science lab coat


Read chapter 3 of Secret Diary Unlocked

Preview study guide materials

Create name tags for opening game


Time: 10 minutes

The Rules: Guess whose name is on back

Party Supplies: Note cards


Time: 30 minutes

The Rules: Girl talk-Who is on the throne?

Party Supplies: Stuffed animals and objects


Time: 20 minutes

The Rules: Lab session-How are your scales?

Party Supplies: Scales; rock or marbles


Time: 10 minutes

The rules: Small group prayer

Party Supplies: None

Girls like boys and boys like girls. As much as I often want to discourage this as a parent, I know ill the long run Fm not going to make much headway! The attraction is indeed natural. I've recently' been walking through a situation with a friend where her daughter was given a little too much freedom a little too soon. The freedom we give to our girls is not a bad thing. It is a necessary part of separation to begin to hand over more control. At this age, however, girls really need morns, mentors, and trustworthy' peers to help them keep things in balance. This session will give your girls a chance to set the scales to "balance" where boys are concerned.


As the girls arrive, place a name card on each girl's back, but do not allow her to see the name as you do so. Each of these cards should have printed on it the name of a guy that girls may consider teen "idols"-maybe Zac Efron, Chad Michael Murray, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. The girls may then mill about the room asking each other ONLY yes-or-no questions for 5 minutes or so. After a time, ask the girls to line up and guess whose name was on their back.


Have the girls take turns reading Suzy's diary entries and the responses from other girls aloud. Ask the girls: Why do you think this chapter has been subtitled "Looking for Attention"?

Suzy mentions in this chapter that the number one need for humans is to know that they are loved. Love is a powerful force in a person's life. One of the first studies done on the impact of love was by a University of Wisconsin scientist, Harry Harlow, in the 1950s. Harlow completed three study phases using newborn rhesus monkeys. (Use various stuffed animals h) give the girls a visual for this.) Harlow first separated the newborn monkeys from their mothers and placed them in a cage with two substitute "mothers." The first substitute was a "monkey" covered with furry cloth, but it offered no form of nourishment. (Place a stuffed "monkey" next to the inanimate object you have covered with something furry.) In the same cage was a wire mother that had no fur whatsoever. Though this wire monkey "provided" nourishment for the baby in the form of milk in a baby bottle, she could not play, cuddle, or provide warmth for the infant. (Place a second stuffed "monkey" next to a metallic inanimate object.) Harlow's first observation was that the newborn monkeys visited the wire "mother" only for milk. The rest of their waking and sleeping hours were with the fur-covered "mother," where they could cuddle and sleep. (Move the stuffed "infant" from the wire covered object to the side of the fur-covered one.)

Next, Harlow separated the monkeys into two groups. One group was constantly with a fur-covered "mother" that was equipped with a bottle of milk, and the second group was constantly with the wire "mother," who still had her bottle of nourishment to offer. The young monkeys were no longer able to move back and forth between the two "mothers." (Separate the stuffed "infants," placing one with your fur-covered object and one with your wire-covered object.)

The results of the study were terribly sad. (Refer once again to your stuffed animal models as you go along.) The monkeys who had been with the fur mothers were well socialized, playful, and content and turned into fine mothers themselves. The monkeys in the second group, however, showed signs of emotional disturbance, choosing not to seek comfort from their wire "mother" when frightened or threatened, but instead throwing themselves upon the floor, clutching their knees, and rocking back and forth. (Isolate this "infant" from the other, cloth-raised "infant".) These monkeys were frequently unable to mate, and were completely uninterested in their own infants when they did give birth. Rhesus infants who had been separated from all mothering influences (given only a bottle and no substitute "mother" in any form) experienced emotional damage that Harlow and his team declared to be "irreparable."

How does this relate to us then? Most of us are not wire monkey babies! We have been loved and know how to give love, and as a matter of fact, we have been programmed to do so. That longing you have for romance and the perfect wedding, and the happily-ever-after ... it is very much a result of all the cuddling and nourishment you received when you were young. To keep the monkey analogy going-you're looking for the guy who will sit for hours and pick those fleas out of your fur, aren't you?

Well, he's probably out there all right. But are you ready to meet him? There is a saying that you may have heard ... you have to put the horse before the cart. Part of the problem with boy craziness-any kind of craziness, for that matter-is that it puts the cart in front of the horse. This is because "craziness" consumes our thoughts. The boy fanatic thinks only about boys. The sports fanatic thinks only about sports. The money fanatic thinks only about gaining wealth. And that is cart-then-horse thinking!


Excerpted from SECRET DIARY UNLOCKED COMPANION GUIDE by Suzy Weibel Copyright © 2007 by Suzy Weibel. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1. Journey to the Center of Your World (An Overnight Adventure!) / 5

2. Boy Crazy! / 15

3. My Peeps / 25

4. Learning to Like Me / 35

5. Mean Girls / 45

6. Mom Was Right / 53

7. Bad Girl Wannabe / 61

8. Glad I'm a Girl / 73

NOTES / 95

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    A girls guide to best friends and mean girls

    Not all books are about making friends but learning how to destroy them these books help to remmind us that were all human and God will help us

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