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What is a Secret
As parents we have so much to worry about in regards to our children. We want to protect them from all of lifes dangers, yet we want to accomplish this without putting unnecessary fear into their lives.
When my children were small, we began talking about secrets. What is a good secret and what is a bad secret? This seemed to be a concept my children could understand, while accomplishing my goal of not scaring them.
Good secrets are things that you get to tell mommy or daddy. Such as we bought daddy a birthday gift. Today it’s a secret but tomorrow we get to tell daddy. Another good secret is when the principal at school tells you there will be a party for your teacher but today it’s a secret. Tomorrow however we get to tell the teacher.
As your children get a bit older, a good secret might even be your friend telling you she likes a boy. While your child may be asked not to tell the boy, your child could certainly tell you this secret.
So what is a bad secret? A bad secret is a secret that your child is asked to NEVER tell. A bad secret might be another child admitting they did something wrong and asking your child not to tell. It might also be an adult acting inappropriately with your child and telling the child to keep this a secret and not tell mommy.
My kids asked of course, “who will tell us bad secrets?”. I began to tell them that bad people tell bad secrets, and quickly realized this is not true at all. Instead I chose to tell them that a bad secret can come from both a child and an adult who is doing something wrong. To this day I still believe that only someone doing something wrong will ask a child to keep a secret from mommy or daddy.
My kids and I spent many hours talking about secrets and that mommy and/or daddy must always be told secrets. I also assured them that they would NEVER get in trouble for telling mommy or daddy a secret. I can remember a few times, my kids slipping and telling a good secret when they weren’t supposed to, but I kept my word and they never got in trouble. You see, I have often heard that someone acting inappropriately will say “if you tell your mommy, you will get in trouble”. I never wanted my child to have a visual image of getting in trouble for telling mommy a secret.