A secret is defined as · a thing that is carefully reserved and hidden · . In general, all people, including children, have some other secret. We talk about intimate things , that we don’t like to share with others, or that we do it only with some people in an act of trust.
When we confess a secret, we do so hoping that the other person will not tell anyone , because we trust them. Perhaps it has happened to you on occasion with your children, who tell you “this is a secret, don’t tell anyone.” In these cases, what is the best we can do?
Should we keep secrets from children? As in everything, there is no unanimous, definitive and “more correct than another” answer ; Thus, we must assess each situation and each specific case. To do this, we give you some keys on aspects to take into account if you want to keep secrets from your children.
Should we keep secrets from children?
In relation to this topic, the controversy is served; there are those who think that children should not have secrets, and others, that they have all the right in the world to have them, and also that those secrets are safe.
The truth is that, as we said, we all have things that we like to keep in our privacy, and that’s fine.
However, with children we must take into account some preliminary considerations . How do you know whether to keep secrets from children? Please note the following:
The right to privacy
Children also have the right to have their own privacy, and furthermore, we must think that if they decide to share a secret with us, it is because they trust us. And that trust deserves to be repaid.
That they trust us as “keepers of their secrets”, something that for them surely is like a treasure , is good news.
It means that we have been cultivating that trust with them. Of course, we must take into account what kind of secret they are confessing to us, when assessing whether to keep it or not.
“Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.”
Depends on the secret: there are exceptions
We should always think of the benefit of the minor, when he tells us things. So, depending on the secret, we will be honest with them and explain that it is better to tell it, or not.
There are things that can be “kept” (things that are important to them, but that cannot harm them ; for example, that they like a boy in their class, that they forgot their jacket at school or that one day they did not do their homework). ).
However, there are much more sensitive issues that it is sometimes convenient to “bring to light” (with them) and be able to talk about it openly, without taboos.
- types of secrets
We talk about serious issues, or that involve third parties, that can harm them or that are dangerous…; such as having suffered sexual abuse, something very serious.
In that case, we must communicate to our son that this topic is important to address , always with the aim of helping him.
On the other hand, there are exceptions to secrets that we should keep: for example, when we organize a surprise party for mom or dad with the family, or when we want to buy them a gift for their birthday, etc.
It is also very important to be honest with children at all times; For example, if we believe that this secret should be shared (if it is a sensitive issue, as we said), we should talk about it openly with the child (or adolescent ) , and explain the reasons for it.
Another thing is that we need to consult a specialist, for example, to determine if the matter is serious or not, or that we communicate to our partner what is happening. In these cases, it is not necessary to explain everything to the children, but never lie to them.
Take care of trust
Similarly, it is important to take care of the trust that our children, or children in general, have placed in us. That is, they do not feel betrayed.
That is why it is so important to communicate with them , to be open and honest, ask them questions, create a climate where they feel safe and calm, etc.
And be transparent at all times. This trust that they have been depositing in us must be maintained over time if we want them to continue telling us the things that concern them, for example.
“People who are totally and fully trusted will return that trust.”
There are children who have a hard time explaining their things, and that’s fine. We are not all equally open. Therefore, just as you must understand your child if he tells you his secrets, you must also respect that he does not do it, or that he does not tell you absolutely everything.
Keep in mind that they also have the right to preserve their privacy. And above all, do not pressure them to tell you everything , because this will cause just the opposite effect, that they close more to you.
Let them decide what to tell and what not (and if you think there is something that worries them and they don’t explain it to you, foster a climate of trust so that they can open up to you little by little, give them time, ask them questions but without overwhelming them, etc.) .).
Do not make the subject a taboo subject: normalize
There will be more “important” secrets than others, as we said; there are things that children explain to us simply to share, or because they find it funny… also, topics that make them ashamed to tell and that is why they consider “secrets”.
Thus, many times they are things that they consider “very serious” and that maybe they are not; therefore, let’s normalize and not make certain topics a taboo subject. Let’s maintain with them that communicative line of talking about things with transparency, naturalness and sincerity.
Identify why they tell us
Above all, when dealing with more “important” secrets, it is important to determine the purpose of that confession. Why are our children telling us these things? Is it to get relief, understanding?
To solve doubts? For fun ? To feel like they have a confidant they trust? Just to share? And it is that, sometimes not so important is “the secret itself”, but “why they tell us”. If we learn to determine that, we will be closer to accompanying and better helping our children.
intuition and common sense
When we talk about secrets, they can seem like very delicate things; however, they are not always. Sometimes they are things that call our son’s attention, that they want to share, that generate doubts… and others, things that really worry them.
Be that as it may, it is important that we value the secret in question and the consequences of telling it and not telling it. Let’s follow our intuition as parents , and always maintain a critical attitude but with common sense.
We know our children and we know why they tell us things, to what extent they are important and not… and if we are not clear about it, let’s ask them, let’s consult a specialist if necessary . And above all, let’s talk openly about these things with our children. We have to trust them too!
Photos | Image 1 (freepik), Image 2 (freepik), Image 3 (freepik)