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Is it right to ask your child to keep family secrets?


Asked by LogCabinMom at 3:49 AM on Jun. 30, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • i disagree. my sis does this to her kids all the time, telling them to 'not tell gma/etc' , and usually its about crap little things that don't mean anything other than she just doesn't want to deal with reality, or she thinks someone may cross her or tell her she needs to do something other than what she's planning. its emotional child abuse to force a child to shoulder the burden of an adult's responsibility. if there are things going on in a child's surroundings that 'are not for general discussion' then they shouldn't be going on. asking a child to keep secrets is giving them more than they are mentally equipped to handle.

    Answer by dullscissors at 6:05 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • Yes, the child should learn that what happens in the family is not for general discussion. So as far as discussing with fellow classmates, then they shouldn't be doing this.

    Answer by Bmat at 5:49 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • This is such a hard question! It really depends on the situation/question, I think...Then again this is confusing for a child because how do they know what is appropriate to talk about and what is not...

    Answer by theutilitarian at 6:16 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • There is personal information that I don't want people to know. Like the code to our garage door, I don' want them telling the neighbor kids how to get into our house so I tell them it's personal and a secrete code just for us.  However I don't like using the word secrete because I want them to know they need to tell if something bad was happening to them.  


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 7:02 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • No. Teaching children to keep secrets can lead to disaster. For example, if a beloved relative molests your child, tells you child to keep it a secret, and your child has been taught that it is ok to keep secrets, this would be horrible.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:10 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • We tell our kids that we don't keep secrets. We, however, can have surprises that no one else knows about (such as what we bought someone for their birthday, etc.) Right now I feel that our kids are way too little to tell them a "family secret" and ask them not to tell someone. But they do need to learn that something are just family things and to not discuss them with others but that should not be done until they can have that thought process. A four/five year old will blurt something out without thinking all all. Whereas I think that perhaps around 8 or so they have more control and can understand of what to say and what not to say.

    Answer by JamieLK at 8:52 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • For me, it would depend on the secret. If its abuse related then they should not keep that secret. Otherwise, yes.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 10:48 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • No! It doesn't matter what the secret is. It could be something as simple as mom is a different religion from gmom to as drastic as the woman you call aunt is actually your baby brother's mother, but shhhh don't tell anyone. It's ridiculous to ask a child to keep secrets. They don't understand why it needs to be done in the first place. And just the encouragement to keep secrets is going to cause problems, way beyond the whole molestation argument. Can you see it now, you lo getting involved in a bad group of friends and your lo keeping those secrets from you and everyone else? How are you supposed to re-teach lo that some secrets are not and should not ever be kept? Teach honest first, teach no keeping of secrets and eventually teach discernment.

     But if you have a family secret, keep it that way and don't spill the beans to you child!!


    Answer by isabellalecour at 11:42 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • yes.they are after all, part of the family

    Answer by Kiki_pie1979 at 10:22 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • WoW!! great responses girls. I have to say I was disturbed when my 4yr old niece was eager to reveal a "secret" to me only to be hushed by her 5yr old sister!! I immediatelt told them both NEVER to keep secrets from me,Im their Aunt and if theres something going on I need to know about it,and they disclosed to me serious issues going on with my sister and her husband,yes its their business but asking a 4yr old to keep them is way to much to ask and should never have been expected to do so at such a young age. I was disappointed but kept my new "secret" to myself and promises the girls they wouldnt be in trouble. No child should have to carry the weight of that responsibility. Just my opinion girls!!

    Comment by LogCabinMom (original poster) at 10:33 PM on Jun. 30, 2010