Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How do you draw the line between expecting your kids to keep family issues private and burdening them by expecting them to keep problems secrets.

It's so hard to see kids struggling with issues they don't feel free to talk to anyone about.  It's so common for abused kids to be trained not to say anything. The burden they carry is just terrible. But sometimes kids also keep other family issues secret too.  

When I was in school I told a teacher something that happened at home. It wasn't serious or anything. My mother was very upset that I had embarrassed the family. I still feel crappy when I think about how upset my mom was.  As a parent I dont' want my kids to feel like they aren't allowed to talk about things.

My oldest son will attend the school where I work next year. I certainly don't want him going in and telling everyone every time Dad and I get in a fight, but I also want him to feel free to talk to someone if he's upset about something. 

Is this something you talk to your kids about?

by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:41 AM
Replies (31-40):
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM
1 mom liked this

I never worried about this because there was nothing I felt we did as a family that was so bad it had to be kept a secret.  Parents argue and kids sing like birds.  He is a talker too and tells me everything that happens at school and his friends.  I also told my son that the only time he needs to repeat what is going on or said even if he is warned not to is if he or someone else is getting or going to be hurt. 

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 9:55 PM
1 mom liked this

Anything I don't want my kids to share, I don't discuss or do in front of them. At such a young age I'm not going to expect them to keep secrets. Plus, if someone asks about it, telling them to keep that secret then encourages lying. If I encourage them to lie to others, what's to stop them from thinking it's ok to lie to me?

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:04 PM

We tell our kids somethings are family business, like how much we make(they dont know actual salaries, just that we make enough to cover the the things necessary for the family), or legal matters, such as when we had rental property and had to take tenants to court, etc. Given how much family information is shared with me inadvertently by kids over for playdates(recently I asked one of my son's friends who was visiting, "how is your auntie doing?", and he replies with " fine, financially speaking, she is rich now after she got hurt at work "   LOL.. I just wondered if she was over the flu...... or things shared by scouts in my den, or by kids when I was teaching, I imagine that my kids over the years have probably overshared at times to others.  You can give them guidance, but they dont come with a mute button... 


by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:06 PM

In my home secrets are not good. Surprises(good things) are one thing we have and then we have social manners that helps them differentiate private from okay to share. I can only tell you to try to keep disagreements to being discussed when kids are at grandparents. Trust that if it bothers your child enough they will tell someone at school and hopefully you will not be too embarrassed. 

In our home we haven't really talked about this but smaller things like my children knowing things others their age may not, body parts, not nice words like butt, terd, booger, etc that they say at home and are reminded that these aren't bad words but they are not nice and not okay to say at school.

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:08 PM

To be honest with you I never given any thought to it.  My husband and I rarely fight or agrue . If we have a disagreement we tried to talk over when our son is  in bed. When I come home from my stressful job and I go on a rant  I always tell my son whatever we talk  about should be kept at home.

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 11:37 PM

My husband is always telling my kids that there are to be no secrets kept from mom.  He realizes there are things they may not want to tell him but they can tell me anything anytime.  However.... with that said...  Max told his entire class that his mom "poops a lot".  *Sigh.*  I have IBS and it never occured to me before that point to say, "We don't discuss bodily functions outside the home.  He also told my mom that Chris and I had been arguing and she got on to me.  I politely said that we would be more conciencous about that but she and dad argued in front of use and we turned out just fine.  We knew that they loved each other and they always made up.  We are no worse for wear because of it.  In real life people don't get along 100% of the time.  Thats just life.  

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM

we don't tell our dd things that she has to keep secret.  if it has to remain secret, she doesn't know.  of coars she's 6 but still.

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 11:48 PM

We have talked about it only to say that she is not allowed to tell anything that happens in the bathroom.  Had to after an embarrasing situation.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 6, 2013 at 1:19 AM
I grew up hiding a lot about my home life and I hated it. I never tell my son not to tell anyone anything, we just try not to fight or do anything that we wouldn't want anyone to know in front of him. Even though he did go to school saying our house was infested with roaches last year lol. We had had like 3 roaches because they were digging up the pipes, I freaked out and said our house is infested. Yeah, that was a nice conversation with the teacher!
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 7:03 AM

I don't think teachers should be sounding boards for every kid.  I also think they should weigh what they're told, counsel if they can, and watch for any signs of distress.  I also think your children should know there's a school counselor they can speak with, but - no, they shouldn't go telling everyone about your day-to-day lives unless they're in danger.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)