Over the years, a lot of people have called me about whether or not to share a secret with their kids. However, before I answer that, let me distinguish between secrets, privacy, and surprises...A surprise is:
"This is what we’re getting Mommy for Christmas..."
or"We’re having a surprise party for Aunty Margery..." Surprises are things that will be made clear shortly. Secrets are things that we try to keep quiet forever.
There are good secrets, and there are bad secrets. Sometimes that is difficult for people to understand.
And then there is privacy. Privacy is: "Your sister is doing poorly in school."
That’s not a secret - it’s just private. You must respect the privacy of others.
Now for some reason, some of you think that you’re obligated to tell your spouse or your children about every experience you’ve ever had in your life. But, no. You should only tell them if it is of benefit for them to know.
The fact that you did something stupid at 15 is irrelevant now that you’re 35 — of course, unless you haven’t changed. What about secrets others ask your child to keep?
In general, there are some secrets people tell you because they want to do something bad or make you do something bad. You should never
keep a secret like that. And as a parent, you must remind your children, “They may threaten to hurt you, but you still need to tell me because I can and will protect you.”
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