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No secrets allowed??

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Alrighty there then now. There's an example.

 

Having a period is private, but not a secret.

 

Not keeping secrets does not mean gossiping about everything.

 

It's not complicated to think the level of confidence within a household is closer than the level of confidence extended to those outside of it.

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Maybe the need to lie if you're asked about it or engage in deception to keep the information concealed is a differentiation. Take having a period as an example. That's private information. I do complain about it to DH, so he generally knows when I am having one. If I chose not to complain about it, he might not know when I started it. If he asked, I wouldn't lie to him. If I needed to lie to cover up the fact that I wasn't having one (pregnant with my secret boyfriend's secret love child), that would no longer be only my business privacy. I might hide the fact that I didn't start if I were going to surprise him with a pregnancy announcement, but that doesn't have a negative connotation. 

 

I have never really had crushes either, but if I had one on some random celebrity, that would be private. If I went to lengths to act on the crush (lying and trying to meet him?), that would be a secret. 

 

Where did you spend $500? If you lie because you spent it on your girlfriend or drug habit, that's keeping a secret. If you spent it on airplane tickets to surprise me with a getaway, that's not.

 

Again, we don't have a NO SECRETS rule. We've discussed it with our kids in the context of safety issues, but it's not a spoken rule. DH and I generally overshare with each other. When he does not, it's usually because something is stressing him or he's upset. I don't expect to read diaries, but I would hope my kids share college essays with me. If they did not, I would respect that. I think. I might be concerned one made up some dire illness or situation to have a more interesting essay...

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Maybe the need to lie if you're asked about it or engage in deception to keep the information concealed is a differentiation

It may be to some here. To me, a secret is not necessarily an attempt to deceive. If my grown kid did not want to share a college essay with me, I would not leap to the thought that it must be a lie or something bad that I don't know about. It could be they have some complex thoughts or ideas and don't wish to reveal it to me now or yet. Maybe the child is thinking of converting to a different religion and they are sorting out their thoughts about it. Maybe they differ with me on a political view and they are not ready to have a debate about it.

 

I don't know...to me, so much behavior comes down to are you behaving in a loving and kind way? I don't teach my kids they can't have secrets, but they will also know it's not cool to keep secrets for deceptive and devious purposes. It's not as though they would say, "Well, you never taught me not to cover up for my friend's drug habit."

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My children have a high degree of privacy. I do not go through their things, or even insist on knowing all of their friends.

 

I have, however, told them that someone who asks them to keep a secret is not a safe person.

 

Between my own siblings, if one of us says,"I want to tell you something but I don't want so and so to know." We say, "Then don't tell me."

 

Keeping a secret is an unfair burden to put on others.

 

My middle daughter has a friend from a very insane, abusive family. Every week, their are things going on in that family that the kids are "not allowed to tell anyone." My daughter tells her,"My mom says that when someone wants you to keep their secrets they are not a safe person."

 

How sad that this kid's parents care more about keeping some fake public good reputation than they do about their children being able to talk about their feelings and receive feedback and process the whole situation.

 

My sister is shocked that I refuse to pry into my older children's relationships and private lives. I just tell her that they will share what they want to share when they are ready to share it. That isn't keeping secrets. That is just having a respectful, adult relationship.

 

Asking someone else to keep your secrets, on the other hand is neither adult or respectful.

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It may be to some here. To me, a secret is not necessarily an attempt to deceive. If my grown kid did not want to share a college essay with me, I would not leap to the thought that it must be a lie or something bad that I don't know about. It could be they have some complex thoughts or ideas and don't wish to reveal it to me now or yet. Maybe the child is thinking of converting to a different religion and they are sorting out their thoughts about it. Maybe they differ with me on a political view and they are not ready to have a debate about it.

 

I don't know...to me, so much behavior comes down to are you behaving in a loving and kind way? I don't teach my kids they can't have secrets, but they will also know it's not cool to keep secrets for deceptive and devious purposes. It's not as though they would say, "Well, you never taught me not to cover up for my friend's drug habit."

I was mostly joking about one particular way-too-young-for-college-yet child with a flair for the dramatic re: fictionalized college essay.

 

I wouldn't demand an answer to what religion a child affiliated with, so there would be no reason to lie. Only in a household that did demand such private information and required allegiance to a particular religion would people find that question problematic. I could see it coming up in discussions as we talk about different religions and politics openly, but there's no requirement the child join in the discussion or adhere to our belief. We don't have a NO SECRETS rule or a religiosity test.

 

I am defending the *idea* of secrets vs surprises without any authoritarian parenting philosophy. For me, the idea boils down to lying/sneaking = bad. If you're in a relationship, you should be respectful of the other party. If the child knows the behavior violates the parent's rules and does it anyway and lies to cover it up, there's something simmering. Either the parent's rule/expectation is too oppressive or the child is out of line. Or somewhere in between. Same with adults. If my husband has to lie to me to cover up behavior that doesn't involve a pleasant surprise, there's something off-balance between us. It doesn't mean I need a line by line accounting of the thoughts in his head. That would be oppressive on my part. I would like him to answer any question I posit him with either the honest response or "why the hell are you asking me that?!?!" (privacy response, which is what he'd say or voice a legal argument such as "Objection, asking for information outside the scope of discovery.") We both have issues with parents who lie and sneak. It's not a rule, but being "secretive" is a whole different ballgame from having privacy and personal boundaries for us.

Edited by zoobie
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I just can't get on board with the idea that every person who asks another to keep a secret is an unsafe and disrespectful person. That's not my reality or experience. A few but definitely not all or even most.

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I have a FB friend who is, now, 19 and a college student. When she got her FB account one of her mother's rules was that she had to pick a couple of adults to "friend", and that she not hide anything from those adults. The understanding was that we wouldn't share anything that wasn't putting her at significant risk with her parents-but that we would if it crossed the line.

 

I'm pretty sure I've heard a lot more than mom has about crushes and minor heartbreaks and that a particular "friend" really isn't-normal teen stuff. I did PM and encourage her to go to her professor and thr student support center when she felt over her head in her first college math class, but in that case, she'd actually shared with her parents that she felt concerned-but as a college faculty member myself, I knew more about what was available than her parents did.

Edited by dmmetler
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How do you enforce the "don't keep a secret" rule? I can't get passed the feeling that this is setting up for secrets upon secrets by demanding this.

 

 

 

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I don't have a "no secrets" rule in my family.  I don't own what is inside my kids' brains.

 

I encourage them to tell me about certain kinds of things, for their own good.  But IMO it is more important for them to feel they have some level of autonomy than for me to know every thing that happens to them.

 

FTR I had many unhappy secrets as a kid.  I had to decide and I decided not to tell.  It's on me.  I don't think it would have been better to add on the stress of "this breaks the no secrets rule."  Frankly there is no way I would have told my parents many things, rule or no rule.

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This. 

 

Dh's sister has one son. He's gay. And very out, and very proud, and VERY successful career wise. I'm Facebook friends with him, as are all of my kids. And yet SIL doesn't want to acknowledge it and it makes me mad. Saw dear nephew two weeks ago and he and I had a delightful conversation about his significant other.  Why SIL and my inlaws refuse to talk about it is beyond me.   It's a secret that's not a secret. 

 

But why do you feel they are obligated to talk about it with you?  How is their thoughts/feelings about it any of your business?  Or anybody's other than the man in question?

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I remember when I got my first period. I knew I had to tell my mom, but I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO! But I did, cause I figured she would need this infirmation to keep me in the necessary supplies. Hours later, I heard her telling someone on the telephone. Now - I know it is not unusual to tell your friends or you mother or whomever when this happens with your DD. But I resented that deeply at the time because I was intensly private and my mom did not understand that need.

 

 

 

I would have resented that, too. :grouphug:

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How do you enforce the "don't keep a secret" rule? I can't get passed the feeling that this is setting up for secrets upon secrets by demanding this.

 

I've wondered this too.  If someone doesn't share info with someone else, how, exactly, do they know this is happening?

 

Reading through these situations I realized there have been a few times we've asked our kids not to share what's going on in our family.  The main example that came to mind is when we cleaned chickens one weekend... I know not all young youngsters (or even older folks) appreciate knowing this info, esp step by step, so we warned our guys not to tell other kids at school.

 

We forgot to tell them not to tell others in Sunday School (in response to "what did you do yesterday.")  Youngest turned his teacher and another student or two green...

 

Not all info needs to be shared and not all of that is bad.

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Alrighty there then now. There's an example.

 

Having a period is private, but not a secret.

 

Not keeping secrets does not mean gossiping about everything.

 

It's not complicated to think the level of confidence within a household is closer than the level of confidence extended to those outside of it.

 

Ok, but I think it's the girl's private business, and not that of anyone she doesn't directly choose to tell, or give her mother permission to tell.  It's not her siblings business, it's not her father's business.  For that matter, a sensitive mother might have talked to her well before she had her period, and laid in the supplies for her, and let her know that she would be checking on the stock and that it would be kept up, and that she was welcome to talk to mom as much or little about it as she wanted.

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I don't ever remember the topic of "secrets" coming up in my family. Not ever. Not when I was a child, not when I was a parent of two children. :blink:

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Maybe the need to lie if you're asked about it or engage in deception to keep the information concealed is a differentiation. Take having a period as an example. That's private information. I do complain about it to DH, so he generally knows when I am having one. If I chose not to complain about it, he might not know when I started it. If he asked, I wouldn't lie to him. If I needed to lie to cover up the fact that I wasn't having one (pregnant with my secret boyfriend's secret love child), that would no longer be only my business privacy. I might hide the fact that I didn't start if I were going to surprise him with a pregnancy announcement, but that doesn't have a negative connotation. 

 

I have never really had crushes either, but if I had one on some random celebrity, that would be private. If I went to lengths to act on the crush (lying and trying to meet him?), that would be a secret. 

 

Where did you spend $500? If you lie because you spent it on your girlfriend or drug habit, that's keeping a secret. If you spent it on airplane tickets to surprise me with a getaway, that's not.

 

Again, we don't have a NO SECRETS rule. We've discussed it with our kids in the context of safety issues, but it's not a spoken rule. DH and I generally overshare with each other. When he does not, it's usually because something is stressing him or he's upset. I don't expect to read diaries, but I would hope my kids share college essays with me. If they did not, I would respect that. I think. I might be concerned one made up some dire illness or situation to have a more interesting essay...

 

All of this really comes back to whom the information really belongs to.  Information about your period belongs to you.  Information about your pregnancy belongs to you, and the baby daddy, and your dh.  Information about finances belongs to the owner of the money.  Information about a drug habit belongs to whomever it affects. 

 

My son, BTW, is doing college essays right now and I require him to allow me to help with the editing - because I'm expected to help pay.  So, IMO, that information belongs to both of us.  If he was fully funding his own college, then he could choose not to receive my help.

 

I don't like the terms secret vs private, because I think they are really the same thing.  I keep it secret because it's private.  I think the important question is to whom does information belong?

 

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I just can't get on board with the idea that every person who asks another to keep a secret is an unsafe and disrespectful person. That's not my reality or experience. A few but definitely not all or even most.

In the adult world, I agree 100%. But an adult who asks children to keep a secret, like the grandmother in another thread who asked the child not to tell the parents about a vacation they had already vetoed, is usually unsafe.

 

My oldest is my step dd but I have raised her from the time she is small. Her bio mom's family LOVES their dysfunctional secrets. Every secret they keep is about a dysfunction. They made dd lie to us about the adults drug use, exposing dd to people who had hurt her in the past, about being friends with a known child molester who was on parole, financial things that were unacceptable, ect.

 

IME most adults who want children to keep secrets that are not healthy surprises are unsafe. Many adults keep secrets for a large variety of reasons and it is impossible to judge them.

 

When dh and I were considering buying our first restaurant we talked about it in front of the kids but I didn't tell them not to tell other people, even though we were not telling ANYONE, because I didn't want my kids to think that "good" people ask you to keep secrets. My youngest did tell my brother, whom I would not have told, but we laughed it off.

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I can't fathom ever requiring my college or ps high schooler to share essays.  I have no problems looking over what they ask me to look over.  I love discussing topics they're learning about, but we don't pry.  I guess we trust them to share what they want to share with us.

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Ok, but I think it's the girl's private business, and not that of anyone she doesn't directly choose to tell, or give her mother permission to tell. It's not her siblings business, it's not her father's business. For that matter, a sensitive mother might have talked to her well before she had her period, and laid in the supplies for her, and let her know that she would be checking on the stock and that it would be kept up, and that she was welcome to talk to mom as much or little about it as she wanted.

Oh for crying out loud. I just said I thought that was private. Of course I'd have talked to my girls before hand and made sure they were prepared and told them to let me know if they had problems or questions. I've never posted anything to even imply otherwise.

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One of my kids is open with me to a fault.  You think you want your kids to tell you everything.  There are some things that trust me you would not want your kid to tell you.  Ever.. I suppose it is good he trusts me, but uh yeah some stuff is better left a secret.

 

Although he is also unable to lie to me.  It's comical when he tries.  He can't keep a straight face.

 

 

 

 

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How do you enforce the "don't keep a secret" rule? I can't get passed the feeling that this is setting up for secrets upon secrets by demanding this.

Well that's the problem with lies in general isn't it? They build upon each other. That's why it's generally deemed a good policy to avoid them as much as possible.

 

Like most moral imperatives, it's not about enforcing so much as cultural expectation.

 

I'm not policing my kids. I'm not forcing them to do anything. We simply have a family environment that strongly discourages secrets and tends to view secrets as not good things. And yes, I'm very skeptical about people who keep secrets. I'm leery of their intentions and good will and would hesitate to trust them very much.

 

My friends can confide in me, but I've no desire to keep secrets for them. I'll probably talk only to my husband about it. Anyone who wants me to keep secrets from my husband should keep on walking until they find someone else to talk to. Anyone who knows me knows this. It's no shocking surprise. Grown people who expect me to keep secrets for them strike me as people who get some sick enjoyment out of playing mind games of manipulation on others and I want no part of it.

 

Like most of you, how I raise my kids and what type of family environment I'm trying to build is likely the result of my own baggage. So far, I'm happy with my decision on this and so far, so are my kids.

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Oh for crying out loud. I just said I thought that was private. Of course I'd have talked to my girls before hand and made sure they were prepared and told them to let me know if they had problems or questions. I've never posted anything to even imply otherwise.

 

You said "within the household".  And my difference is that I don't think everyone within a household is entitled to know it, either.

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You said "within the household". And my difference is that I don't think everyone within a household is entitled to know it, either.

We are all living in the same house together. They are going to know. That's just reality. It's still private. No one is walking up to the women on their period and chatting about it with them or calling others and chatting about it. Bc it's private. But it's no secret bc everyone still knows about it.

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We are all living in the same house together. They are going to know. That's just reality. It's still private. No one is walking up to the women on their period and chatting about it with them or calling others and chatting about it. Bc it's private. But it's no secret bc everyone still knows about it.

 

I know I'm being pedantic here, but how would they know?  And why would they care?

 

Nobody here knows.  I'm the only female in the house.  I don't announce it.  Even my husband is clueless.

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There is a world of difference between secrets and privacy.

 

People, including kids have a right to share or not share their private lives as they are comfortable doing so.

 

Once you share something private and ask someone else not to tell anyone, you have burdened another person with your baggage which is not respectful.

 

There are things I don't share. There are things that my kids choose not to share.

 

If you aren't able to keep your private life private, then tell a therapist or a priest or a lawyer, but leave your friends and family out of it. It isn't anyone else's secret to keep.

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But why do you feel they are obligated to talk about it with you?  How is their thoughts/feelings about it any of your business?  Or anybody's other than the man in question?

 

They aren't obligated to talk about it to me.  But dh's sister is so afraid someone is going to bring up her son's 'status' that she refuses to talk about him at all.  It's sad for her because she's missing out on being able to talk about him. We all talk about our kids- not their sex life, of course, but she's just so afraid. It's sad. And the guy doesn't come home for holidays because of it.  I live 850 miles away but saw him at  a funeral- she told me she asked her son not to come to the visitation.  This is a case where keeping a secret is hurting someone- multiple people, actually. 

 

ETA: Actually this isn't a secret issue at all since it's not a secret.  

Edited by Annie G

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Yeah, I am way more in the Undersharer group. I don't think every thought must be expressed. I don't think some things are beneficial to be shared, like Sadie said upthread. Some things are better left unsaid.

 

You know, one thing I am rather proud of as a friend is that I am Fort Knox for not spreading tales said to me in confidence. I know some people who are the opposite of this and they are just lousy women to have as a friend. You can't say two words to them if you are not 100% fine with it traveling to other ears. But for me? There is plenty of information I am taking to my grave because it would do nothing but hurt others if the info travelled.

 

I remember when I got my first period. I knew I had to tell my mom, but I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO! But I did, cause I figured she would need this infirmation to keep me in the necessary supplies. Hours later, I heard her telling someone on the telephone. Now - I know it is not unusual to tell your friends or you mother or whomever when this happens with your DD. But I resented that deeply at the time because I was intensly private and my mom did not understand that need.

 

I think how private vs. How much one needs to talk to feel close to someone affects how they then feel about secrets kept from them by their kids. The blabby people I know I think use that as a measure of closeness. The private people don't, so it doesn't feel wrong for our kids to have their own private lives.

 

 

My period, or lack thereof, was like community knowledge or something because my mom was obsessed with my journey through puberty.  I didn't grow breasts fast enough or big enough, which was fodder for mockery.  I didn't get my period when I was 10 or 11 or 13.  I didn't get it until I was about 15.  So I'm taking extra care with my girls to reassure them that a wide range is perfectly fine.

 

Oh, and then my nosy aunt asked ON THE PHONE if Rebecca had gotten her period yet.  She's seen the girls less than 5 times.  I was flabbergasted, but managed to get out that she wants her privacy.  Like I'm going to blast that all over the internet!

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I can't fathom ever requiring my college or ps high schooler to share essays.  I have no problems looking over what they ask me to look over.  I love discussing topics they're learning about, but we don't pry.  I guess we trust them to share what they want to share with us.

 

So much of this has to do with the personality of the person, and how private they are.  My twins are both writing college essays.  One has shown me everything and asked for feedback and editing - without my asking her to.  The other would probably decide not to apply to colleges at all rather than show me her essay, so whatever.  (She did show her sister - I asked, is it really about grilled cheese?  No, apparently it's actually about her academic interests, so *phew*).  If you can insist that editing the essay is a prerequisite of applying to colleges - than you don't have one of these more private kids.  It would be very damaging to my relationship with her to insist.

 

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How do you enforce the "don't keep a secret" rule? I can't get passed the feeling that this is setting up for secrets upon secrets by demanding this.

It is unenforceable.  

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There is a world of difference between secrets and privacy.

 

People, including kids have a right to share or not share their private lives as they are comfortable doing so.

 

Once you share something private and ask someone else not to tell anyone, you have burdened another person with your baggage which is not respectful.

 

There are things I don't share. There are things that my kids choose not to share.

 

If you aren't able to keep your private life private, then tell a therapist or a priest or a lawyer, but leave your friends and family out of it. It isn't anyone else's secret to keep.

Yeah, I really don't agree at all. I don't feel burdened keeping many secrets. Some of them? Yes, but not the majority. I don't feel burdened of feel my dd is disrespectful for telling her dad and I she is gay but asking us not to tell the rest of the family.

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There is a world of difference between secrets and privacy.

 

People, including kids have a right to share or not share their private lives as they are comfortable doing so.

 

Once you share something private and ask someone else not to tell anyone, you have burdened another person with your baggage which is not respectful.

 

There are things I don't share. There are things that my kids choose not to share.

 

If you aren't able to keep your private life private, then tell a therapist or a priest or a lawyer, but leave your friends and family out of it. It isn't anyone else's secret to keep.

But not all "secrets" are a burden for me to keep.  If a friend confided she was having an affair and asked me not to tell her dh, that is a burden.  If a friend confided she is having marital troubles and chose not to tell our mutual friends but needed to talk to someone for support as she works on her marriage, that does not feel like a burden to me.  I am able to not tell mutual friends that our other friend has marital problems that she is working through.

 

An extended family member got pregnant and this was kept a secret.  We found out and provided support to the person.  No other extended family members were told.  The girl got larger and larger and was obviously pregnant, but no one said anything.  I still keep this "secret" from extended family because it is not my information to tell.  I think the situation was handled very badly and in a way that was dysfunctional and caused harm to the young lady, but she is not my child.  My role was to love her and provide support, not to reveal anything.  But yes, that secret was a burden - not a crushing burden but a burden.  I suspect that it has caused rifts in ways that no one even understands.  The baby was placed for adoption so it was not a secret that was eventually revealed.  These types of secrets are born out of dysfunction and no good comes from them for anyone involved.  They are born from shame.  They burden everyone involved.

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I'm trying to remember the last time someone has asked me to "keep a secret". 

 

I am a pastor's wife.  I get told a lot of private stuff.  I do not share people's private stuff.  But if someone asks about So-and-so I might share general non-private stuff like "Oh, they are building a house".  I do not feel like I am keeping secrets when I keep someone else's private stuff private.  I am simply not gossiping about someone else's private stuff.  Dh does not tell me all of the private stuff that he's told - unless I need to know.  Neither of us feel any sort of burden because it isn't stuff that weighs on us and isn't stuff that should be told to someone else.  And all of it was shared with us for a reason. 

 

My kids decide what and when to share stuff. But we don't keep secrets about stuff that should be told to someone else.  And in minor children 90% of stuff that should be told to someone else should be shared with the parents  (health and safety stuff).  Stuff that weighs on them because they don't have the capacity to handle it is in the area of stuff that should be told to someone else who can handle it and advise them.  Not necessarily the parent but a trusted adult. 

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I know I'm being pedantic here, but how would they know? And why would they care?

 

Nobody here knows. I'm the only female in the house. I don't announce it. Even my husband is clueless.

He doesn't see pads or tampons out or stuff in the trash??? We don't say anything but all the males know. How could they not?

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He doesn't see pads or tampons out or stuff in the trash??? We don't say anything but all the males know. How could they not?

 

I keep my stuff out all the time.  And trash..no I keep that emptied regularly.

 

I do find it kind of comical that my husband never has any clue.  Apparently I am still a delight during that time.

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Secrets hurt families.  I come from a family where things are not talked about or kept secret and I found it to be very hurtful.  So I tell my kids the honest truth about things.  I also don't like surprises so I usually let the kids give me a list of things they like or want so I can give them something that they will like or use.  Too many times surprise presents are a disappointment  and then I have to feel bad or guilty because I don't like it.  I don't like surprise parties either.  And sometimes I even read spoilers if I am thinking that something may have an ending that I won't like so that I am not overly hurt by it.

 

 

That's just my 2 cents.  Now that doesn't mean you have to share every little detail but important stuff should be out in the open.

Absolutely.  To me it is more about why one needs to keep a secret.  That reason is never good.  Everything in the open is a good way to live for the entire family. 

 

This is entirely distinguishable from information that is simply no one's business, like how many tampons someone uses or something.  No one wants to hear that, but it isn't a "secret" that must be hidden from others. 

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We don't have that rule here. Your own opinions, feelings, etc. are yours. You can keep them secret if you want.

 

We do talk about how there are things you need to tell though - if someone hurts you physically or touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, if someone is breaking the law or a serious house rule, if someone or you are being bullied, if something that isn't yours or yours alone got broken, etc.

 

I think it's important to instill a sense of personal privacy for kids. Obviously when they're little, they don't need or want much. As they get older, they need more. I think kids inevitably have to have secrets as they grow up. I think especially of kids who turn out to be gay. The idea that they're not "allowed" to have that secret (even if that's not the intention) feels uncomfortable to me. There are other things like that too - desires about college, careers, first loves, etc. Those deserve to be private.

 

I think the idea of secrets vs. surprises makes sense. I can respect that... just not the right one for us...

:iagree:  The only ones that can't be kept secret are issues of safety or health.  And an adult is never allowed to tell them to keep something secret from parents.  Ever.  I had one person do that to my kids and when I found out about it...you can imagine.  It was a seat belt/car seat secret and you can bet that person will never ever again be alone with my kids. 

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I keep my stuff out all the time. And trash..no I keep that emptied regularly.

 

I do find it kind of comical that my husband never has any clue. Apparently I am still a delight during that time.

We keep the trash emptied regularly too. But it's usually a guy who changes it these day. Even if we leave our stuff out, they notice if there's more boxes or no boxes. And they might get a call from a non driving gal in need to make a run up to the store if I can't do it. My husband and my oldest three have all had to make the rare but necessary emergency run for a woman in the house.

 

And my husband will always notice if I'm not interested in intimacy and want to know why. Granted now that he traveles out of state for 6 days out of the week, he might miss those observations, but he sure notices when he is home.

 

There is no humiliation or sharing with people outside the house bc it's just a fact of life private thing. But nope, it's no secret either.

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I've read on two threads here recently with posts about how secrets aren't allowed in their families. Is this a big thing? Do many here teach/parent that secrets aren't allowed? I'm a bit shocked by the idea that secrets are considered so wrong. Dh and I have actually told our dds that it's okay to have secrets, especially between one another. We've also told them how we wouldn't pry for that information because it would be rude. I don't expect them to tell me everything, especially not as it happens. I definitely didn't tell my own parents but much of it was told later on in life accompanied by a lot of laughter. FTR, my dds are rather open with us and tell us a lot that I wouldn't have told my own parents. I also know that they keep some things to themselves and I honor their privacy. Is the no secret thing only between certain people and things or do you seriously expect no secrets at all? I'm honestly curious.

 

 

ETA: I also wondering about ages. Are secrets okay for some ages and not for others?

 

 

Usually "no secret" families have a good reason in their pasts for having that rule.  KWIM?

For example, in our family we don't do overnights except with grandparents.  People's pasts often overshadow their present, and often for good reasons and to a good end.

Edited by BlsdMama

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I keep my stuff out all the time.  And trash..no I keep that emptied regularly.

 

I do find it kind of comical that my husband never has any clue.  Apparently I am still a delight during that time.

 

LOL... oh my goodness.  You deserve the name SparklyUnicorn apparently - both lovely and magical.

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I just can't get on board with the idea that every person who asks another to keep a secret is an unsafe and disrespectful person. That's not my reality or experience. A few but definitely not all or even most.

Who has said that? The only thing anyone has said remotely similar is that an adult asking someone else's child to keep information secret from that child's parents is likely up to no good. (Exception: gifts, parties, happy stuff.) There's a power differential for one. That's not a situation where two people evenly share confidences. Two, another adult saying the child's parent is untrustworthy is problematic. I personally would not put a child in that position. I don't do it with my own kids either, pitting "us" against their father unless it's a gift or surprise outing.

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Who has said that? The only thing anyone has said remotely similar is that an adult asking someone else's child to keep information secret from that child's parents is likely up to no good. (Exception: gifts, parties, happy stuff.) There's a power differential for one. That's not a situation where two people evenly share confidences. Two, another adult saying the child's parent is untrustworthy is problematic. I personally would not put a child in that position. I don't do it with my own kids either, pitting "us" against their father unless it's a gift or surprise outing.

At least one poster, Amy G (?) has said it more than once and not just in regards to adults. That's what I was responding to.

 

I've also stated I didn't start this thread to discuss adults asking minors to keep secrets.

Edited by Joker
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Usually "no secret" families have a good reason in their pasts for having that rule. KWIM?

For example, in our family we don't do overnights except with grandparents. People's pasts often overshadow their present, and often for good reasons and to a good end.

Honestly, it's something that still confuses me. An adult family member abused me as a child but I don't have a no secret rule and really don't understand it. Edited by Joker
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I'm wondering, in practice, what this means to you.  I have lots of things that I've never told my children, and can't really imagine telling them.  My mother has been married 5 times (none of them within my children's memory), so I've never told them about it.  I don't see how it can benefit them to know (and it's not like the guys are around or anything).  A family member who is close, biologically, but not physically or relationship-wise, has a spouse in prison for a pretty awful crime.  Because we don't have much relationship with this part of my family, I haven't told my children, even though the person has been in prison for two years. 

 

Would those be things you would tell your kids?  If so, why?  I'm honestly not trying to put you on the defensive, but just trying to understand your thinking.

I do believe in personal privacy.  Just wanted to state that but yeah big family secrets like why did they wait until I was 15 to tell me that I had a sister and why lie about how my grandparents died?  I mean it affected my mother all her life in how she acted and raised me so knowing that from a reasonable age would have helped me to realize how much she was hurt and that she needed to be treated delicately. 

 

I just think it's better to have things out in the open.  I've told my kids about how their great-grandparents died so they understand why grandma doesn't act consistently all the time.  Why she has mood swings and to be patient with her.

 

That's basically my reasoning.  If you know why someone is hurting then it is easier to comfort them and makes dealing with them simpler.  If you have no clue why they act the way you do resentment builds because why aren't they normal. 

 

If they are family members that you deal with on a regular basis it is probably better for the kids to know that auntie's hubby is in prison and that's why she's sad or angry so be patient with her.    If you have siblings from your mother's other marriages it's nice for kids to know exactly how people are connected to them, if not then I wouldn't worry about it but I wouldn't hide it either, if it comes out be casual about it. 

 

But then I am someone who seeks to understand those around me so that I know how best to make them comfortable and at ease.  I am a caretaker and also telling the kids the truth kind of deters them from doing things you don't want them to be involved in. 

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And my husband will always notice if I'm not interested in intimacy and want to know why.

 

hah yes this is the only time he seems to know because I have to tell him.  I always think geesh he doesn't know.  How can he not know?  He is not observant I guess.

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  If you can insist that editing the essay is a prerequisite of applying to colleges - than you don't have one of these more private kids.  It would be very damaging to my relationship with her to insist.

 

 

I wouldn't insist on seeing everything the kid writes.  I'm totally ok with private writing...but I don't see how this applies to a college essay.  It's going to be read by at least a few people.  So much rides on these essays (and scholarships), that I think it's only fair that I am allowed to help make it as good as it can possibly be, as any deficits will literally be money out of my pocket.  I don't have a "more private" kid, but if I did, I would tell him to write his private stuff on something that isn't going to affect me.

 

That said, I honestly don't understand why a kid wouldn't want to share their college app essay.  What's so dramatic that they want to keep it private?

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 I don't feel burdened keeping many secrets. Some of them? Yes, but not the majority. I don't feel burdened of feel my dd is disrespectful for telling her dad and I she is gay but asking us not to tell the rest of the family.

 

I imagine the difference is that most secrets are people asking you to keep something that they have shared with you private.  Secrets that make you uncomfortable are about keeping information that either: you shouldn't have (like a friend tells you that another friend's spouse is cheating) or that they shouldn't be withholding from someone (a friend telling you that she is cheating on her spouse).

 

Keeping your daughter's information secret was just respecting her right to control information about herself.

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We are all living in the same house together. They are going to know. That's just reality. It's still private. No one is walking up to the women on their period and chatting about it with them or calling others and chatting about it. Bc it's private. But it's no secret bc everyone still knows about it.

 

My brother and sister never knew.  My mother never knew once I was past 16 and able to acquire my own supplies. 

 

My husband wasn't aware for about the first 10 years we were married.

 

I promise you my 17 year old does not know.  I'm not even sure it's occurred to him that his mother is a menstruating woman. 

 

The five year old, obviously, is unaware.

 

It is not a given that everyone in the house will know.

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How in the world can a husband not know.... Sex???? I empty my trash as well, but not immediately.. Are you guys saying there is never blood soaked stuff in your trash cans ?????

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How in the world can a husband not know.... Sex???? I empty my trash as well, but not immediately.. Are you guys saying there is never blood soaked stuff in your trash cans ?????

 

Well not everyone has sex every single day of the week.  Obviously if that comes up then yeah I tell him. 

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