ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keeping Secrets with children

Updated on February 20, 2011

Should you keep secrets?

“Shhh, don’t tell your Mother”  or “We’ll buy this, but don’t tell Daddy”.  I can say with a fair amount of certainty that 99% of the people that have been born within the last 50 years, have heard this at one time or another.  Depending on the ‘Secret’ maker, it seems harmless enough.  It could be your Dad, saying that, as he hands you a cookie that he too is sneaking, an hour before dinner.  Possibly Grandpa at the store, buying you a candy bar.  Where is the harm?

Some secrets are totally harmless, if you as a child, happen to be with a parent buying a gift for a family member.  Your parent certainly doesn’t want you to let the receiver of the gift to know what has been purchased.  Where is the surprise in that?  Christmas and Birthday’s would be ruined if all the gifts were known.  How does a child differentiate a good secret from a bad secret? 

If you as a parent were to encourage secrets to be kept, what are you teaching your child?  Are secrets a form of lying?  Have you opened the door for someone more harmful to enter their lives?  Are you creating a victim?  There are several different scenarios that could possibly happen to those entrusted with secrets, here is one. 

What COULD happen

1.) Lying - Telling a child to keep a secret, is that lying?  Well, if the child is asked a direct question that he/she knows the answer to, and deliberately says the opposite of the correct answer, then that is lying.  Why would a child lie?  If the child gives the correct answer to the direct question then he/she is breaking a confidence.  What type of punishment is served to the secret breaker?  Will the secret maker refuse to give cookies in the future?  If Dad blows a gasket because Mom spent money that she shouldn’t have, where is the child in all of this? 

The child ends up feeling guilty from breaking a secret, and can go 1 of 2 ways.  Either they learn to lie better, or refuse to keep secrets.  It depends on the age of the child, I think the older they are when secrets are started the less likely they are to keep them.  If a child is taught very young to keep secrets from it’s mother, the more likely they are to become liars in the future.

2.) Opening doors - If your child has become an adept secret keeper, then it will be more likely the doors of harm will have been opened.  For instance you may have a ’strange’ neighbor, someone you know of, but don’t associate with on a daily basis.  For the sake of argument we will assume that he is a pedophile.  If your child has become used to keeping secrets, he/she will be curious about the whispers that go on regarding your neighbor.  He/she will be drawn to this neighbor, after all, secrets have been fun so far. 

A pedophile is a predator, they seek out the child that is prone to lying. Why?  Because they know the child can keep a secret.  Predators are not always someone who will kill your child, but they will harm them in such a way that the child’s mind will become destroyed.   The predator will listen to the child and determine what the child wants, and give it, in exchange for what he wants.  If the child wants candy, candy will be given.  But of course it is a ’secret’, you can’t tell your Mother, because she has told you that you can’t have candy.  From candy there goes on to other things, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs.  You get the picture, the pedophile has gotten you hooked on the things he will provide in exchange for the things he wants.  Your child has now become a sex toy for an adult.  The child can’t tell their Mother, because the ’secret’ of the gifts will come out.  Mom will find out that candy, cigarettes, alcohol were accepted. 

The secret goes on.  Possibly on to other pedophiles who can provide even bigger and better things.  Has your child come home with a new bike?  An expensive toy?  Money? You ask where this came from, the child will tell you part of the truth on this.  “Oh, so and so gave it to me, they bought it and didn’t want it” might be the answer. 

You might be asking “How could my child do this?”  To them, they are being rewarded for keeping a secret.  All they have to do is provide what the pedophile wants, it might be disgusting, but it doesn’t last very long and they get something cool in return.  Something that Mom won’t buy or give them, or let them have.

3.) Victim - A victim is a person that bad things happen to.   After a time this child becomes helpless to do anything about it.  They can’t tell the secret for fear of being found out.  After all “What would Mom say?” becomes the question they ask themselves.  As they get older they find that people are continually taking advantage of them, giving them something small, in exchange for something big.  They seem to find themselves continually gravitating towards the predators. Their self worth becomes destroyed. 


Can anything be done to prevent this?  Absolutely!  Secrets become a part of a child growing up.  Some secrets are learned as a child enters school, friends telling friends secrets.  If you as a parent explain different kinds of secrets, this will help them differentiate a good secret from a bad secret.  If they are ‘in on the secret’, such as a Christmas gift for someone, and are allowed to participate in the giving, this can be considered a good secret. 

You as a parent, can control your reactions to finding out secrets.  If it’s the cookie before dinner, yelling and screaming at the child or the father is not something that should be done.  The grandpa buying the candy bar, can be handled much differently as well.  Speaking privately with them, asking that they don’t use such words as ‘secret’ and ‘Don’t tell your Mother’ can help combat any future lying or secret keeping.  Children are not born liars, they are made through circumstance.  When the child comes to you with a secret, Thank them for telling you the truth.  You will be doing them and the world a great service!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)