Monday, September 18, 2017



Keeping secrets can be fun and they can be lethal.  I think we know the difference.
I love surprises and often find myself telling those in the know, not to tell anyone until the surprise is sprung.  My daughter hatched this great idea of surprising her husband for his 50th birthday.  She worked on it for a whole year, terrified the whole time that somehow he would find out before the big day.  It involved getting video messages from his school friends, university friends and the like.  About nine months before the event she asked me what we were doing on the weekend of ....  I said, "I don't know, Kristee. What ARE we doing that long distance ahead?"  She then asked me if seven of Tim's friends could take over our house for the weekend.  Of course we agreed and we spent that weekend staying at our neighbor's house. 

It was such a fun time. On the day, after the videos were shown of people who wished they could be there, but were unable to do so, they all quietly materialized from their hiding spot and gave him the fright of his life.  Now that is a fantastic surprise!


What about secrets within the family?  Those that start off with,
a) 'Don't tell Mom and Dad where I am going, that I smoke pot, that I have been sneaking the
     liquor out of the cabinet, that I smoke....'
b) 'Don't you dare tell anyone what goes on in this house.'
c) 'I know Mom/Dad has a new boy/girlfriend and I can't say anything.'
d) 'The next door neighbor has been touching me where I know he shouldn't, but my family
     and theirs are good friends and I can't tell anyone because they wouldn't believe me.
e) 'I am afraid of Uncle Sid, or the baby sitter.'
f) 'I am afraid of the dark, but everyone calls me a 'scaredy-cat'.'


From experience, I know what a terrible thing it is to be very afraid of someone, yet not know it
is OK to tell someone.  My parents wondered why I would cry often for no reason and I didn't even know why myself, but now I look back and realize the root of it. Those were the days when no-one talked about, or made kids aware of, this thing called child-molestation.


1. Are we aware of our child's psychological health?  Are they acting differently than usual ... quiet,
    moody, tearful or aggressive? Are their school grades suffering?
2. Are we aware of our child's friendships, who they talk to on social media, or whether they are  
    becoming secretive?
3. Are we aware of how much or little time we are actually spending with our children to notice
    mood or behavioral changes?


Talk to your children about good and bad secrets.  Explain the difference.  Encourage your children to talk about things that worry them and explain that they will not get into trouble with you if they talk an issue through with you, because, while you teach them strong values and you show them the right way, home needs to be a soft place for them to land.  They have to be allowed to make mistakes.  (How many times have you said to yourself, 'I won't do THAT again!')

If they don't feel like they can talk to you, then encourage them to talk to someone they trust even if it is not an immediate family member.

We must teach them the difference between OK and NOT OK 'touching'.  We must teach them how to live safely and how to avoid dangers.  We need to put them through a course of self-defense.  We must teach them emergency exercises, safe places to hide, how to call 911, people they should contact and their phone numbers, etc.

Our children are our greatest responsibility.  We must protect them at all cost.

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families

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