WellBeing

Secret kids’ business

“Pssst! Can I tell you a secret?” says a curly-haired little moppet as she cups her hand and whispers into her friend’s ear. They start to giggle, then run towards the playground, the sunlight dancing on their upturned smiling faces.

The perceived “value” of secrets

Secret. The sound of the word rolling off the tongue is just a little bit exciting and mysterious. If something is a secret, it’s important; it has value. Not only does this make it more thrilling to be let in on the secret, it puts those in the know in a position of power.

As an example, when an older child discovers the secret of the tooth fairy, he feels special; he’s now the keeper of the secret while younger siblings are still blissfully unaware Mum and Dad are turning the house upside-down until midnight looking for loose change.

But by their very nature, secrets exclude others. They can hide harmful behaviours and deeds and blur the line between truthfulness and deceit.

Secrets can be safe or unsafe and it’s important that children know the difference. For example, a surprise birthday party for a family member is a safe secret. An unsafe secret is being

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