If we look at the media today, it would seem that we are bombarded with gossip, rumors, conspiracy theories, and every other scandal that will get us to click. Spreading a juicy secret, gossip, or a rumor doesn’t have to be true or even pleasant, only has to effect us. This other mom, the one who asked my son to keep the secret, is a friend of mine and I know that she meant no harm by it at all.
My friend asked me more about the Body Safety Rules – what they are, why we have them, where we keep them, how I talk about them with my kids – and I began to explain that we have Body Safety Rules in effort to keep our kids safe from sexual abuse, to empower our kids, and to communicate to others that our kids are off limits. When a child knows his body safety rules and feels empowered to say no to inappropriate touch and to keeping secrets, it communicates to a potential predator that the child is off limits. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.
Did you hear about the Austrian guy who kept his daughter locked in the basement and fathered her seven children?! It’s a story so radical that it shocks everyone that hears the tale and its not even the wildest one. We question the validity of these stories and criticize how they are delivered all while we discuss and share them. The question is, Why we continue to do so? Do we even really need the media’s help for this at all?
It is the same way we spread tips about great restaurants, or our own relationship troubles.
So when we speak we must be conscious of the nature of the information we share, to whom, how, and in what context.

I walked into the kitchen just as the other mom, while winking at me, handed my son a second cookie and whispered, “shhhh. Nonetheless, the interaction created a great opportunity for me to share with her about our Body Safety Rules {which we also adapted from the workshop}, one of which is that we don’t keep secrets.
I told her that we keep the rules posted front and center in our kitchen; that we went over each rule with our kids when we first made the sign and that we discuss them regularly as situations arise. And when friends or child care providers see the Body Safety Rules hanging in our kitchen, it’s obvious to them that sexual abuse prevention is on our radar. If we take a look form this perspective it might be that we need a second opinion on the matter, not only to ease the psychological pressure but for assistance in processing the gravity of the information. We know humans are social mammals, and just like elephants or whales, we migrate collectively in patterns and sometimes we even stamped. I shared with her that we have “surprises” instead of secrets because surprises are something that you keep quiet about temporarily; then you share the surprise and people are happy. For example, when I’m trying to get a moment of peace, err go to the bathroom by myself and one of them comes barging in, I remind them that because we’re the bosses of our own bodies, we’re allowed to have privacy when using the toilet. A conversation is usually quick to follow, sometimes it’s comfortable and other times it’s just plain awkward.
He implies that it is impossible for people to keep their mouths closed about something important, incriminating, or controversial.
In Fragment of an Analysis of a case of Hysteria Sigmund Freud claims,   “No mortal can keep a secret.

We rely on people we trust with this information, not necessarily because we trust them to keep it from spreading but that we trust them to support us in coping. If someone shares a warning of imminent danger, that message will move quickly through our culture. Don’t tell your mom.” To my delight {and surprise}, my son exclaimed, “Oooooh, but we don’t keep secrets in our house. But secrets are meant to be kept quiet forever and they’re often to protect something that would make people unhappy. But I simply have to ask myself, am I willing to have a moment of awkwardness with someone in order to have my child’s back and keep him safe? This message begins to shape our behavior, as exemplified by the 1950’s trend of preparing bomb shelters. It would be difficult for an average citizen to verify the threat of nuclear attack all on their own so they acted based on the guidance of trusted members of the community, of which media is a part.
Sometimes they even test the child by asking him to keep small, innocent secrets first to see if he will keep bigger ones later.
So, when we teach our children that we don’t keep secrets, even about small and seemingly harmless things like a cookie, we are also instilling in them that they don’t have to keep big and unsafe secrets, like that of someone touching them inappropriately.

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Comments to The secrets we keep amazon


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