Saturday, June 15, 2013

A small insight about why kids don't share everything with mom

I observed a mother and her teenage daughter interacting the other day, and suddenly understood why kids can tell total strangers the secrets they won't tell their parents. It's because our kids love us.

When our kids love us, they don't want to hurt or disappoint or worry us, or have us think less of them. And they know that no matter how good a face we put on it, deep down we have a reaction. When a child is hurting, he or she can't afford to deal with our reactions on top of that.

That is why a parent can't be a child's therapist or complete confidante: because love gets in the way.

We will always know our children better than anyone else. But a child can count on a professional to be impartial. There's no risk of losing desperately-needed approval and affection. Which means that sometimes the reason kids don't confide in us has nothing to do with lack of trust, but with an abundance of love.


  1. Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. isn't it always the problem? too much love? masked as fear and grief and loss?
    maybe i'm feeling too 'romantical' today... :) wistful.
    i will have to try and remember this when mine get bigger...

  3. I was pondering something similar - why kids are are afraid to tell Dad some bad news, such as someone hit their parked car. They seem to be afraid of Dad's anger, however he has never responded with anger, but rather with compassion and concern. So what feels like a risk of losing love and approval explains their fear. Thanks for the insight!