Keeping secrets from parents?

Family|August 13th 2017

It’s perfectly natural for children to keep secrets. Be it from their friends, their siblings or even their parents. Adults like to believe that their children will always be honest with them but a cursory look back at their own childhoods should make them realise that is not true.

Though surely parents can tell when their own children are lying to them? Well, research does not appear to support that idea either. So what kinds of secrets do children keep from their parents? And which do they continue to keep well into adulthood? One user on discussion site Reddit was curious and asked what one thing people hoped their parents never found out about.

The secrets revealed included a wide variety of people’s not-so-proud moments. They included confessions such as one person who “paid for [their] entire college tuition by selling pot and steroids”. The blissfully unaware parents believed their child had a job at a supermarket throughout higher education even though they left that job after just three weeks.

It wasn’t just questionably legal activities that people wanted to keep hidden. Several said they wouldn’t want their parents to find out about the extent of their alcohol consumption while a few said they did not want to reveal their mental health problems such as depression or low self-esteem.

One American commenter admitted they had given their younger brother $7,000 (just over £5,300) “to move away from home to Denver, against [their parents’] wishes”. The brother had not been to college and could have ended up stuck in his hometown forever without the help, the user explained.

Meanwhile other responses were a little more whimsical, including one who said:

“I hope they never find out I was adopted. That would be an awkward conversation that I don’t think I’m prepared for.”

Another confessed they hadn’t attended their clarinet lessons in more than three months and that the music their parents hear from her room is a year-old recording.

The chances are that a few of those people’s parents are fully aware of the things they are trying to keep hidden. Even if that is not the case, secrets are part of every relationship, be it within a family, romantic or a friendship so try not to be too upset if you feel like don’t know everything about a person. Some secrets are simply not worth knowing.

Photo by Jennifer Moo via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

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  1. Dr Grumpy says:

    My ex manage to keep it from her parents (and me) that she was gay!

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