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Little Girl Asks Her Mom Not To Tell Her Dad A Secret — But The Mom's Rule Is To Tell Him Everything Anyway

Photo: Yuganov Konsantin / Shutterstock
girl telling her mom a secret

Parenting comes with its fair share of explanations, like telling your kids that they can’t eat chicken nuggets for every meal and that yes, they really do have to brush their teeth and take a bath. A parent’s role as negotiator-in-chief gets more complicated as kids grow up to learn who they are, what they like, and what they don’t like.

A mom named Molly Rainwater shared a story about her 7-year-old daughter that captured the emotional gymnastics of raising kids to be strong and independent while recognizing that you’ll always see them as your babies.

Rainwater's daughter asked her mom not to tell her dad a secret, but she has a rule that she tells him everything, no matter what.

Rainwater recounted how one morning, her daughter came to her and said, “'Mom, I’ve got to tell you something, but you can’t tell dad.'”

   

   

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“One thing about me and my husband and also my ex-husband, is [that] we’re gonna tell each other everything,” Rainwater said. “We have a rule that if our children tell us something in confidence, the other parent can’t react.”

The mom revealed that whatever her daughter planned to tell her, she would share with the girl’s father, her ex, and also her current husband, “because number one, it’s hilarious, but also, number two, I’m not keeping secrets from them. I don’t expect them to keep secrets from me, but I also want to keep the trust of my children.”

“Therefore, when I tell them these things, they cannot go back and sound the alarms,” she explained.  The mom shared another salient fact about her parenting style, saying “I don’t do the little boyfriend-girlfriend thing. That’s not cute to me. If that’s cute to you, then that’s fine."

Little Girl Asks Her Mom Not To Tell Her Dad A Secret  Photo: interstid / Shutterstock 

Her distaste for romanticizing her kids’ lives seems due to their ages: Her kids are 9, 7, and 3. She’s content to let her kids just be kids and not place adult expectations on them quite yet. Rainwater revealed her daughter’s burning secret: A boy in her class liked her, but she already knew about the crush because she’s friends with the boy’s mom.

Yet all is fair in love and elementary school, so Rainwater played it cool by pretending she didn’t have any prior information. 

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The little girl told her mom that she found out her friend had a crush on her, so she approached him on the playground to say her piece. She told the boy, “We’re too young for all that. In a few years, we’ll sort that out. We can sort that out later.”

Her daughter told the boy who was crushing on her, “I’m not allowed to date until I’m like, 33.” The mom recognized the humor in the situation, while also noting that her daughter’s dad and stepdad won’t be supportive of her dating, even when she is 33. “She is very much the princess,” Rainwater explained. “She’s the only girl in both our families.”

Little Girl Asks Her Mom Not To Tell Her Dad A Secret  Photo: AshTproductions / Shutterstock 

The mom’s ultimate conclusion was to feel pride at how her daughter reacted, saying, “I love that she respected his feelings and her own boundaries.”

Critics in the comments section noted that the mom’s lack of secret-keeping could eventually make her daughter not trust in her, at all. 

A few other parents shared that they have a similar tactic when it comes to sharing secrets. “My husband and I do the same,” said another mom. “My kids talk to both of us but most of the time I have to act surprised and like my feelings are hurt… That’s good communication.”

While it’s entirely valid to have a family rule where secrets are avoided, it’s only good communication if the kids are aware of the rule itself. Good communication relies on trust, and trust can be easily lost, especially if a child thinks their parents aren’t prioritizing their emotional needs. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.