How much do we share about family secrets with children?
Clinical sexologist Dr Eve says there is no definitive answer.
Secrets about adoption, biological parents, infidelity, HIV status, illness, childhood events, past sexual lives, alcoholism, abuse, rape, family finances, and more, can all be harmful.
Dr Eve advises that it is sometimes better to hold back about marital indiscretions in order to first resolve issues as a couple and save children from the trauma.
According to Dr Eve, disclosing details about cheating and other secrets can be divisive and cause trauma for kids.
While keeping family secrets is also very harmful for children, adults need to consider how and when certain secrets are told in order to cause the least damage.
Dr Eve recognises that keeping a secret can cause alienation, distrust, and distance in a family.
She says adults must be tactful about how they approach the discussion.
Adults can explain that there is a disturbance without getting into detail, while also assuring children that the issue is being addressed.
It can be very traumatic for children to have to take sides.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Parents use children to be able to get into their squabbles and to be able to determine the right for the wrong because they don't do it for themselves.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Keeping a family secret creates distance and distrust.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
There are times when secrets need to be told.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
It's not the secret that they need to know. They need to know that something disturbing is happening in the family and the adults are on top of it.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
We want to give children a sense of security and stability.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Dr Eve shares her advice, discusses some examples and answers questions from callers.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Do you tell the kids about the affair? Dr Eve talks family secrets