"Nothing enrages me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities." - Seymour Papert

Why kids keep secrets from parents

Kids don't talk to parents because parents try to scare kids away from all the "bad" things.
by SoulRiser

Little Johnny walks past a porn shop, and sees a guy walk out reading a magazine he just bought. Johnny doesn't understand what's apparently so great about all those pictures and what they mean, so he goes to his mommy, describes what he saw, and asks her what it means.

Mommy promptly yells at Johnny and tells him never to go near such filthy pictures again.

Johnny is confused, he now knows that those pictures are apparently 'bad', but still doesn't understand why. He knows he can't ask mommy that sort of thing anymore, so he tries to find out on his own.

And so Johnny gets the info he wants from other people, and never tells his parents what he's found, in fact tries very hard to hide it from them so that they won't yell at him for being 'bad'.

There's nothing wrong with curiosity, but parents are often so scared their kids will find out the wrong information from the wrong people that they get overprotective and try to scare their kids away from 'questionable' information. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. The kids will find out what they want to know elsewhere, and in the process distance themselves from their parents.

Even the best of parents have this problem to a certain degree, sometimes kids simply just won't feel comfortable discussing a certain issue with their parents, but that's not necessarily the parents' fault.

Written by: SoulRiser
19 April 2002

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