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Step father telling ds to keep a secret

(58 Posts)
BurningBuntingFlipFlop Fri 18-Feb-11 20:46:00

Bit of background, i bought my dh an xbox for christmas and my ds (aged 3.8) the toy story game. Little did i know that he would quickly become obsessed with it, even though he can't properly play it, and want it all constantly.

Because of this i limited it to a friday evening to play with daddy. If it were up to him he'd play it 24/7, literally.

Dm and StepD were here this aft and after they left ds got really upset, i asked what was wrong and he tearfully said he wanted to tell me something but grandad said "don't tell your mum" Turns out it was that he said when we move (they're moving nearby) you can play toy story at our house but don't tell your mummy i said that.

Ds was really upset as he wanted to tell me because we don't do secrets but didn't want to becuse his grandad had said not to.

I text my mum saying i was upset that a. he had undermined me and b. it's not a good idea to tell a 3 year not to tell their mummy something.

She didn't get it, i explained that i didn't think secrets were good for a toddler for worrying and abuse reason, to a toddler if grandad who i love and trust tells me to not tell my mum something some random pervert saying the same doesn't seem so strange.

Dm and strpdad are now really upset with me, who's right? am i being ott?

Vallhala Fri 18-Feb-11 20:49:11

No, you're not being OTT in the least, precisely for the reasons you've given.

BurningBuntingFlipFlop Fri 18-Feb-11 20:50:23

I used that exact explanation to them and now my dm is saying i've made my dsf feel like a pervert?? wtf!

curlymama Fri 18-Feb-11 20:51:16

YANBU, your Mum is for not sticking up for her daughter and GC. She should be supportive, even if she thinks you are being OTT. Which you aren't btw.

saffy85 Fri 18-Feb-11 20:52:00

YANBU I wouldn't want anyone telling my DD who is also 3 to keep secrets from me and her dad. I think it can put children in an uncomfortable position, like it has with your DS.

Having said that, your SD probably just didn't think it through.

Baggypussy Fri 18-Feb-11 20:52:12

No, I don't think you're being U at all. He did undermine you, and I absolutely agree on the no secrets front. I'm surprised that a grown woman doesn't understand that. However, I think the conversation may have been more conducive face to face as oppose to via text.

wileycoyote Fri 18-Feb-11 20:52:29

YAB a bit U in my opinion. Deal with it but don't over-react...

MissyKLo Fri 18-Feb-11 20:53:09

They are being very silly to have taken it like that! Ring again and explain very clearly that you didn't mean him but that you don't want your son to keep secrets from you and to say that to him was wrong - wrong to teach him that and disrespectful to undermine you

ChaoticAngelofAnarchy Fri 18-Feb-11 20:53:49


BooyFuckingHoo Fri 18-Feb-11 20:54:41


ds needs o know that no secrets means no secrets ever, not that some are ok and some arent.

ChippingInFanciesCheeseOnToast Fri 18-Feb-11 20:56:32

A bit of both to be honest.

I can see your point of view, but your SD was only trying to make DS happy & treat him on the sly Same as if he'd bought him some sweets and said 'Don't tell your Mum'.

It was the sort of thing we were all told when we were kids and it gave us a bit of a special bond with the GP's - however, it's another thing that seems to have changed in more recent years.

I don't think my parents would see the harm in it either.

I expect most of the posts will say YANBU though as most of the people here are Mums and not GP's grin <I'm not a GP!!! I just remember how lovely it was having a sneaky treat!!>

AgentZigzag Fri 18-Feb-11 20:57:13

I think this would be a GP 'don't tell your mum' wink, although it'd obviously depend on what kind of person you know him to be.

I know what you mean about the secrets, and it should be just good secrets like birthday pressies/surprises.

But I think an exception is made for GP indulgencies, a glass of lemo, and extra bikki, harmless enough because they have special license.

Is he close to your DS?

Do you like him?

PeeringIntoTheWintryVoid Fri 18-Feb-11 20:57:59

YANBU to feel uncomfortable about the situation, but I can totally see why your DSF would be shock at thinking that an innocent bit of GP indulgence ('we'll let you play it son, don't tell mummy tee hee') has been interpreted as a paedophilia risk. Hasn't it always been the job of GPs to let children get away with things they can't get away with at home?

So YABU to be surprised that they're a bit offended, ISYWIM.

HecateQueenOfWitches Fri 18-Feb-11 20:58:00

I can see why they got hold of the wrong end of the stick, tbh.

I don't want you to tell my son to keep secrets because that puts him at risk of being abused.

Even though you tried to tell them that you meant other people, they would not have taken that in. They would only have heard you say that he may abuse your son. People have selective hearing like that.

However, the fact of the matter is they should not be attempting to undermine you. They should be supporting your parenting choices and you should insist on that.

Just keep on telling them that they are not allowed to try to undermine you by breaking the rules that you have set and getting your son to keep that a secret from you.

and ask your mum how she would have felt to learn that people had been doing that with you, to her.

If she says anything other than it would have annoyed her - she's lying.

tigerdriverII Fri 18-Feb-11 20:58:22

YANBU but...

How old is StepD? When I was little, my grandparents were always saying "don't tell your Mum" when they were spoiling me - minor things like sweets and I think they expected me to say "mmuuuummm" immediately. So StepD probably didn't really think it through.

redpanda13 Fri 18-Feb-11 20:59:58

YANBU - no child should be asked to keep secrets.
However it is probably just a mistake due to different generation attitudes. My aunt talked about keeping a secret with my DD. Totally innocent BUT I had a word with her and she saw were I was coming from. Maybe it would have been better to have sat down with your DM and SD and spoken to them.Not too late to do that. A text can be taken the wrong way. If there is a big fall out about this it can also send the message to your DS that telling you about secrets is a bad idea.

ConstanceFelicity Fri 18-Feb-11 21:03:25

I do think YAB a bit U to be honest. It's like giving a child a sweet and then saying "but don't tell your mother!" It doesn't make them more susceptible to abuse.

psychoveggie Fri 18-Feb-11 21:24:37

YANBU to not want your DS to keep secrets. YABVU in the way you dealt with it, it was clearly said with the best of intentions and the way you have dealt with it seems designed to make them feel bad.

Why did you have to text? Couldn't you at least have phoned/waited to have a face-to-face conversation in order that you could explain clearly, but gently, your policy on secrets? Unless they're generally unreasonable people themselves I'm sure they'd have understood. I don't see why you had to rush to send a text message, it's not like your ds was at immediate risk.

I think you need to rethink and speak to them again, choosing your words carefully.

squeakytoy Fri 18-Feb-11 21:27:21

YABU and ever so slightly OTT...

PeachyPossum Fri 18-Feb-11 21:30:56

I thought this was a GP job, to over indulge them & keep it their secret? My mum feeds them all the favourites, mil is a little less indulgent but does stuff that I would never allow, good for them, they did the tough bit with their kids, now they get to do the fun stuff!
Nice that your SD wants to spend time with DS.

jonicomelately Fri 18-Feb-11 21:36:43

You are right about your ds being told to keep a secret but you have handled this really badly.

jonicomelately Fri 18-Feb-11 21:36:43

You are right about your ds being told to keep a secret but you have handled this really badly.

working9while5 Fri 18-Feb-11 21:38:59

I don't think it's OTT at all.

How is a young child supposed to "get" that it's best not to keep secrets from their mum and dad but that it's okay if their stepdad does it about something they really want to do?

How do people think kids are groomed? It begins with keeping secrets about little things that the child is happy to keep quiet about because they get something nice out of it.

I am not saying that this OP's stepdad had any nefarious intentions but I think it's important to be clear and consistent with kids about this kind of thing.

The OP's ds got upset as this was a confusing message to him. It's not okay. YANBU. Sod it if they're being all high and mighty about it. It sounds to me like you explained it terribly logically and sensibly and there is absolutely no reason for them to be offended. I would have expected that most adults these days would appreciate that "secret keeping" is not a good habit for kids to get into.

BurningBuntingFlipFlop Fri 18-Feb-11 21:39:19

I was just angry that my ds was in tears because he didn't know whether to tell me something. I reacted. If he'd not been upset i probably wouldn't have ever brought it up.

working9while5 Fri 18-Feb-11 21:39:21

Stepgranddad, sorry.

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