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Would you tell the parents?

(80 Posts)
nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 17:37:46

I've always been a listening ear for people, especially young people who might feel they can't talk to their parents for whatever reason. I've always told them they can tell or ask me anything and I would help them and that I would not tell their parents unless I felt they were in danger, either from themselves or others. Obviously I always encourage them to talk to their parents or, if they wouldn't, put them in touch with a Dr or other agency.

If your teenage son/daughter was feeling anxious and depressed but didn’t feel they could talk to you about it and went to a family friend in confidence instead how would you feel? And what would you think of the friend if they did that? Would you be angry and think they should have told you?

I would be sad if my boys felt they couldn't come to me but really grateful they trusted someone else enough to go to. And that my friend was good enough to help. Telling someone is always better than the alternative isn't it?

OP’s posts: |
Vortice Sat 26-Sep-20 17:51:51

I think it’s a bit problematic to encourage teenagers to share information with you on the basis that you promise not to tell their parents. It’s really good to be a listening ear for young people, but that’s not a great precedent to set. And it could put you in a really uncomfortable position if you were told something you really felt the parents ought to know, but you had promised to keep it a secret.

I would work on encouraging teenagers who you think are struggling to open up to their parents or a school guidance counsellor. Or let them talk to you, but make sure they understand you may share the information with their parents if you think it’s the right thing to do.

SunbathingDragon Sat 26-Sep-20 17:53:30

I wouldn’t put myself in that situation unless I had the proper qualifications behind me to be able to do so properly.

nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 17:58:34

I do always tell them that I will share information if what they tell me is putting them in danger physically or emotionally. And I always encourage them to speak to their parents.

But what if the options are me or no-one?

OP’s posts: |
nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 18:00:20

I wouldn’t put myself in that situation unless I had the proper qualifications behind me to be able to do so properly.

I do have experience and qualifications with young people but I'm talking about personal friends here.

OP’s posts: |
Nottherealslimshady Sat 26-Sep-20 18:15:41

When I was young and depressed I had someone that I knew I could tell anything to and they wouldn't tell my mum.
My parents did not make it better, my mum told my stepdad who bullied me for it every second of every day.
The fact I could tell someone and know that it wouldn't make my life worse was literally lifesaving.
Parents dont have a right to know everything about their kid, and they dont always do the right thing. Kids have a right to decide who they speak to, just as adults do.

Thelnebriati Sat 26-Sep-20 18:29:58

If its that serious you need to take some responsibility and refer them to an agency that can help.

Poppingnostopping Sat 26-Sep-20 18:34:26

I don't know why everyone is saying pass it on to the professionals. What professionals? CAHMS is totally stretched, my friend's dd has had three phone calls since Jan for her input, my dd was referred and they didn't take her as she wasn't ill enough!

So, if you have kind friends parents, teachers, anyone that will listen, this is a huge help as long as the person is sensible and knows when to refer on.

The only thing that's a little odd is that this keeps happening- I can understand this once or twice if a particular friend of your childs is in difficulties, but it sounds a bit weird almost as if you are seeing that out.

Poppingnostopping Sat 26-Sep-20 18:34:40

seeking

nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 18:43:13

The only thing that's a little odd is that this keeps happening- I can understand this once or twice if a particular friend of your childs is in difficulties, but it sounds a bit weird almost as if you are seeing that out.

I can see how that sounded but it's not that frequent. This is the third in about 7yrs. But I have a lot of involvement with children and young people on a daily basis. I also have a calm, non judgemental home so people obviously feel comfortable opening up. I have plenty of adult friends who come over when they need someone to listen also.

OP’s posts: |
nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 18:44:31

If its that serious you need to take some responsibility and refer them to an agency that can help.

I do. My question was if you were their parent and found out they'd spoken to me and I'd listened and/or referred them to someone how would you feel about that?

OP’s posts: |
Gordonbennit Sat 26-Sep-20 18:47:14

I have some really close friends who have known my kids since birth. I would feel happy & grateful that I have a friend my child can trust & that my child wants to talk to someone about their issue rather than just internalise. I trust my close friends to know what & how I think about certain things and would expect them to advise my child in a way they know I would support. I would imagine my friends would ‘hint’ things to me without breaking my child’s trust.

I would prob feel hurt that they couldn’t speak to me about it but I would not hold that against my friend. Which I know is prob easier said than done on some subjects.

I just think it’s always better to talk to someone about worries so I hope I would reflect back and thank my friend for having my kids best interest at heart.

Suzi888 Sat 26-Sep-20 18:54:13

I’d rather they talk to me, but if they couldn’t I would be happy they had someone to confide in.

Poppingnostopping Sat 26-Sep-20 19:04:27

That fine then- I was just asking a bit as it sounded slightly odd. Of course I would rather my children talked with someone rather than no-one, I think a lot of that more casual chatting and confiding used to happen in school clubs, youth settings, sports and so on and that's not happening at the moment.

MsEllany Sat 26-Sep-20 19:20:31

I have told my boys that my husband and I are always here to talk to if they need us, but if they’d rather speak to a teacher, or their auntie, or some other trusted adult, that’s totally fine. I’d rather they talked to someone than bottled it up.

Thelnebriati Sat 26-Sep-20 20:24:56

Adults shouldn't initiate private or secret chats with children. If you have to ask how to proceed, you haven't understood safeguarding.

You must disclose to their parents because you don't have their parents consent for their kids to talk to you in the first place.

nokidshere Sat 26-Sep-20 22:09:50

Adults shouldn't initiate private or secret chats with children. If you have to ask how to proceed, you haven't understood safeguarding. Firstly, I haven't initiated anything, someone I have known for many years has asked if they could talk to me because they can't talk to their parent. Secondly I have no idea what it is they are going to be discussing only that they don't want me to tell the parent they have talked to me.

You must disclose to their parents because you don't have their parents consent for their kids to talk to you in the first place. They are not children. However, even if they were they do not need their parents consent to talk to another adult. Are you actually saying that a child could not go to another trusted adult if their parent is as abusing them without first asking that parent? You know that's ridiculous.

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Tue 29-Sep-20 00:29:02

Are you actually saying that a child could not go to another trusted adult if their parent is as abusing them without first asking that parent?

Its concerning how much you are twisting the narrative here.

lyralalala Tue 29-Sep-20 00:37:47

Some parents will be ok with it and some will be furious.

My brother and SIL have never forgiven me for assisting my DN in leaving their home and reporting my brother's temper and violence.

On the other hand a close friend of one of my DD's confided something in me and her Mum is very grateful that on that day her DD felt comfortable knocking on my door and asking for help.

Long winded way of saying - it depends on the kid, the parents and the problem.

Just make sure you never, ever promise to keep anything secret. That's the first rule in safeguarding. Don't promise and don't ask questions. Just listen and refer to professionals.

Anordinarymum Tue 29-Sep-20 00:39:10

nokidshere

I've always been a listening ear for people, especially young people who might feel they can't talk to their parents for whatever reason. I've always told them they can tell or ask me anything and I would help them and that I would not tell their parents unless I felt they were in danger, either from themselves or others. Obviously I always encourage them to talk to their parents or, if they wouldn't, put them in touch with a Dr or other agency.

If your teenage son/daughter was feeling anxious and depressed but didn’t feel they could talk to you about it and went to a family friend in confidence instead how would you feel? And what would you think of the friend if they did that? Would you be angry and think they should have told you?

I would be sad if my boys felt they couldn't come to me but really grateful they trusted someone else enough to go to. And that my friend was good enough to help. Telling someone is always better than the alternative isn't it?

My son's friends all came to me with their problems. One of them had a big problem with his mum's dickhead boyfriend and I remember him crying in my kitchen. He was 16. The boyfriend had punched him for no reason and my son was there at the time and he was shocked.

I told him the same thing I told them all, that they could come to me and talk or ask for help anytime.

There are some things teenagers just can't talk to their parents about and that is why they confide in another adult.

You just don't go running to their parents and repeat a confidence. They will never trust you again.

If they tell you something really bad then that is another story. A shoulder to cry on, to offload a gripe or a worry can be the best medicine sometimes.

MeridaTheBold Tue 29-Sep-20 00:46:20

I'm concerned by your attitude eg using hyperbole to jump to an example of abuse rather than reflect on the point a PP made.

The truth is that certain adults make themselves available for secret chats with young people so they can groom them. Any patterns of behaviour that could even inadvertently encourage or normalise that should be avoided. It could potentially leave the young people open to exploitation.

RepeatSwan Tue 29-Sep-20 00:47:41

I was helped by someone who wasn't my parent. It wasn't really that helpful because the secret was an extra burden on top of the original problem. Secrets from loved ones rarely help imo.

I think you need to be really careful it is absolutely necessary to keep a secret from the parents, because I think you are overstepping and getting involved in young people's lives in an inappropriate way.

seayork2020 Tue 29-Sep-20 00:49:02

I don't mind if I am confided in but no way would I encourage it that is a little odd, once you are confided in there is no right answer to what to do.

Telling their parents could be wrong
keeping something serious to your self could be wrong
reporting to authorities could be wrong

there is no 100% correct thing to do but you cannot unhear something but if you are encouraging it stop now

catnoir1 Tue 29-Sep-20 00:50:33

I used to speak to my friends mum about anything and everything as I didn't have a good relationship with either of my parents. My siblings were awful to me so I couldn't approach them either.

My dad was particularly unsupportive, told me never to tell anyone how I felt and that the world doesn't need people crying so I had to suck it up and get on with it. I still don't tell him things now.

user1481840227 Tue 29-Sep-20 01:18:21

I think you have to consider why they haven't told their parents in the first place...maybe they are emotionless, maybe the parents don't care, maybe they never ask how they are.

If I had told anyone anything about my feelings growing up and they went back and told my parents I would have got no support at all and would have been made to feel even more unlovable!!

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