out in the open

What Should You Do When Your Kid Says, “Don’t Tell This Secret To Dad”?

This mom says she tells her partner everything.

A mom shared her strategy for when her daughter says, "Don't tell dad."
@molly.rain / TikTok

A mom named Molly Rainwater shared a story about her 7-year-old daughter raising a debate about trust between parents and kids.

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

“One thing about me and my husband and also my ex-husband, is we’re going to tell each other everything,” Rainwater said.

However, with that “no secrets” between parents rule, there is also a large detail that makes all the difference when it comes to building trust with their children while maintaining the same trust between parents.

She 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.

Rainwater then revealed her daughter’s secret: A boy in her class liked her, but Rainwater already knew about the crush because she’s friends with the boy’s mom.

The little girl told her mom that she found out her friend had a crush on her, so she approached him on the playground and told him that they were too young “for all that.”

Her daughter told the boy who was crushing on her, “I’m not allowed to date until I’m, like, 33.”

The mom recognized that the whole “secret” is cute and innocent while also noting that her daughter’s dad and stepdad won’t be thrilled with the idea of the little girl dating, even when she is 33.

“She is very much the princess,” Rainwater explained. “She’s the only girl in both our families.”

After Rainwater shared how she handles “secrets” with her kids, several TikTok users weighed in.

“My husband and I do the same,” said one 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,” another wrote.

Others were not so into the idea of telling the other parent no matter what.

“Wow, your children can not trust you,” one user wrote.

“My parents were like this and we stopped telling them anything,” another said.

“I think it depends on what it is if I told my mom some thing and said please don’t talk to dad about this and I found out that she did I would never tell her another thing,” another wrote.

In a follow-up video, Rainwater explains that even though she and her first husband are no longer together, they agreed to be a team. This means telling each other everything and not keeping secrets about the kids.

Rainwater’s method has some merit, however, it does require a huge amount of trust from each parent to ensure that what is said between adults never, ever makes it back to the ears of the little ones who confided in them because then, yeah, the trust might be broken.