Good morning, Mini-Women! You know what I love? I love it when somebody like LILLIAN posts a comment like this: "This is all starting to make sense now!" THAT's what I'm talkin' about. And I hope this week makes some more things about Worthless Words even clearer to you. You ready?
We're going to talk about SECRETS. You know, like when your friends says:
"I'm going to tell you something but you can't tell anybody else."
And you say, "You have my word. What is it?"
And she tells you and it's either:
(a) something totally fun that makes you feel like you're special to her (she's getting a horse, for her birthday her parents are taking her to Disneyworld and she gets to take a friend and that friend is you, she brought double fudge brownies in her lunch and there's only enough for the two of you) That's a SPECIAL SECRET
(b) something she's having trouble with and she wants to talk to only you about it (her parents are getting a divorce, she's failing math, she's afraid to talk in front of people and there's an oral report coming up) That's a HELP ME SECRET
(c) something someone else told her that she's not supposed to tell but she wants to tell you becuse she tells you everything (somebody else's parents are getting a divorce, someone's dad got fired, someone's having an exclusive birthday party and only certain people are invited.) That's a NOT YOURS TO TELL SECRET
(d) something that shouldn't be a secret, something she ought to be telling a grown-up who can help -- (someone is hitting her, she's developed a cheating habit and she can't stop, she's being bullied) That's a SHOULDN'T KEEP SECRET
We're going to talk more about all four of those kinds of secrets this week, but here's a quick guide for you:
SPECIAL SECRET -- very cool between friends; giggle, savor, let it be delicious; just don't make other friends feel shut out by making it obvious in front of them that you two have something going that they can't know about; that applies to Private Jokes too; definitely keep this kind of secret, or it stops being fun
HELP ME SECRET -- it's always an honor when a friend comes to you for help with a problem; this is a good secret to keep as long as her problem isn't something she really ought to have adult help with (see SHOULDN'T KEEP SECRET); if you share this kind of secret with other people you'll break your friend's trust -- it's a betrayal -- so don't be surprised if she stops telling you things or just stops being your friend at all. Even if it seems like a small problem to you (she has a crush on a boy and she doesn't know what to do or she's started her period and she's having trouble adjusting), respect the fact that it's a big deal to her. Do. Not. Tell. Anyone.
NOT YOURS TO TELL SECRET: if your friend tells you somebody else's secret, she's wrong; stop her as soon as you can, even if you're dying to know the whole story; definitely don't pass it on to anyone else; if you can find the courage, you and your friend should go to the person whose trust your friend has broken and together tell her that you know. Then do. Not. Tell. Anyone. Else. It goes without saying that you should never tell your friend anyone else's secrets either.
SHOULDN'T BE A SECRET: Some secrets need to be shared with an adult who can help. If your friend tells you something that scares you, makes you worried for her, or just seems too big for kids, get your friend by the hand and go with her to someone who can help -- her mom, your mom, a pastor, the school counselor, a teacher you trust. If a threat has been made (if you tell, I'll make your life miserable; if you tell I'll hurt somebody you love; if you tell about this, then I'll tell everybody you did such-and-such) that's a secret that needs to be taken to an adult immediately. Don't worry about the threat -- a grown-up can take care of that.
We're going to talk another week about the difference between "tattling" and "reporting." For now, just know that kind of telling is not tattling.
This is a lot to take in, but I think this week's journal page will help you tons. Just click here: Download JOURNAL PAGE #2
You might have some "Aha!" moments this week, but you might have some "Uh-oh!" moments too. Not to worry. We're all learning and we're all going to make mistakes. God knows that . . . . and God likes us to come to him with OUR "HELP ME!" secrets. SO start out your week doing this, Mini-Women:
"Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:6, NRSV)
Dear God, please help us today to understand the difference between good secrets and not-so-good ones. Help us to be honest with ourselves about the secrets we tell and listen to, and then let us hear and feel your guidance as we try to do what's right when it comes to things whispered. And thank you for not keeping yourself a secret from us.
If you want to post a comment, you can talk about anything that has to do with secrets: what happened when you told or listened to a secret you shouldn't have or how you helped someone with their secret. Just don't share names or details; only tell us about YOUR experience. That will be our first exercise in being solid secret keepers!