Surprises vs Secrets

Hey Bright Littles Family, 


Last week I was honored to be asked to speak to a local organization about the work we are doing at Bright Littles to help prevent child sexual abuse, and how our tools are preparing kids through education and conversations. 


Throughout April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we will share specific strategies to empower kids, including educational resources, tips for open communication, methods for establishing trust, and why the power of conversation is so crucial. 


We kick it off with Secret vs. a Surprise.

In a world where communication is key, we must teach kids the dangerous difference between a secret and a surprise. 

Discussing Intentions:

  • Secret: Encourage children to recognize that secrets involve withholding information that can cause harm or discomfort to themselves or others. For instance, if someone tells them not to share something because they might get in trouble or someone else might get hurt, it's likely a secret. 
  • Surprise: Explain that surprises are temporary and meant to bring joy or excitement. For example, if they're planning a surprise birthday party for a family member, they keep it a secret until the big reveal, ultimately bringing happiness. 


Emphasizing Trust:

  • Secret: Teach children that secrets often involve breaking trust. If someone asks them to keep something hidden from their parents or caregivers, especially if it involves safety concerns, it's important to disclose it to a trusted adult. 
  • Surprise: Emphasize that surprises are based on trust and mutual understanding. When planning surprises with adults or siblings, they know it's temporary. 

Encouraging Communication:

  • Secret: Promote open communication by letting children know it's okay to talk about anything that makes them uncomfortable or worried. If they're asked to keep a secret that feels wrong or confusing, they should feel empowered to speak up and seek help from a trusted adult. 
  • Surprise: Encourage children to communicate their excitement and enthusiasm about surprises they're planning or involved in. 

Teaching Boundaries:

  • Secret: Teach children to recognize when a secret crosses boundaries. If someone asks them to keep a secret that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused, they should understand it's not appropriate and share with their trusted adult. 
  • Surprise: Help children understand the boundaries of surprises by discussing how surprises are meant to bring joy and happiness to others. Surprises should never involve harm, deceit, or discomfort to anyone involved.


I understand that initiating these conversations can be overwhelming. That's precisely why I founded Bright Littles—to offer you a tool that makes navigating these important conversations both enjoyable and age-appropriate. Our fun-filled approach and helpful tips in our journals ensure you're equipped with the guidance you need to know what to say!!