Tricky people. I first came across this term during safeguarding training many years ago. A course that will forever haunt me. I learned so much and at the same time as a mother I became so fearful. Protecting all 3 of the boys is one of my top priorities and knowing the damage "Tricky People" can do and our blended family situation makes keeping them safe and protected all the harder
This term "Tricky People/Person" is in relation to a person who encourages secrets. Secrets from one or both parents. They start off small - "don't tell mum I gave you chocolate, it is our little secret " until it grows into "I can't tell dad that someone broke my body boundary rules". Now one course does not make me any sort of expert but some of the tools I learned there have stuck and we have tried to install them in our boys as they grow. • Body boundaries - From my head to my toes, I say what goes. - (this came out of a fantastic book aimed at teaching children body boundaries)
• correct body part names (not calling a body part cookie or pee pee) • We don't keep secrets, only surprises. Surprises are good and kept quiet for a short period of time. Tricky people encourage lies & secrets.
I was asked a question the other day and it has stuck with me. What happens, when one of the co-parents openly encourages the child to lie or keep secrets from the other parent? Starting from, "don't tell mum that I am working for cash in hand" to "don't tell dad we went on holidays". If one parent openly encourages the we don't keep secrets message and says that tricky people encourage lies and secrets then doesn't that tell the child that their other parent is a tricky person? But I also wonder what will happen when the child is older and starts blatantly lieing to the parent who encourages it. Will they see it as a problem they created?
It was an interesting question and one I have thought on alot.
As a mother, I am trying to teach the children to be honest. I try to be an honest person so they can see by example and I also try to teach them that while it may be hard, honesty is best. I want to raise them to be honest, trustworthy and kind. Good productive members of society not a drain, untrustworthy. The stepmother in me understands not wanting the other household to know every ins and outs of our lives and household. But that doesn't mean I will encourage or tolerate lies. Nor does it excuse a parent for teaching their child to do so to their other parent. I can't help but wonder, if they need to lie about it.... does that mean they know they are in the wrong?
What do you think? How do you handle this in your Blended family?