We don't keep secrets.

Hello Joyflakes,

The other day I was talking to one of my friends about our parents and I was reminded of something pretty interesting.  When I was growing up there weren't a lot of rules. Beyond things meant to keep us safe (no doing backflips off the top of the couch...which only became a real rule after a broken wrist that caused me to be terrified to do one again forever anyway) my mom's parenting style was pretty lax in comparison to my friends parents. We didn't have a real curfew, just a time that was completely reasonable and agreed upon by us and our mom depending on the event.  We had to do chores, but they were on a rotation and other than having to put up with nagging if you didn't do them, there were no consequences for not having them done by a particular time.  We were never grounded, not for bad grades or even for sneaking out of the house to go TP-ing (ask my brother about that one).  

I've never really asked my mom why but I would assume there were two reasons for this.  One, was that she knew groundings and super strict rules just make you want to rebel and do worse things than you probably would have in the first place. And two, was that she was a single parent who worked incredibly hard and simply didn't have the energy to be that strict. Not to mention the fact that knowing you had disappointed her but still weren't in trouble was a pretty good way of making sure that we didn't make the same mistakes twice.

The best mom in the whole wide world

The one and only rule we had was that we wouldn't keep secrets from each other.  Other than birthdays, christmas, or other times when presents and surprises were involved, secrets were not allowed.  It may sound like an unusual rule, but in many ways it is the best rule anyone has ever taught me. 


By not keeping secrets, my mom taught us some pretty important life lessons:  

1. Taking responsibility for your mistakes (a hard lesson that I am still trying to learn) helps you gain respect.  Both from yourself, and from others.  

2. Lying is hard. The fewer lies you tell, the fewer you have to remember to keep up.  Make that number zero and you'll have WAY less stress.

3. Honesty really is the best quality.  It is now the number one thing I ask from my friends and people I choose to have relationships with.

4. Although it's not always painless, being honest is the quickest way to move forward.

With mothers day coming up so soon, I want to say thanks to my mom for instilling such and important value in my everyday life.  It's not something that I ever really thought about growing up, but it has very much become my golden rule.