My daughter said she wanted to tell me a secret – but it wasn’t her’s to tell and she was petrified because if I let this secret get out some seriously bad things could happen.

Isn’t it crazy the way that children somehow manage to catch you off guard no matter how well you try and prepare yourself for any questions they may fire your way?

You could have read all the textbooks and have all the explanations ready to go as well as backup age-appropriate children’s books to use as resources (for when all the extra challenging and unexpected talks come up). And then instead of innocently asking you about where babies come from or about religion, the meaning of life or what happens when we die – they blindside you with something you have absolutely no answers for.

What Was This BIG Secret?

My daughter said that this secret was something that we could never even tell her dad she said – and that’s the part that worried me most because he’s usually her confidant. But this time around she wanted to ensure complete silence, and she didn’t know if he could stay quiet.

We had to wait until all her siblings were in bed, so that no one overheard. Then we had to lock ourselves in the kitchen whilst her daddy had his sports blaring on tv in the other room completely oblivious to all the suspicious tiptoeing around that was being done in the house.

This Was Going To Be BIG!

Part of me was hoping for something silly, but I could tell from the look on her face that this was going to hurt. Because it was tormenting her badly and I could see it in her eyes.

“Mummy, remember my friend whose parents died?” she began, “well they didn’t actually die and now they’re back!”

My goodness, the relief I felt! This was brilliant news! She wasn’t about to drop a bomb on me asking how babies were made or any other challenging questions. I thought this was going to be super straight forward – like the time her other friend told her that her father was eaten alive by a cougar in India whilst they were on holidays and she never got to see him again because he just disappeared completely without a trace.

That story made sense to me, I mean if my husband got excessively close to a cougar I’d hope he would disappear out of my life forever too.

But Wait…There’s More!

Once I felt at peace, that’s when my daughter winded me.

“Mummy my friend is scared because her mum and dad are taking a special secret medicine that makes them really really sick and she said they’re going to die”.

My expression finally matched hers. But my heart probably hurt worse as I attempted to make sense in my mind of the whole situation.

I mean there are medications/procedures which make you sicker before you get better – like chemotherapy. Could both of this child’s parents unfortunately be suffering through that daunting process together?

Hmmm…Sounds Suspicious

Here’s where the alarm bells went off though. No one can know about this special medicine, because then the parents will have to go away again.

I felt tremendously guilty because along with questioning in my mind how I can possibly help this child, I also questioned what kind of ghetto school I was sending my children to, how soon I could swap schools and if my daughter would be able to just forget this entire ordeal. They’re simply far too young to be dealing with these kinds of problems and I’m far too underprepared to meet this sort of challenge.

What Is This ‘Medicine’?

My child is scared, because her friend is crying everyday. Because her friend’s parents take the ‘medicine’ and become extremely sick – and this child has been convinced that she can’t even entrust her grandparents with what’s going on at home. Otherwise she loses her parents again, one way or another.

“Mummy are her parents really going to die because I promised her that it will be ok and they won’t die?” She had just promised her friend something which she has absolutely no control over… similarly to the way I assured her that I wouldn’t tell anyone. Yet here I am sharing in the worst secret anyone has ever confided in me.

Could This Really Be Innocent?

Let’s face it, this could be completely innocent and perhaps this child’s parents just crave privacy and would prefer it if their daughter didn’t disclose their medical conditions to others. The disturbing part however is that their child isn’t allowed to confide her feelings and fears in anyone. And if this entire experience is innocent- which I pray that it is, then why isn’t there more transparency, even just so that their daughter understands what’s going on.

Explaining to a child that you’re unwell, but you’re seeking medical attention and your prescription medication is a bit strong so it makes you feel sicker is far different from telling a child that they aren’t allowed to talk to anyone about the ‘special secret medicine’ that makes their parents sick – MASSIVELY different!

This ‘Medicine’ Could Destroy Lives

As for my idea of changing primary schools to hide my children from these sorts of issues, I suppose there is no guarantee that any school is safe really. Besides this, eventually, when my daughter is much older, hopefully we will be able to discuss this openly and she will recall the fear she had for her friend. And maybe with a huge amount of prayer and luck it may just be the reminder she keeps with her that illicit drugs destroy lives.

No young child should have to be crying at school fearing that their parents are going to die from consuming ‘special secret medicine’. They’re too young for this! And it’s our responsibility as parents not to put their impressionable little minds through such horror!

Just imagine the weight of a secret of this magnitude on a young soul. She shouldn’t be burdened with it. And if it is a real health issue then her grandparents who she was living with for years prior to this should at least be allowed to support her, she needs someone.

I Am NOT Keeping This A Secret!

… which is precisely why I won’t be keeping this hush hush. No child should suffer through something like this feeling so alone and helpless!

What would you do if your child told you a secret like this? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • A very hard situation, not sure what I would do.


  • Before you expose your child to the fact that you are not going to keep her secret I would sit with her and explain all the reasons why you are going to do this and show her that it is the right thing to do to make sure her friend will not be hurt or suffer from your actions.
    Of course you need to do something to help both these girls through this horrible experience that they should never been put in in the first place. But you have to make sure that your child will understand the reasons you are breaking her trust or she will never let you into her life ever again when she needs you to trust her and she needs to trust you.


  • My daughter was raped as a 15yo. She told her best friend and asked she not tell anyone. Thankfully, she told her mum who let me know. The rapist had threatened to hurt us if she talked


  • That is a difficult situation. Im not sure what i would do. So sad what some kids have to go through.


  • It’s terrible that your daughter has to keep this secret. On the one hand if you do tell the grandparents and they face the parents, your daughter could lose a friend and be dubbed the person who can’t be trusted to keep a secret. On the other hand if you don’t say anything, their daughter may try their medication and lose her life if it’s illegal. Maybe sit your daughter down and explain the pros and cons of doing something about it. I wish you and your daughter all the luck.


  • It is so sad to see that these days our children just can’t be children they have so many issues to deal with that they shouldn’t have to endure. This secret is weighing so heavily on this little girl that she had to tell your child so support is definitely needed. As we don’t know what exactly is happening and jumping to conclusions isn’t going to help the situation I would try to find out more information about this secret and take appropriate action from there. I feel for you all as these situations are delicate ones to deal with and I would keep it to myself until I know the full story and then once I know which direction to take I’d make sure that child has all the support she needs to make it through regardless the outcome. Good luck


  • I’m sorry but I would have to do something. This does not sound okay. I would need to help this child and either speak to the grandparents, the school, or a professional of some sort. The trauma this child is suffering is not okay and she needs help and for an adult to take charge.


  • This is a tough one because if it’s drugs and they’re breaking the law the child could be in danger not to mention mental repercussions. You would need to tread lightly at first to find out more information because if you blew the lid off and it was innocent you run the risk of your child never trusting you again.


  • This is something she need to keep as a secret and she really trust you.


  • Not enough information to hazard a guess as to what the ‘special medicine’, could jump to all the wrong conclusions …..


  • Poor little kid to have that much worry on your shoulders so young.

    It could be anything but to me it sounds like drugs, not just weed either..


  • Not really enough info given to assume illegal drugs. It could be any number of things.


  • Wow that is truely sad. I hope there is an update to this story that’s good


  • Wow.. that’s a big one but welfare of the child is most important thing in this instance. Could be anything going on so I think I would be trying to investigate further and explaining why its needed to your daughter.


  • This is not a secret! The special medicine is obviously ‘weed’ and when they go away again they are probably going to jail or rehab. Someone needs to support this little girl and it should be her grandparents whom she lived with before.


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