Therapist and author John Bradshaw says in his book "Family Secrets: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You", that it is not always a bad thing for families to have secrets. Some secrets are healthy; some, the ones Bradshaw calls "dark secrets" have the potential to disrupt the family dynamic, possibly for generations."Keeping secrets from children should be carefully thought through. Children are extremely perceptive and may become alarmed or anxious if they sense something of a serous nature is being hidden from them.
The most damaging scenario, as is sometimes the case, would be if one or more children in the family believe that they are somehow personally responsible for whatever undercurrent is going on in the home.Keeping secrets within a family can create a false sense of reality, especially among children. Children learn about the world from the adults in their lives. When eventually told the truth, either by a parent, or even worse by someone outside the family, their world may feel shattered.Secrets’ impact on children can be profound, regardless of their age. Parents who habitually keep secrets from their children should keep in mind the possibility that such behavior could very well be repeated in future generations."( Suzanne Handler, MEd)