cover of Some Secrets Should Never be Kept byJayneen Sanders

Some Secrets Should Never be Kept by Jayneen Sanders

Book Review: A  book that will help parents to talk to kids about child sexual abuse.


A short overview of this book

Some Secrets Should Never be Kept by Jayneen Sanders is a book that will allow parents to have that important conversation about child sexual abuse.

✅ Buy Some Secrets Should Never be Kept from Book Depository or Amazon.

Book Review

An overview of the book

As a parent, there are many risks that we need to prepare our kids for. Just as we teach them road safety so that they won’t get hit by a car as they cross the road, we need to teach them protective behaviours so as to protect them from inappropriate touch ie sexual abuse.

But talking to our kids about road safety is much easier than talking about sexual abuse. When we talk to our kids about sexual abuse, we are having to tell them that sometimes adults choose to hurt children and to do stuff with them isn’t for kids. And this is a hard thing to do as we are having to teach our kids that the world isn’t always a good place, without taking away their innocence. Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept makes this hard conversation much easier.

Sexual abuse is a real problem

Talking about sexual abuse is a difficult subject to talk about amongst ourselves, let alone with your child. But the reality is, is that the risk of sexual abuse to children is high. The figures vary, but it is thought that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 11 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.

The problem though, is how do you talk about sexual abuse with your child? Without scaring them (or yourself)?

The answer is – books. 

About the book

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept was written to ensure that kids would know what to do if they are ever touched inappropriately ie to tell a trusted adult and to keep on telling until they are believed.

To do this, it tells the story of a little boy who was touched inappropriately and the steps he went through in telling his mother about what happened. This is beautifully presented in a way that is not frightening or confronting for children.

But first, why do we need to talk about sexual abuse with kids?

Because sexual abuse happens and the people doing it are very good at keeping it quiet. It doesn’t matter how ‘nice’ your family and friends are, the reality is that you just can’t supervise your kids 24 hours a day.

By pretending that it won’t happen to your kids, you are actually putting your kids at risk by increasing their vulnerability.

How can you expect to keep kids safe from something that they don’t know about or that you only make vague references to? They just become confused or scared of people.

So your kids need to know what you are actually protecting them from BUT you need to talk about it in a way that makes sense to them and doesn’t frighten them. So it is important that you do talk about sexual abuse with your kids.

Why use a book?

There are some good reasons as to why you may want to use a book to talk about sexual abuse. Books take the pressure off from you having to remember what exactly you need to say and how to say it!

I’ll give you an example. I know nothing about how motors and things work, so if my son asks me a question about motors, I wouldn’t have a clue. Anyway, we read this book last night that was all about how motors work. As we read the book, the words explained age-appropriately how motors worked – it even had little flaps that described each step. Somehow, even though I knew nothing about the topic, I had taught him the basics of how motors work. That is the magic of books – you don’t have to remember what to say!

Books are a fantastic resource for when you want to talk to kids about difficult topics. They provide you with the content plus the age-appropriate language that kids are more likely to understand (just like in the motor book).

Plus, they give you a discrete way to slip in some education, without your kids even noticing, in an everyday way.

When should I start reading this book?

Kids are more likely to be sexually abused by someone they know (a good person) than a stranger (a bad person).

To kids, this book is about the fact that sometimes the people we know (good people) can make bad decisions (do bad things).  Kids don’t start to understand this concept, that sometimes good people do bad things until they are about five years of age. Before then there is a real risk that your child will become scared or anxious about the people around them. You can read more about fear and anxiety in kids here, and about the stages of child development here.

So before the age of five, you should already be reading your kids books about the behaviours that will help to protect them from sexual abuse. Things like – the names of their body parts, the fact that they are the boss of their own body, how to say no, secrets, early warning signs, and other things like that.

There are lots of great books out there that will help you to start to talk about sexual abuse.

Reading Tips

some secrets should never be kept, Jayneen Sanders

Try adding a post-it note with questions you might want to ask.

  • Make sure you have a look at the book first (before you read it to your child)! That way you will know what to expect.  You can find some tips on how to read ‘sex ed’ books here.
  • If you want to know what’s actually inside the book first, you can hear the book being read by Debra Byrne, here.
  • Look at the Discussion Questions at the back of the book – you can use these to start having conversations about what happens in the book eg what do you think the little boy should do?
  • REMEMBER – your child is okay about this content – it is you that will find it difficult because you are telling your child about something that we condemn as a society (ie paedophilia).
  • You will find it easier if you are already talking about sex stuff with your kids already. You can find some great books for younger kids here.
  • An easy way to remember what question to ask, is to just write the question on a post-it note and place it on the page. That way, you will remember what to discuss, when you arrive at that page.
  • You can find some extra tips on reading this book here.

Books like this are important!

It is important that you let your kids know about sexual abuse but to do it in a way that doesn’t scare them. This book, Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept, is the perfect book for the job.

✅ Buy Some Secrets Should Never be Kept from Book Depository or Amazon.

Ideal ages

What’s the ideal age for this book?

Some Secrets Should Never be Kept is ideal for children between the ages of 5 – 8 years of age.

✅ Buy a copy

Where can you buy a copy of this book?

You can buy a copy of this book, Some Secrets Should Never be Kept,  from Book Depository or Amazon.

You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.

Video review

Have a look through the book

4 thoughts on “Some Secrets Should Never be Kept by Jayneen Sanders”

  1. blank

    Hi, my daughter doesn’t really like books. They don’t keep her attention that well. Do you have any other recommendations on talking to her about this?

    1. blank

      Hi Chloe, you can definitely talk about sexual abuse without books – it is just that books give you the right words so that you don’t have to fumble for them, which happens when we talk about topics that make us squirm.

      So how to start talking? I think that you can use any of the strategies that you might already be using to talk about other things, like where do babies come from, why does my penis go hard, etc.

      There are a whole range of protective behaviours that go with talking about paedophiles, so if you are going to talk to your child about sexual abuse, then you should also be talking about other things like body safety, public and private, secrets, etc. On my shop page I have a course listed there that belongs to a peer that helps you to start talking to kids about this stuff. Holly-anne really knows her stuff and is the person that i go to with my own questions. And her course is good! I do have a series of blogposts scheduled on a lot of these topics for this year but I do take a sex ed approach which is very different to a protective behaviours approach.

      I hope that helps, I feel that I haven’t really answered your question properly as the answer is huge!

  2. blank

    Hi my 11 year old daughter has been sexually abused and i am now wondering if i should now talk to her about the hole sex thing .

    1. blank

      Hi Afroditi!

      Oh boy… a hard one to answer via comment.

      Short answer is yes, as puberty will slowly be starting and a part of puberty is that they become fertile, so talking about sex is a part of explaining periods. Plus, their brain will be rewired so that they start to now think of sex as not some weird gross thing that parents do, but as something that they might want to do. So they will start to see boys or girls differently, which is the beginning of sexual attraction.

      If you aren’t sure about how to start, then my puberty book for parents, Girl Puberty, will give you some ideas on how to start the conversation –

      I hope that helps!

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