A BAG OF SECRETS
Some secrets children should never have to carry.
Available in the following formats on Amazon:
- Paperback ($9.95)*
- Kindle ($2.99)*
Watch the "A Bag of Secrets" movie for free!
What if reading one children's story could reveal child abuse?
This is a beautiful and encouraging Children's Story written specifically for parents, grandparents, teachers, relatives and concerned friends who want to not only protect the innocence of our children, but to free them from the guilt of past abuse. It is about how other people’s actions can force children to carry a heavy bag of unwanted secrets around with them their whole lives. Secrets that weigh down their hearts and steal their joy and happiness. The story is meant as a tool to help open the floodgates of discussion and aid in their healing.
It is meant for you to read it to a child one on one, not just given to them to read, or read in a group setting. You will need to be ready to ask the necessary questions and to listen carefully to their answers. You will also need to be ready to help navigate the waters of healing for them as you help reveal and return those unwanted secrets to their owners (see the below A Bag of Secrets FAQ page).
* All donations or funds raised from the sale of this book goes to support The Eyes of The Heart Foundation. A Christian Foundation dedicated to making a difference through the development of inspiring books and movies.
A BAG OF SECRETS FAQ
The Answers You Need
A Bag of Secrets is not your typical Children's Book. It is actually a book written for parents, grandparents, teachers and family members who are concerned for a child and want to encourage them to discuss their bag of secrets with you and help restore their joy and innocence. Although the video is powerful, you will need a more heart to heart encounter (reading a book together) to get a child to open up about any 'secrets' in their lives.
Below are a few questions to help you navigate the newly opened floodgates of a child's injured heart. These are only suggestions not legal or professional advice, nor should it be viewed as such. Once you open these gates, you are responsible for how it unfolds.
IS THIS BOOK MEANT TO BE READ TO A GROUP OF CHILDREN OR INDIVIDUALLY?
Individually. You will need to create a safe and trusted environment for the child. Group settings are not the environment for a child to be real and vulnerable in.
HOW DO I INITIATE THE CONVERSATION?
The best way to start, is to share with them a past dark secret that someone made you carry. Tell them how it made you feel (scared, guilty, sad, angry, etc.), how happy you were to leave the secret behind, and how safe you felt sharing it with someone you trusted. The more real and honest you are with them, the more they will be with you.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND?
Calmly and lovingly. Never show that you are angry or upset with what is being shared (especially toward the victim). Instead, calmly ask questions that will help you to determine and confirm the timeline and depth of the secrets.
"Thank you for telling me and trusting me with your secret"
"Who gave you this secret?"
"When was the last time this happened?"
"Were others with you or involved?"
"Would you like me to help you with these secrets?"
SHOULD I BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY?
YES. Whether you believe this 'secret' took place, or with the person named, is not important at this stage. The best thing to do is to continue asking questions, encouraging the child and confirming that they are safe and you will not allow them to be harmed again. Even if what they are sharing might not make sense or the timelines do not match exactly, remember, they are a child and this is not something they would just make up for attention. Do not shut the door on an open heart, but let everything come out that needs to.
NOW WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Each situation will be different, however it is very important that you gather the family or legal support needed before confronting the individual. A great way to start off is to ask the child you are speaking to for permission to let other people they trust know about the secret so that they can help. Make a few suggestions of those you would like to include and look for their reaction and permission. If negative about a person, ask why. Always protect the child from further harm or retribution, while protecting their trust. Depending upon the situation and risk, contacting authorities to report the event may be necessary.
ABOUT THE ACCUSED
No excuse justifies the abuse of a child, but you also need to understand that such behavior is a sickness that the accused may have deep guilt and emotional pain from. Our primary goal is to restore the innocence of the affected child, however you also want to bring help and healing to the accused. The accused could also be a child or young teen, or a similarly abused teen or adult that is caught in a vicious cycle. Our society is fueled by pornography that is twisting the minds of both young and old alike. You need to determine if the accused is a dangerous 'predator' that needs to be removed from contact with society (until deep counseling and repentance can restore them), or if it was a onetime regretful event that has them living in fear and guilt. Be wise and seek much advice on how to move forward to bring about healing for all involved (including the families).