6 Things You Should Never Tell Your Mom

by Carina Wolff

It's great to have a close relationship to your mother, but there are some things you likely don't want her knowing. It's nice when you get to the point where you can share things with a parent, but there are certain things you should never tell your mom, not only because they might be private to you, but they could also end up hurting her or putting her in an uncomfortable position. Of course, everyone's relationship is different, but it can be useful to have some guidelines on what is considered appropriate to discuss versus what is better to delve into with a friend.

"What you should and shouldn't tell your mother depends on the kind of relationship you have with her, particularly how she's reacted to things you've told her in the past," says Jill Whitney LMFT over email. "If she tends to be critical or blab your secrets, you might be careful what you share with her. But if she's supportive, encouraging, and a great sounding board, there's very little you need to hold back."

Ultimately, you'll be the judge, but sometimes it's best to tread with caution when it comes to oversharing. Here are six things you should never tell your mom.


Details About Your Sex Life


"What you want to avoid is anything that creates a strong visual image, especially things like positions or kinkiness you enjoy," says Whitney. You wouldn't want a picture of your mom's sexual activities stuck in your head, and she doesn't want that image of you."


Someone Else's Secrets


If your friend told you a secret, it should remain between you and your friend. "There's no 'mom exemption' for violating the friend's trust," says Whitney. "The only exception would be if your friend told you something really scary (like that she might attempt suicide) and you need help figuring out what to do. Otherwise, keep the secret to yourself."


All The Arguments With Your Partner


"What often happens is that we turn to our support people when we're mad at our significant other," says Whitney. "We fill them in on all the details of what they've done wrong, and they offer sympathy and agree that he's being a jerk. Then you and your partner make up, and your mom remembers all the bad stuff, which might color their relationship with them." It's okay to say "We're having a fight ,and I'm really mad," but Whitney suggests not giving too much detail.


How You Feel About Her "Terrible" Parenting


"Every mother, in my experience, has done the best she could in parenting and raising her child," says Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT over email. "Telling your mother she did an awful job parenting you is something that you can never get back. Be open with your feedback, but there is probably some discretion you need to use around how honest you are about her parenting." Be specific, not general, about your feedback, and try to be kind.


How Much You Hate Her


Never tell your mother that you hate her. "This is also something you can never get back," says Thompson. "This will make a huge impact on her life, and yes you may not like or even love your mother, but she is your mother after all."


Ways You Don't Want To Be Like Her


You may not want to be anything like your mother, but if this is true, this is something you can hold to yourself, with your trusted friends or your therapist. "There may be many elements of your mother that you certainly don’t want to emulate, but mothers have some qualities that are good among their challenging ones. Your mother has somewhere in her a redeeming quality or too, and throwing a blanket statement out there — matter how hurt or sad or angry you are — is not productive."