Instead of: Don't keep secrets
Say: A surprise is the only secret that's okay to keep.
Some parents use the two terms interchangeably -- and that confuses kids. If you tell your child to keep a secret about Daddy's birthday gift or Grandma's party, you are undermining the rule that no grown-up should ever tell you to keep a secret from your mom or dad. At this age, especially, you want to send the unambiguous message that Mom and Dad have a right to know everything anyone says or does to him.