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I think that most of us believe in always giving our kids honest answers to their questions; it goes along with the respectful parenting philosophy that comes out of AP. But I often wonder where the line is between honesty and privacy when I think about my DD getting older and asking me personal questions about sensitive subjects such as sexual history and drug use and so on.<br><br>
For those of you with older children who HAVE asked these questions, how have you chosen to respond? And for those whose children have not yet reached this point (as mine hasn't), have you given this any thought? What do you think?
 

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My kids are still younger, so I don't have first hand experience as a parent with these questions.<br><br>
But how many kids really WANT to know about their parents sexual or drug history? I certainly never wanted to know (sort of went to the "gross, mom has sex" factor). I still don't and my mother has quite the active sex life (always has apparently...my sister's gossip). Drugs might be of more interest perhaps, but I guess I never really wanted to know that my mother was less than angelic (the fact is her drug history is probably as interesting as her sexual history, but this is still my mom...don't want to know). Maybe I'm weird <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
What will I tell my kids? If they ask, I will be honest but circumspect. If they don't ask, I certainly am not going to offer up that information. My DH doesn't even know most of it...not ashamed, it just my business.
 

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I'll absolutely tell her the truth, in age-appropriate ways. Especially as a teen, I think it will help her to know how lonely I was and how I sought out drugs and the company of any available guy to make me feel less alone and unloved, and how it didn't work. My problems were still there, I only got a temporary reprieve from them. Perhaps I will be able to guide her toward more effective ways of coping with despair.
 

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I will be honest with what she is actually asking. I think once kids get to a developmental stage to ask certain questions they are ready for the answers. The trick is figuring out what they are really asking, and not giving them more details than need be. I asked my mom for years why her and my Dad had divorced, and she always just said it was private. My Dad always eluded to the fact that my mom just up and left him one day for no good reason but I knew in my heart that wasn't right. When I was 18 and we were going through a counseling training thing together she told me the whole story and it made so many pieces of my life "fit" together that previously hadn't. She waited so long to protect me from judging my father too harshly, but it made me be able to see him for who he is and relate to him from there. I knew my mom's sexual history since she waited for the wedding night. Why is it that we always know the "good" things our parents did, and not the mistakes they made and how they learned from them. I have to say the mistakes my mom has made and fessed up to to me have helped me learn alot more than her perfect stories.
 

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I am always honest with my kids. If I don't want to give them details then I just tell them that. I do believe that if a child is old enough to ask they are old enough to know, but at the same time some things are private and I will say so if I don't want to give too many details.<br><br>
Edit... I do think it's important to let our kids know we are human and have done things that maybe we wouldn't have done the same way if we could do it over again.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Elphaba</i><br><b>I'll absolutely tell her the truth, in age-appropriate ways. Especially as a teen, I think it will help her to know how lonely I was and how I sought out drugs and the company of any available guy to make me feel less alone and unloved, and how it didn't work. My problems were still there, I only got a temporary reprieve from them. Perhaps I will be able to guide her toward more effective ways of coping with despair.</b></td>
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Perfectly said.<br><br><br>
I think it's very important to stay honest with our children, even when they begin asking personal and tricky questions.<br><br>
If something is TOO personal, I don't have to asnwer it. She needs to respect my privacy as well( although I don't see what would be so personal that I wouldn't share with her).
 

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I also wanted to add that we make a point to be honest now, even about small things. When we put up snack after she has gorged herself, we don't say it is all gone(like I have heard many friends and even MIL say), but we say we need to save some of X for another time. Or that we can have more of X after we do this/that.<br><br>
I think you have to get into the habit while they are very young not to tell even white lies.
 

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I can't stand it when people lie to kids, even about little things, but I think there are times when I will tell my children "I'm not ready to discuss that with you" or "I don't think that's appropriate for you to worry about right now".<br><br>
My mother was always one for TMI, and I heard things that no child should ever hear. Some of it I might have wanted to know as I got older, but I can think of a few things she told me as a very small child that I wouldn't want to know to this day if I had a choice about it. I was very much prepared to ask the questions, but I don't think I was ready to hear the answers that she gave me, and she had no sense of where to draw the line. She assumed that because I asked, I wanted (needed? was ready for?) extremely detailed answers. This worked fine for a study of genetics or theology, but not my mother's (or my own) life story.<br><br>
I guess it'd be different with a teenager, or even a ten year old, but I don't think that a baby needs to know about their parents sexual history or former drug use.
 

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If I had a history with drugs or with men other than my child's father, I would tell my child all about it if she asked. However, those who aren't comfortable sharing such information can keep it to themselves without lying. You can say that it's part of your private life and you don't want to share it. Everyone is entitled to secrecy. Of course, it has to go both ways. You can't expect your child to share everything with you, either.
 

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<i>Originally posted by eilonwy</i><br>
I can't stand it when people lie to kids, even about little things, but I think there are times when I will tell my children "I'm not ready to discuss that with you" or "I don't think that's appropriate for you to worry about right now".<br><br><br>
Eilonwy, I agree with you that being honest with your kids is important, and also that if you feel there is something you are not ready to share (or they are not ready to handle) you should let them know that.<br><br>
I'm afraid that if I say "I don't think that's appropritae for you to worry about right now," however, I am putting the empphasis on the kid's emotions, (and attempting to stifle them) instead of my own. I believe it is important to acknowledge our kids' worries, emotions, etc. and I'm worried that the message sent in this verbage equates to: don't have this emotion right now! which does not provide the validity that kids need.<br><br>
I'm trying to brainstorm at the moment on a different way to phrase this....<br><br>
Maybe:<br><br>
-switching the focus onto the needs of the child. What is going on in the child's mind that is causing this curiousity? "Is there something you are worried about concerning drugs/alochol/sex?"<br>
Hopefully this could lead to a dialogue where you could offer some insights without getting to personal about yourself?<br><br>
or....<br><br>
-"I can see that you're curious about this part of my life. I'm glad that you feel comfortable in asking me. Right now I'm not ready to talk about my own experience with you, but I will talk about my feelings about X. Would you be willing to talk about how you feel about X?"<br><br>
Just some ideas off the top of my head. My dd is still a babe, so I can't speak from experience. this is a good exercise to prepare me for the inevitable.<br><br>
What do you think? Any more suggsetions?
 

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good call, mocha09. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
of course, this hasn't come up for me yet. all ds can ask for is "nurse?" or "where daddy?" or "talk granma?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
like i said, i don't have a problem telling a kid "i'm not ready to discuss that with you" or something like that. it's not a lie, and it can get you out of a tight spot without giving your kids nightmares. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by mocha09</i><br><b><br>
What do you think? Any more suggsetions?</b></td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I will have to remember those if anything ever comes up. Thanks for posting them!
 

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Absolutely intend to be honest. Absolutely intend to be age appropriate. Nothin' worse than too much information at too young an age ...<br><br>
Absolutely not looking forward to it, though ... particularly concerned because I have no regrets (even though my life is much different now), and need to figure out how to indicate that I don't want them to do these things while at the same time having to suppress my feelings of ... well ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> really missing watching the wallpaper melt ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie"><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/privateeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="private eyes"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt">
 

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merpk, I totally agree with you. I too had a crazy life ffrom about 16-24. Drugs, Sex ect... It was great, I have no regrets, and when DD is old enough to know I will tell her, of course I will spare her the details. Also, I never wanted to know about my mothers sex life, but her drug experience was another thing. Mabey it was becuase she was a teenager in the 60's and at the time I thought she must have done some great drugs.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by merpk</i><br><b>... particularly concerned because I have no regrets (even though my life is much different now), and need to figure out how to indicate that I don't want them to do these things while at the same time having to suppress my feelings of ... well ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> really missing watching the wallpaper melt ... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie"><br></b></td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"> :LOL <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"> :LOL<br><br>
You're not the only one! :LOL DH and I have been talking about what we'll tell ds since we found out we were pregnant. :LOL. Thus far, we've decided that as long as we explain why we did what we did and what saftey precautions we took, we can leave ds to make his own decisions. Of course, our son is not quite 11 months old. Who knows what we'll think when he's old enough to ask about it? :LOL
 

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My dd has not reached that age yet, but this is a topic that I have thought a lot about, actually. My mom was always very upfront with all sorts of information, including things that were kind of private. That is one thing that I always appreciated and that my friends did not have with their parents at all. I think it was this freedom to ask her any question that made me feel like I didn't have to go to friends or other sources for information. I had a reliable persn who would be upfront with me about anything I asked. This level of trust, I think, is soooooo important, especially when kids start hitting those painful teen years and everything is confusing, upsetting and unsettling. Being able to go to a parent, who always has your bet interest at heart, is important. That's my 2 cents!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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Yep, I plan to be totally honest and tell dd that I used to shoot heroin and cut myself and that I was a sex addict. I don't think this will make her do those things. I can tell her in a way that emphasizes the bad parts of all that stuff so she doesn't think it will be fun.<br><br>
It's not like she won't find out anyway, since I go to NA and SAA. There is only so long I can tell her that I'm "just going out for coffee" when really I'm at those meetings.<br><br>
As far as when it's appropriate, I think any time she asks she is ready. If she hasn't asked about sex issues beyond reproduction, or drug stuff, by the time she is 12 or so I will initiate the conversation.<br><br>
I can't think of anything I wouldn't tell her...I guess I wouldn't go into too much detail. Maybe she doesn't need to know I got arrested.<br><br>
I know if she were going through any of that, I would want her to tell me.
 

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I plan to be honest. I have few regrets over things I did, many regrests over what I haven't done.<br><br>
I am honest when I am not comfortable with answering something.<br><br>
If it is a sexual question, I think I will be able to answer in an age appropriate answer, adding more details as she is older.<br><br>
When my nephews ask something like "how much money do you make" I explain that I am not comfortable with answering and I then move the discussion onto something like "How much money does one need to live on?" And then we discuss finances and stuff like that.<br><br>
BTW- CONGRATS Greaseball!
 

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Foobar's comments about "adding details as she gets older" got me thinking. From what I've heard, children can be satisfied with fairly short and simple answers at first, and they'll ask you later when they want more detail. I think sometimes we think we need to "spill it all" right away.<br><br>
For example, when your 3 year old asks you where babies come from, it may be enough for her to know that babies grow in mum's tummy and come out through the vagina. The details of birth, conception, and lovemaking etc are not necessarily needed at that time. When they are a bit older and figure out there are some "holes" in the story, they can ask more specifically, "mommy, how does the baby get inside your tummy?", etc. So I hope this is the case as I think it will make it alot easier on us when they do ask things like "mum, have you ever tried drugs?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
I think it's so nice how honest everyone here plans to be with our children. Gives me hope for the future generation! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 
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