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As a parent, do you tell your teen about your own alcohol/drug use?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by sammy, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Being honest to your child is important. If you're not honest with them, then why would they be honest with you? Your child must be made aware that you have been there before and understand where they are coming from. ONce that is made clear I'm sure things will open up for for the better.

    The truth shall set you free.
  2. jade870

    jade870 Active Contributor

    Yes! I think you should tell your kids what drugs can do to them and all the harmful thing that are used to make some drugs. As a child my mother told me about them, and how they can effect your mind and body. That might have had a little something to do with her being a RN. she saw more than her share of this at the ER. She Also told me when I saw some of my friends that were in school with me, to be on alert that some of them would try to get me to do drugs with them. By the time I was in high school I did see almost all of my friends doing something. But thanks to my mother I knew what almost all the new pills were that my friends were doing. So I knew when they told me it was something to make me chill out, I knew not to take anything.
  3. StillFighting

    StillFighting Member

    My oldest is 14, so I have been experiencing fears and concerns myself about my son. He is not on drugs and we talk regularly about this kind of thing, but he asks me a lot of questions about my opinions on things. I personally have not used drugs, but I'm pretty sure I would tell him if I did. I wouldn't talk about it in a bragging manner, but rather to let him know the reasons why he shouldn't try and my regrets in what I did try. Just like other things in life, I would try to educate my son about my own mistakes so he wouldn't make the same ones. Figuring out the right answer to these kinds of questions is tricky though...good luck!
  4. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    As long as the parent is clean, I don't see the harm of sharing your story to your children. A child should know the struggles of a parents past, as long as the parent is not glorifying the experiences it could actually help the child.
  5. TXgirlNCworld

    TXgirlNCworld Member

    This is a very interesting question, but to be honest all of the stories my mother told me (from sex to drug to alcohol) always stayed with me throughout my years. I think a parent should tell their child about their addictions because one it teaches them a lesson and two it also breaks the rocky ground of communication on these topics. Whether my mother stretched the truth about her stories just to make the outcome seem way worse than what they truly were or if she was completely telling the truth, whenever I was confronted with having to make the decision of turning down an offer or taking it on, all her stories would play in my head and then I would make the right decision. I know a major issue with parents and children now a days is communication. Teens are so wrapped up in their technology and social media that they do not know how to communicate properly. By a parent reaching out and talking about this topic I believe helps a teen in the long run.
  6. MissManda

    MissManda Member

    I would definitely say be honest with your kids about that sort of thing. It shows that although you may not be proud of what you experimented with as a teen, you are able to talk about it and you have learned from it.
    I think from the child's point of view, they would have more respect for their parent for being honest and sharing their experiences.
  7. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    Much like anything else, it depends on the person. It depends on the kid and the situation. I don't think lying is helpful but then again, volunteering it may not be either. If you and your kids have a close relationship with good communication, this may be something you can openly discuss in an appropriate manner. Again, I think it's different for everyone.
  8. Brady2121

    Brady2121 Active Contributor

    Be honest with your kids. Tell them about your experiences and hardships. In return, it may really help your kids. Experience is the best teacher! So let your experiences teach your kids!
  9. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    Different strokes for different folks, eh? I think it really depends on the age of your kids and their level of maturity. It also has to do with them as individuals as everyone see things differently so this is definitely a tough question and a two sided situation. You would have to know your kids and know how they would react, you can use different instances to test them then you will have an idea of the way they would respond to you either telling or not telling hem about your past.
    To be honest, the fact that my father was an addict I was tempted as a young girl to try a few things he did, but based on my level of drug education I never tried hard drugs- just a little alcohol. My sister on the other hand, wanted so desperately to try it because she wanted to know what he was feeling even though he discouraged her from using it. She could not get access to it and I thank God that she did not, she also went through a series of counseling to get past that phase. Maybe if we were not told that he was using cocaine and other drugs we would not have felt so inclined to trying.
  10. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    My mom and family always admitted the truth. Those in my family who hid it always lost my respect when they told me later in life. I had looked up to them and then they fell off of the pedestal. Those who were upfront gained more respect from me.
  11. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    Kids do not appreciate it when you pretend to be something you are not. It is best to tell them the truth. I have discussed this with my son and how an addictive personality can be genetic, as my father was an alcoholic. We have had some long and interesting discussions and researched. He has a good understanding of how your life can be destroyed from addictions. He appreciates my honesty and tells me about his friends who smoke or drink. He tells me how he has been offered but refused. He is not interested and there is no sign of any drugs. We have a good relationship and talk about everything. So far so good. I am trusting that things will stay as good as they are. You can only teach your children right from wrong and you should take full advantage of opportunities to share with them. These are opportunities to point out what a disaster your life could be if you choose the wrong path. Your children should always be able to approach you to talk about anything, so make sure you remain approachable. Trust them.
  12. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    I would try and be upfront and under the circumstances generally not try and lie. We learn from experience and if anything I can use that to help my kids avoid mistakes I made. Of course they will make their own but why add to that ? So generally speaking if they are old enough yes I would be upfront with my child.
  13. Sarah

    Sarah Member

    I think that it is important to be honest with your children but I also think that there are things that a child has no business knowing. I agree it depends on the child their level of maturity and the situation. There is no need to go into great detail and tell them all either.
  14. RoseK

    RoseK Active Contributor

    Unfortunately, my children have seen me drinking and the effects it had on us as a family. We moved a lot and they saw a lot of boyfriends come and go. I did not provide stability for them like I should have. Now, the relationship I have with my children is very faint. The oldest is now thirteen and living with her Dad several hours away from me. I am slowly doing everything in my power to repair the relationship.

    Does anyone have advice for me on how to repair the relationships and/or how to have a discussion in the future about drugs given the past?
  15. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    Don't lie to your children, that'll do more harm than good. Just know that no matter what you do, they'll find their own way.

    That's just the way it is.
  16. RoseK

    RoseK Active Contributor

    I agree. There is a lot of guilt connected to my addiction as my children were directly affected by my alcohol abuse. They now live with their father and I find myself trying to pick up the pieces and repairing the relationship as much as I can.
  17. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    My dad always made it known to my brother and I that he was an open book; that anything we wanted to ask him, he would give us some sort of an answer, and that he wasn't hiding anything from us about whatever drugs he took or stories or anything like that. My brother was drawn to that, and thus they're incredibly close and my brother tells him almost everything. I'm not like that. I'm just not comfortable with telling my father about stuff like that, but I know that if something happened I could tell him.
  18. RoseK

    RoseK Active Contributor

    I'm happy you have that kind of relationship with your family. However, if one didn't learn how to be open with others from their family, that can bring in different complications. Anyone been in the situation where you had to learn new habits (openness, trust, understanding, etc.) to build a different relationship with your children than the one you had with your parents?