An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

How Much Do You Know Your Kid?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by gracer, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    My husband's cousin is here with us for vacation but before he came, his mom informed us of his vacation plans first. I remember her telling my husband's mom before that this cousin of him doesn't have any vices. We were actually surprised to know that he smokes and he also drinks alcohol now that he's here for vacation. He's just an occasional alcoholic beverage drinker but he does smoke heavily.

    As a parent, this opens my eyes to the fact that even if we think we know our children, when they don't live with us anymore and the communication is no longer that constant and open, changes could happen. Just when we think we still know our kids the way we used to, the truth is that we become strangers by the day as we turn further away from each other.
    LovesBigFool, Sparkster and MrsJones like this.
  2. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    This was always a question that we found ourselves asking with our son, and I am sure that every parent everywhere wonders the same thing at certain points in their child's life. It is a scary world out there, and we will never know everything, but the best thing we can do is keep that line of communication open and really try our best to be honest and open up to them to offer guidance.
    Sparkster, MrsJones and gracer like this.
  3. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Frankly, the thought of me not knowing who my son really is can be quite scary. I'm not at that point yet since my son's just a year old. The scary thing about being a parent is you cannot control all things. No matter how much you preach and guide your son, there will still be people out there who will influence him. Even now it's already happening, my husband's aunt is always letting him play with gadgets and it annoys me to no end.

    Anyway, I guess as parents all we can do is educate, guide and love them. Treat them with respect so they will treat you with respect as well. Make their opinions matter but make them understand still what's wrong from right. And just hope that they continue on a righteous path.
    gracer likes this.
  4. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Well, the only thing permanent is change, and if the child decides to acquire some vices then it is already beyond his parent's control, especially now that he's already an adult. We can only hope for the best when it comes to our child.
    gracer likes this.
  5. Nancy D.

    Nancy D. Senior Contributor

    I agree with parents not knowing exactly what their kids are up to when they are not around. We were all kids once and that is what happens..I know when I was a kid my parents did not know I drank or smoked...so this is not at all unusual. However, maybe you should inform them that their child may not be as squeaky clean as they want them to be.
    MrsJones and gracer like this.
  6. bretthuda33

    bretthuda33 Active Contributor

    It is the nature of life. You will always be the parent but life grows apart and is able to blossom because of it. It is really no big deal being a parent or grandparent anymore. The world has preached us into submission and we are finally starting to choose our own paths and live with the responsibility of being the creators of our universe.
    gracer likes this.
  7. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    Parenting is a tough gig - and I only have a toddler right now! I'm quite scared for the teenage years and beyond. I think ensuring the lines of communication are open in the early days is so important. I'm hoping that as my child grows into an adult that we will always maintain honesty and ability to talk to one another.
    gracer likes this.
  8. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    My child is also very young right now but I do have these thoughts of fear in my mind sometimes. I'm trying my best to be a good parent and a good example to him, instilling in him good morals that I hope he would take with him even when he grows old but I still have the fear of the unknown when it comes to the future. That is why I'm enjoying every moment with him now while he's still very young. :)
  9. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I did that one time and only that one time. The reaction of this parent wasn't what I expected because we were best friends and neighbors. Thread lightly when approaching a parent about their child's behavior or any wrong doing. Then, it was my word against the child's and my word meant diddly squat to the parent. Fortunately we were able to put that behind us but I never forgot and learned very quickly from it.

    If it means anything have something to back up what you have to say about another person's child. Never assume the parent will be understanding.
    LovesBigFool and gracer like this.
  10. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    I don't have a child yet, but I can relate: my father doesn't know me at all. He can only assume (usually he is wrong) stuff about me, but I prefer not to tell him stuff, because he is an abusive asshole who think he knows everything better, despite being almost alone in his last years.

    Usually, children tend to hide a lot of things. As long as they don't hide extremely important stuff from their family, that's ok, I guess. But parents have to be actively involved in their children's life, but they also have to know when to stop.
    gracer likes this.
  11. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    This is true. I think it's a natural reaction for parents to be protective when people are trying to tell them something negative about their children. Even if a parent is aware that what has been revealed to her/him is a possibility, the tendency to take the side of the child is more likely. We do have to be very careful in approaching parents about their children's concerns even if we think they will take our word as an air of concern.
    MrsJones likes this.
  12. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    I have a close relationship with my adult children. I am sure I don't know all their secrets, but I know most of them! I am open to anything they would like to talk about. I do not judge them. They know they can talk to me about anything and I will still love and support them. I may not agree with everything they do, but it doesn't change my love for them.

    I am also not afraid to let them know when I think they are wrong or messing up. Not in a judgmental way, but a concerned and supportive way. So far all but one are doing great, in spite of the crazy life we have lived.
    gracer and deanokat like this.
  13. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    The great philosopher Aristotle once said 'know thyself'. Most people including kids lead double lives and change like chameleons when it suits them. Many parents are surprised when they are ambushed with news that their son is in custody for a serious offence like drug pushing or worse. When I was a teacher, we noticed aspects of delinquency in students that parents were completely ignorant of.
    gracer likes this.
  14. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    I know my son very well and he does no like alcohol or smoking. He has many friends that do and they have offered him but he has turned them down. He says there is no point in it. I happen to agree with him and always advise him that the best way to learn is from the mistakes of others.
    gracer likes this.
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Indeed, the older children get the more they go on to develop their own private lives and it becomes impossible to always know what they are getting up to or who they are with. It's a part of growing up and is the way that they eventually learn to take responsibility for themselves. Parents can not always be there to look out for their children and also need to learn to accept that their children are going to make their own mistakes and have their own life experiences no matter what. The only thing parents can really do is be as supporting as possible.
  16. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    We may know our children well when they are young, but when they are adults they only give us the information that they want us to know. I mean I think my son is making good choices, but he might not be. He seems to be doing OK though. He is a good person as far as I am concerned, so I don't worry about him too much. He has a good head on his shoulders and understands the consequences of his decisions...problaby better than I do lol.
  17. LovesBigFool

    LovesBigFool Active Contributor

    Your experience with telling a parent the truth makes sense. The mind of the parent you are telling will deny them the pain of accepting it. Plus the parent is going to feel as if you are calling them a failure. They may have issues that make them close their eyes to bad situations while they feel at fault (rightly or wrongly).

    It is okay though. The important thing is that you shared it and you are not responsible for the reaction. Let the truth do its work over time instead.

    I am thinking that it is not always the best thing to do (share the truth) depending on the relationship you have with the parent.
    MrsJones likes this.
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    All parents like to think that they know their children inside out, as they think it's that what makes them a good parent.

    Most of the time that's not the case at all though, but that shouldn't be a big issue for the parent or the child involved. Children grow up to be their own people so in some ways it's inevitable.
  19. SashaS

    SashaS Community Champion

    When it comes to my kids, I let them do with their lives what they consider beneficial. I tell them everything they need to know, including the negative effects of drugs. Then I let them live life on their own terms. I hated how my parents would try with all their power to control my life and make it a living hell where I couldn't take a breath without them permitting it. I know what a pain it is to be in that situation and I want better for my kids. So they are allowed to experiment with their lives, to an extent.

    They know the consequences and punishment if they do something that will harm them and to date, none of them have smoked or drank alcohol excessively. My kids are honest people and if they do somehow get themselves in a situation where they are using drugs, then I will help them out.
  20. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    You just have to trust that what you instill in your children will stay there. If you raised your children right, then you just have to let go and see what happens. You can only do so much as a parent up to a certain point. I'm pretty sure things will work out if they choose to stay on the right path.