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How much should you share?

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by kana_marie, May 6, 2015.

  1. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    I try to use my experience as a means to convince my children to not make my mistakes. At the same time, there are a lot of details that you just don't want your children knowing. So... I'm wondering how much is too much? How in depth should this conversation go?
  2. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think if you feel that it is something not right to be shared to anyone, you should not share it. You do not need to give all the every details of it, just make sure that they will get the lessons or details that they need in order to avoid being in such situation too. The age of your children, should be taken into consideration too.
    kana_marie likes this.
  3. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    I don't think children should be aware of every single detail regarding past mistakes. My parents never lectured me on how I shouldn't do exactly what they did wrong in their day and I turned out okay. Not repeating your mistakes doesn't mean they won't make new ones. It's deeply embedded in human nature that they will. Let's just hope the mistakes they do make aren't going to be fatal and will serve as a cautionary tale in the end.
    kana_marie likes this.
  4. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    My daughter is 19 and my son is about to turn 12. It isn't just about teaching them not to make the same mistakes. I was so messed up for so long, I owe them the truth. I just don't know how much, especially when they start asking questions.
    imperivm1 likes this.
  5. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    Well, yes, of course you owe them the truth. It's just that they don't need to know every little excruciating detail of it. They look up to you, love and respect you. The last thing you'd want to do is lose some part of this because you said something you would later regret.
    kana_marie likes this.
  6. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    Lol if I'm speaking at all, chances are I'll say something I'll regret. I am the worst judge of what is and isn't appropriate, or if something will come across as helpful or just mean. That's why I am extra careful when its my kids. That's actually the reason for the post.
    imperivm1 likes this.
  7. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    You are a good parent @kana_marie! How they interpret your advice depends upon their maturity level and their past experiences. I would give one more tip. Show your daughter "Requiem for A Dream". It's a must watch movie. When your son gets a little older, show him too. That ought to straighten them up!;)
    kana_marie likes this.
  8. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    That movie is so horrible!! And so real... The mom on adderal hit kindof close to home. Have you seen the movie (who's name I can't remember) about a couple of kids who smoke some meth and freak out. They ended up in the woods in the middle of nowhere and freaking out so bad the let themselves freeze to death
  9. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    By talking to you children and teaching them some of the lesson you have experienced is the right parental thing to do. Children should learn life lessons from their parents first and school should be second.

    As far as giving away too much details, that's up to you. Take in consideration of their age and maturity level. Obviously you are not going to tell a 5 year old your sex stories. So use your head and share the main points and as they get older you can fill them in on the details, and if they ask why you weren't specific a few years ago, well I just told you why. You felt they weren't ready.
  10. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I saw the opening post and immediately thought I would respond by saying you would be the best judge in the situation. Now you have confessed you don't do well in that department, I'll have to back pedal.:)

    I always think it's a tricky thing. I have a young man now and sometimes I think I have shared too much of my past "troubled" history and it has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. It happened in my case because I felt like he was my only or best friend at times when he was just a child. Still at the end of day, I think a parent should know what to share based on the level of maturity of the child.

    I also think it is a pretty ugly thing when children hear stories from others that would have better been told and explained by you.
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  11. katherine25

    katherine25 Senior Contributor

    I agree, if you think its something that shouldn't be shared then I wouldn't share it. You can share with them your stories but I don't think that means you have to give them every last little detail. I think whats most important is that they get the point as to why you are sharing your past with them and that they take something from it and know how to make better choices.
  12. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Depending on their age. You should not share too serious and sensitive topics to them, specially to younger ones. Wait until they are already old enough to understand, probably around 14-17 years old.
  13. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    You can't have an addict for a mommy and not already hear things you shouldn't know about. I want them to understand, but I don't want to put them trough any extra stress because of it. It's probably best if I take the advice I give people, one day at a time.
  14. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I understand your concern. I was always honest with my children about my and my husbands past. I would have hoped they learned from past mistakes made. One did and one did not. Nonetheless, I do not regret being open. As others wrote, you and only can make the decision on how much to share and when to share! One thing, I would suggest, and I am positive that you understand. Do not underestimate that it is ever too early or they can not handle it. Your words and actions today speak volumes more compared to your actions in the past, as far as our children judging us or feeling secure with us, as parents.
  15. adfnio

    adfnio Community Champion

    Kids should be told the truth. However, there are details that should be held back due to maturity level. If they aren't ready for detail, then that should be left out until they are ready for it.
  16. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    Nah! I haven't. But would love to watch it. Could you give some more details?
  17. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    I'm not quite sure why anyone would want to fill their children in on this sort of thing. I guess maybe some people feel every detail is worth sharing. It's not really something to be proud of like look at what I did but you shouldn't. It just falls into that category of do as I say not as I do. Which for the most part causes resentment with kids. Is there a lesson to share with them? I would think it would be much better to just show them who and what you are now. It's like as long as it's not going on now. Why do this? You could be encouraging them to do drugs and alcohol. They might admire you and want to be like you. Set the best example.
    I watched this woman hiding something like this from her 12 year old son. She was doing some really rotten antics. A whole list of questionable things. I knew about it. We worked together. She would have him there once and awhile. One afternoon he was just kind of staring at me. Hanging out. Wanting to chat. She comes along and tries to pull him away like this. He ignores her. I would never tell a 12 year old boy like this the things I knew his mom was up to. He's a child. She just kept asking him why don't you trust me you need to trust me. I said nothing but I guess I should have reassured her I had no interest in telling him anything. But I could't even relate to her in anyway. I thought he will figure it out on his own some day. It's not for me to say.
    If it's in the past just forget it. A child should have a good image of their parents. If they've seen and know, this is another story. Parents are role models. The first ones children are around. This is the important basis.
  18. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think you should just say to your children not to even experiment with drugs, assuming that they are of the age of understanding already. You don't need to go into detail regarding what you actually did and the troubles that you got into because of it, just guide them along the right path.
  19. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    An open line of communication between a parent and their children should always be present in a family. By means of this it will build trust and respect for each other. That is why I think there is nothing wrong if a parent will share to their children their past mistakes and experiences so that they will learn a lesson from it. But there is always a right time to say all of this things to your children when their minds are already ready to understand the real meaning of life.
  20. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    This is something that I'm also wondering, for when the time is right to educate my child about the dangers of what is out there. I honestly don't know yet how I will approach it - I'm not sure whether it's easier to be completely upfront about my struggles with alcohol, or not tell her about it at all and just give neutral examples about it.