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JLeslie's avatar

Parents: do you really think your kids tell you everything and will always come to you when they have a concern?

Asked by JLeslie (55803points) May 10th, 2011

I am always stunned when parents are surprised their child kept something from them or when a parent is so sure their relationship is so strong with their children they know their kids would always come to them with a problem.

How about our collective? Do you think your kids are 100% open with you?

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21 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well they’re 4 and 2 so I don’t think I’m in a place just yet but I think they tell me what they want to tell me and that’s how it’ll be. Obviously, I’ll encourage them to always tell me everything if they need to. I do not expect them to be 100% open with me. I don’t think we’re ever even 100% open with ourselves and they will have their own lives. There are however certain things that would surprise me if my kids did it, though and if they didn’t tell me about it.

creative1's avatar

Nope I am realistic but I am hoping she is building relationships with my neices and my sister and myself where she has enough people to go to when she doesn’t feel she can come to me. We have these talks even now at 3 years old that are well beyond her age so I am hoping as she grow that is just continues. I am a very open person and always try to answer all her many many questions so that she feels she can always ask em anything. I am also hoping that leading my example will help as she grows and always just being open and honest to her.

flutherother's avatar

Mine are grown up now and lead their own lives. I would expect to know about any important concerns they have but not everything. I respect their independence.

bob_'s avatar

I’m not a father, but considering the fact that I don’t tell my parents everything, I think it’d be unrealistic if I expected my potential children to do so.

6rant6's avatar

My daughter was born to keep secrets. My son never had anything that he felt he needed to share. They were both pretty open if I asked anything. But if I didn’t know to ask, well, that was a different story.

Aethelwine's avatar

I wasn’t very open with my parents when I was growing up. There are some things they still don’t know about me that happened when I was younger. I’m sure my children have kept things from us, but what’s most important is they know they can come to us and we won’t judge them.

I was very proud of our oldest son when he called us one night when he went camping with some friends his senior year of high school. His friends brought beer and it made him very uncomfortable, so he wanted to come home. We picked him up, no questions asked. If he thought he couldn’t come to us because we would throw a fit for being in that situation, he wouldn’t have called and he would have had a miserable night.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Nope, I know my son doesn’t tell me everything on his own and I don’t expect him to. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing what to ask. I don’t expect him to think of every little thing he should/shouldn’t tell me. He knows that is he needs to ask us something, we are here for him. If we ask him direct questions, he answers them. I’m good with that for now considering he’s only 9. We’ll see how the teen years go. ;)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No. I’d gamble kids tell their parents less than 25% of what parents wish they knew about their kids. Some of the breach could be gapped though if parents didn’t feel like such politically correct intrusive wussies and would have direct question/answer/discussions with their kids. Put on the spot, most kids will tell you what’s up, in a roundabout way, seeds of truth by omission and that sort but if you pay attention, you’ll get it.

I have a very well adjusted ex stepdaughter who at first was very insular but I tried to create a system she could recognize to share with her dad and I. My fiancee now has three kids which are very insular and he and I are talking together how to make routines in our home so when the kids visit, we can feel updated and maybe on occasion, useful/helpful.

Being a step parent is rough! You don’t want to act like you know the kids right off or that they should trust or like you but eventually it is your role to aid in parenting role modeling, etc. Sometimes it’s like we plan strategy more than humor the kids but we do it in order for them to go out into the world safer, more aware, more confident, feeling more supported.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

No, I don’t expect them to tell me everything, but I do keep telling my oldest that she CAN tell me anything she wants or talk about how she’s feeling. I’ve told her whatever problems she needs to talk about, I’ll try my hardest to listen as a friend and not as a mother, so that she won’t feel embarassed or be afraid of repercussions.

AmWiser's avatar

My kids never told me everything and I never expected them to. I also don’t believe they should be 100% open with me…I wasn’t with my parents.

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keobooks's avatar

My mom had NO CLUE what was going on. But she’s always been the type that lives in a denial bubble. So even when I told her stuff, she still didn’t know about it if it freaked her out.

With my daughter (and any other child I may have in the future) I hope I give her the tools to make good choices for herself when she’s in a bind. But I’m sure she won’t tell me everything.

Right now, she’s only 7 months old. The only word she can say is “Bye bye” and she uses that word for everything. So yeah.. I don’t get any useful information out of her now.

Hibernate's avatar

No. They won’t tell us everything like we didn’t share all with our parents.

This phenomenon can’t be explained to well but it’s a known fact [ psychiatrists will try and will be somewhat helpful with some explanations but it won’t suffice everyone ]

@keobooks that word is actually BA BA [ because A and B are the easiest letters a child can pronounce You can try listening carefully to your kid or even other small kids who just started talking ]

Ladymia69's avatar

I went through very great pains in my youth just so that my mother and father would not know what terrible things I was doing and what debauched people I was hanging out with. Of course, she found out a few things, but if she knew the rest, oh my god….

This is one reason I will not have a child.

augustlan's avatar

Nope. Of course I’ve always told them they can, and I initiate a lot of conversations they’re initially uncomfortable with, persevering until we get to the point where talking happens in a matter-of-fact way. I’m quite certain there are things they keep to themselves, and that’s ok. I’ve been very happy with the things they have been willing to share with me, though. It makes me proud of them.

keobooks's avatar

@Hibernate—shhh I’m in my own bubble of denial. It’s Bye Bye! Ha!

I had a friend who once told me her son told her everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Like one day when he was about 11 or 12, he bounded into the room, pulled off his pants and showed off his first pubic hair.

She’s the first mom I’ve heard of who told her son to keep SOME things to himself. But she was fairly certain he’d never bother trying to hide anything if he was that open.

Sunny2's avatar

I know they are not. They protect us from any bad news. My daughter didn’t tell me until after the fact that she had been sky diving. They know we worry.

cookieman's avatar

Nope & nope – but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop asking questions and reminding her she can talk to me about anything.

Ultimately, I don’t need to know everything – it’s her life after all. I’m just here to offer love and support and guidance.

ddude1116's avatar

I know I’m not. But when it all gets down to it, if I really need their help, I’ll talk to them.

blueiiznh's avatar

I know they will not always do that. I will accept the times that they do and yet still let them know that they can always come to me when they need to.

captainsmooth's avatar

Oldest daughter, 10, is and always has been very expressive. It has been a large part of her salvation during my divorce from her mother. She and I have always (and still do) talked about all kinds of things that a kid might not talk to her parents, or her dad, about. I treat what she says with respect because she is very mature in some ways emotionally. If she doesn’t talk to me about what is going on when necessary, I have no doubt she will talk to an adult, either a family member, friend of mine, parent in our community, a teacher or counselor at school.

Youngest daugher, 6, is a bit of a liar and a sneak. She takes things or breaks something and will lie to you without blinking an eye. I am pretty worried about what she isn’t going to share as she gets older. I used to say that she was going to drive us all to family counseling, its just that post divorce we will be going seperately.

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