Are You Sharing Too Much With Your Kids?

BY: - 18 Jul '12 | Parenting

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I was in the salon the other day and overheard a rather interesting conversation. A client was talking about her frustration with her husband’s approach to handling delicate family situations. She stated that he always wants to be upfront and honest about everything with their children because that’s the way HE was raised. That alone wasn’t really her problem. Her gripe was that she believes that children don’t need to know everything!! I looked up from my iPhone to acknowledge my agreement with her and was welcomed to join the the conversation.

Before I could delve into this discussion, I needed to hear some specifics. (Be careful what you ask for.) She stated that because they were going through some financial trials, her husband shared with their 12 year old daughter that they were no longer doing certain frivolous weekend activities to cut back on spending and proceeded to say they may be heading to foreclosure on their home. She was mortified! To make matters worse, she said that her 10 year old son was having nightmares after her husband told him about his plans to have a vasectomy!

Ok! Screech! Wait! Timeout! What!?! I could agree with the sharing of the financial situation because I have had conversation with with my own tween once: Son, We are NOT the Trumps. There is MONEY coming from my account with every SWIPE. It is not magic!” But all the extra details that Dear Ol’ Dad provided were a bit much. I could see why she was livid! But me (as usual) playing devil’s advocate, I told her that I agreed with her husband. It all depends on a child’s age. I feel that they need to be aware of certain things, that are AGE APPROPRIATE and in a way that won’t cause alarm. Your vibe and delivery are everything! You know better than anyone else what your children can handle. If you’re not good at this, then yes, you may want to just leave the subject alone.

I’m somewhat of a private person. So, naturally, Only a few people in my life know more than what’s on Facebook, Twitter or my blog. I like it that way. Therefore, I’m inclined not to tell my children any and everything that I don’t want repeated. I also feel that children can’t relate to heavy topics due to lack of maturity. Plus, I feel like these sweet babies of ours are only children for a short while and grown-ups for the rest of their lives. Giving them fully-loaded information can either be exaggerated by their own little imaginative minds (potentially leading to devastation) or it blows right over their head like a jetliner. Whatever your stance is, there is always a delicate and thin line that you have to walk in order to raise savvy little people, and at the same time, protect them.

BMWK family, what’s your take? Spill it or seal it? How much do you tell your kids? Have you ever told them too much?


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  • Rosemary

    Explaining to a child that we need to cut back on expenses for a while is fine. But frightening a 12-year-old with the possibility that she might lose her home? And the vasectomy? Yikes! It’s just not necessary for a 10-year-old to know details like this about his parents. I understand that this father wants to include his children and be honest with them, but he seems to have no understanding of what is age appropriate. Children don’t need to be made to feel insecure or have scary images planted in their minds.

  • Sheree

    I agree with you Rosemary. She was mortified and I was too! I can’t believe some people!

  • PhilK

    The bigger problem I see is this woman discussing family business with a salon full of strangers, acquaintances, and friends. Family business needs to stay in the family. Not even in-laws, cousins, aunties, etc. need to know what’s going on between me and my wife. You can’t be mad at your husband for telling family business to the kids (even though I think how much you share should depend on the kids’ ages) when you go out and tell anyone who will hear you your family’s problems. That’s pure hypocrisy.

    • Sheree

      I agree with you PhilK about the hypocrisy to a degree. But two things happen at the salon and the barber shop….1. You always feel like the stylist/barber is your therapist. For some reason, people always feel comfortable talking to them. So, obviously this lady was upset and the stylist was comforting her. (I just happened to be there) 2. There is always someone there that you can relate to whenever you, whatever the topic may be. She was hurting and talking about this may have been what she needed. I think talking to [impressionable] children is way more critical than discussing the issue with strangers she may not ever see again.