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So last week, my niece, who is thirteen, had someone come to their school to talk to her health class about drugs. They encouraged the kids to ask their family members about drugs.
When I was in college, with my step sister (she is three years older), she was kind of a party girl and I became one too (yep, all her fault). We drank and smoked pot casually, not heavily and we didn't get addicted. It never affected my job or my grades. She had a three year old (he's nine now) and I straightened up when I got pregnant just before I turned eighteen. She straightened herself up shortly after because she wanted to set a better example for her son.
Becca (aforementioned niece. She is my step-sister's daughter by her husband's first marriage and my sister legally adopted her after they got married) was over at my house and she asked me if I ever did drugs. She was looking for an honest answer so I told her yes. I told her that, in college, I smoked pot and that I regret it and I told her about my friends that ended up addicted and how they screwed up and about the ones that ended up in jail. I told her that I made a mistake and getting pregnant with Alice forced me to grow up. I stopped smoking pot, I straightened myself up, and still graduated college with a 3.5 GPA, got a good job, and raised my child. I told her that drugs could screw up her life and that I got lucky and was able to get my life back on track before I got in too deep. I told her that as a cautionary tale. I left my sister completely out of it because her history is her business.
Later, my niece told my sister that she wasn't going to do drugs ever because of what I told her. She asked her what I told her and she repeated what I said. My sister calls me and jumps all over me because I should not have told her about drugs. She lied and she thought I should have lied. I told her I was sorry but:
#1 I did not know I was supposed to lie to her.
#2 I would not have lied. If my sister really didn't want me to tell her the truth, I would have just said that I couldn't talk about it with her.
#3 What harm did it do? She does not think less of me and she respects me for telling the truth and says that she is never doing drugs because of what I told her. If I can keep her from the doing the same stupid shit that I did, I'm sure as hell going to try.
#4 How can our kids trust us to come to us with a problem if we lie? Because her mother lied, she thought that she didn't know anything about drugs so she decided to ask someone else.
She's old enough to understand. I don't know what I would have said if one of the younger kids asked but Becca is old enough to hear the truth on her level with an explanation. I made it clear that she should not do drugs and that, if she did, she could screw up her life or end up in jail. My sister doesn't want her to know how wild she was but I made a choice. I have always told my nieces and nephews that they can come to me with anything, even if they feel like they can't go to their parents because I would rather them go to their aunt then to kids at school who may not know the facts or will try to get them to use drugs instead of telling them not to.
Susan said that I confessed like I was proud of my mistakes but that isn't the truth. I made it clear to Becca, that I was ashamed of what I did and I hoped that she wouldn't make the same mistakes that I did. My mother always made sure we were informed. When we asked questions, she gave us answers on our level. I was fifteen when I asked my mother and stepfather if they ever used drugs. My mother had not but my stepfather told me that he did smoke pot in high school and that he didn't want me to go that route (I just hope Becca listens better than I did). When I was a kid, all of my friends asked me sex questions because I knew the right answers. She made sure that we knew the truth. My kids ask questions and I give them right answers. When my sister was pregnant, my four year old asked me lots and lots of questions and I answered them on her level.
Do you think I was wrong to lie? It was her mother's choice to lie but she can't force me to lie when she asked for an honest answer. I didn't tell her about her mother's involvement so I don't see how it harms Susan. Now she knows that she can at least come to me if she asks questions. What would you have said if your child, or a young family member asked you?
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