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She Asked a Question and I Gave an Honest Answer...I Didn't Know I Was Supposed To Lie.

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?

Answer Question
 
Razzle_Dazzle1

Asked by Razzle_Dazzle1 at 11:42 PM on May. 19, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 18 (5,775 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I totally agree with you that it was the right thing. You left her mom out of the story (as I feel you should have-that's on HER)
    I don't understand why parents want to lie to their kids. I have always been honest with mine- about drugs, rape...
    we have a GREAT relationship (daughter is almost 20 and son is almost 17 now)
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:48 PM on May. 19, 2013

  • Her parents knew that they were asked to ask family members. They knew your history. They knew you were together and might talk.
    If they did not want you to say certain things they should have said so, so you had a heads up before you were asked.

    When my own children were about that age, they asked similay questions. I answered them honestly about drugs, sex and drinking. So did my husband.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:49 PM on May. 19, 2013

  • It's never wrong to tell the truth. It will be the one story you can remember correctly. It's not as though you told her how great it was and how she should try it. You told her what you really thought and told her of the long term consequences by telling her about those that have been addicted and the road they took. If she said she is never going to do it then you must have done a good job telling your story. Instead of being mad at you, your sister should be thanking you. Perhaps sending her a "You're Welcome" card is in order.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:59 PM on May. 19, 2013

  • "Later, my niece told my sister that she wasn't going to do drugs ever because of what I told her."

    That line there is proof you did the right thing in telling the truth. Your sister is being an idiot.

    My brother can tell my son a story similar to yours, and I would thank him for doing so.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:49 AM on May. 20, 2013

  • My take is that your sister's feelings don't indicate that something wrong happened. They indicate that she's very UPSET about what happened!
    It makes it harder when her response to her own feelings is to identify the cause of them externally (but this tendency is not limited to your sister!) It is very typical to respond to upset feelings by blaming another person. It's also very typical to respond to that by agreeing or disagreeing (focusing on the validity or lack of validity of the accusation.) When you start establishing guilt or innocence in response to blame, you in effect are suggesting that the feelings are or aren't valid.
    Anyway, I don't believe you did anything wrong.
    I also don't believe your sister's feelings are wrong.
    She wishes you had not said what you said & she feels fearful. The whole issue is very charged for her (hence her own lying.) That signals unresolved stuff, and also fear for her child.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:23 AM on May. 20, 2013

  • I value the truth, even if it's a hard truth. I also despise liars.

    I would have done what you did. Kids are a lot smarter than many people give them credit for. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth, at an age appropriate level.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:33 AM on May. 20, 2013

  • sorry my kids were told about all that stuff at an early age.
    since they were born we used to watch every cop show i could and then when they got older and started talking we started talking about every episode. my kids are 11, 8, and 6 and none of them want anything to do with drugs or drinking.
    thanks to family members they refuse to touch cigarettes. as the girls say "the family members stink to high heaven! no way am i going to smell like that!"
    don't worry, they only tell me that not the family members. lol
    noel1978

    Answer by noel1978 at 9:07 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • oh to answer your question, i did the samething. only mine wasn't nearly as bad as yours. i only tryied pot once and it gave me a worse headache than a hangover did and i never touched it again. but my 1st bf did it and it turned him into an asshole so i won't do it.
    noel1978

    Answer by noel1978 at 9:09 PM on May. 20, 2013

  • I think you did fine. I wouldn't have lied, either. You showed your niece that drugs could have had a negative effect on your life, as they could on hers. Her mom needs to loosen up. Kids don't relate to parents who claim they've always been perfect. Sooner or later, they don't believe it anymore, especially if the truth ever comes out, which it often has a way of doing. Every time you lie to a kid, you risk your future credibility.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 6:47 PM on May. 25, 2013

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