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Would you share this with your kids

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM
  • 21 Replies

There is a lot of family history of addictions and mental health instabilities in my family.  How much of your families past problems should you share with your older teen kids?  The reason I ask is because drug and alcohol addictions are problems in and of itself, but add to it the possibility of chemical imbalancements and it can have really bad outcomes.  I feel knowing what our gene's are up against, might make for better decision making abilities.  But at what age would be appropriate to be candid about it?  

by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
JessicaR7
by Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM
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 Truthfully, it's whenever you feel the time is right.  Trust your instincts as a mom...you have them for a reason. I  think we have gut feelings for a reason.

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM
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My 20 y/o knows that alcoholism runs in my side of the family so I chose to break that cycle for my kids. I think it is important that they know what predispositions the family has as long as they are old enough to understand them.

Msgme
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM
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i have been honest with my kids from when they were old enough to understand.   Asside from Drug and alcohol addictions that run rampant in my family and dh's  there are several other mental issues such as schitzophrenia on my side and dh's side.  as well as BIpolar and other issues.  

wagners7
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

We did sit them down and talk to them about it and for the most part they understand the gravity of the situation.  But for my daughter who is 16, it seems to have created a bit of anxiety for her.  My son  19, who is more analytical, just takes it under advisement.  He's always approached things more from a logical standpoint where my daughter tends to be more emotional.  Of coarse, my intent was to scare the bejeezus out of them so they wouldn't experiment as some of their friends already have or atleast that maybe they would consider their history before making any decisions for themselves.  

Niccalyn
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM
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I told my kids about my father's alcoholism when they started asking questions about drugs and alcohol.  The elementary schools in our area do 'Red Ribbon Week' every Fall, which is like a 'Just Say No' campaign.  In the younger grades they really didn't understand what it was all about and just participated for the fun of it...but when they got to be about 9 or 10, they started asking about the differences between the drugs we take for health issues and when we are sick, and the type of drugs they tell them at school to stay away from.  I figured that was the right time to let them know our family history.  They know alcoholism has a genetic component and they've chosen not to drink thus far...but they are only 17 and 14, so they still have a way to go!

atlmom2
by Susie on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM
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My girls have always known all of their great grandfathers were alcoholics. All 4 of them were. They also know all 3 of my Mom's brothers, their great uncles were alcoholics as well. They were probably 10 or 11 or so when we told them.
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wagners7
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM
1 mom liked this

My kids have always known, if they were paying attention.  We have never hid it from them or censored our conversations.  But this past summer we sat them down and kind of spelled it out for them about what and how it might affect them. Just in light of my daughters recent issues with anxiety, not sure if this is a normal turn of events for her(would have happened anyway) or if it's something I brought on or planted the seed.  Time will tell, I guess and we are working on coping skills to deal with her everyday stresses.  

Momofmenagerie
by Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:58 PM
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I 've shared every tid bit of that type of information. And rehash the importance of knowing it every six months or so. Mine is a younger teen, but it opens up some important conversations that I feel all teens need to know about their family 's medical history.
vlynn.iowa
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM
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Between the ages of 10 and 13.  They most likely will have already had the ""just say no" class in school during these years and that is a good spring board to talk about a family history of addiction.

Jinx-Troublex3
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 8:11 PM
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We cover those topics in health in high school..I would be talking about it about 13yo. Earlier if it is an obvious issue with family members.

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