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When Do I Tell Her the Details?

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM
  • 5 Replies

Ok, so I'm a survivor of domestic violence. One night, shortly after I turned 19, my mother and I were both shot in our home. She died from her injuries. I nearly died from mine.

Now I have a daughter (will be 10 in Nov) and a son (turned 7 in June). All they know is that a bad man hurt my mom and me, and she isn't alive anymore. They know I was hurt very badly but am ok now. They also know he's in prison and will stay there the rest of his life. That's all they know.

My daughter is getting curious. She has asked me a few times for more details about what happened. I've told her that some day I'll tell her more. She wants to know when.

I don't know when. If you were in this position, what factors would you use to determine when your child is ready to learn what happened? How am I supposed to know when she'll be ready to handle it? I'm not in any hurry, but I think she deserves to know at some point.

Plus, I think it can serve as a learning opportunity as this was the result of someone with insufficient coping skills. I have always tried to (age-appropriately) teach her how to handle disappointment, how to be flexible when things don't go exactly how you wanted them to, that if a relationship doesn't work out like you hoped, there WILL be another person out there, etc.

Thanks for your input.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance with the rain  and move to the beat of the thunder .
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by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM
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Replies (1-5):
KelliansMom
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:36 PM
I would think if she is asking then she deserves answers. But that's how my mother was with me if I asked I got a truthful answer. Maybe start with small answers and go from there. Don't give more then she asks. But always be truthfull
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OnTheCrazyTrain
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM
is she mature?
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DivaDynamite
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM


Quoting OnTheCrazyTrain:

is she mature?

Not as mature as she could be.  She's a bit on the immature side.

DivaDynamite
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM


Quoting KelliansMom:

I would think if she is asking then she deserves answers. But that's how my mother was with me if I asked I got a truthful answer. Maybe start with small answers and go from there. Don't give more then she asks. But always be truthfull

This is kind of what path I'm taking...just trying to determine when to increase the level of details.  I'm thinking it isn't something an elementary child needs to know.  I want to protect her, but not over-protect her.  This one is a toughie for me.


KelliansMom
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:58 PM
1 mom liked this
Go with your gut. She will ask about what she can handle. You also can still keep some details hidden from her. We tend to forget that children understand way more then we think. My feeling on things is its better to hear from the parent then stories from others. You can also explain that some details are not meant to be shared with others or that you are not comfortable sharing them at the moment. Like you said you want this to be a teachable moment so keep it at that level. But most important you know your child and your gut feeling will let you know what she can and cannot handle.

Quoting DivaDynamite:



Quoting KelliansMom:

I would think if she is asking then she deserves answers. But that's how my mother was with me if I asked I got a truthful answer. Maybe start with small answers and go from there. Don't give more then she asks. But always be truthfull

This is kind of what path I'm taking...just trying to determine when to increase the level of details.  I'm thinking it isn't something an elementary child needs to know.  I want to protect her, but not over-protect her.  This one is a toughie for me.


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