Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adam w/ Guest Blogger Vodka Logic:: What do I say

Vodka Logic Says:

Do you stammer when you children start asking you those questions? Have you thought about how you would answer them when the tough questions come up? I know I didn’t and for the most part I have not been asked them and I am not referring to the “how are babies made?” questions or “if Daddy has a penis, what does Mommy have?” questions. I am referring to “Did you have sex before you were married?” or “Mom have you ever smoked pot?” questions. The ones aimed directly at you, that may make you inhale deeply and wonder “now what do I say?”

Do you answer honestly, evade the question, or do you lie? Of course it could depend on what is the real answer. Would it change the way your children think of you if you did use drugs in college [or the past]? Maybe it would depend on the drugs involved. I am not going to go into what I have or have not done in my past but I don’t think I would tell my children about any drug use. If they were very young when they asked I would definitely lie to them, as they may not be able to understand completely. For example when my daughter was young we were talking about drinking and driving with another family and she chimes in “Mom you drink and drive”. I promptly said, “I do no such thing” and it turns out she meant coffee. A very different thing of course but you see my point.

If my child was a teen or older, I probably wouldn’t lie out right but perhaps circle around the answer, again if the answer was yes. The setting is important too, are you joking around or having a serious tete a tete.

There is an exception. If my children were suffering due to drug use of their own it may help to share some experiences. They may need to know they aren’t alone in their experimentation or use. My main agenda in this post though is just the questions that may arise not a family deep in alcohol or drug use. I am sure there are families where the questions don’t need to be asked, the children know from observed behavior.

The question of sex for me is easier. I have children obviously I have had sex and from a young age they know that. I got all the “how are babies made?” questions like most of us get but I have never been asked about premarital sex. As my children are older now, aged 15 3/4 and 21 this month the sex topic is easier. My youngest [both children are girls] winces at the thought of her parents having any sort of intimate relations and the older just laughs. I have had discussions with my older daughter about sex such as don’t forget condoms or please be safe all those parental concerns. I have also told her I don’t expect her to be a virgin when she gets married, most people aren’t these days. It’s her choice of course but as she navigates the dating world and gets closer to possibly finding the one I feel these discussions are more necessary.

I guess I did go off topic in that last paragraph but the point is the sex question probably won’t come up. The question I don’t feel I need to answer is “was there anyone before Dad?” Again, none of their business, if it doesn’t affect [or is it effect] them it isn’t necessary to tell them. I don’t have a problem telling them either, to mind their own business. What happened BC [before children] stays BC.

Adam says:

So what am I supposed to do when my lovely little 8 year old grows up and she is looking for guidance? Do I tell her the right thing or the true thing? The answer should be an easy one, but my counter-part here is having some struggles searching for the answer.

This shouldn't be a hard question to answer. I'm gonna pull a Freud and answer a question with a question. What if you child found out the truth to the question you decided not to spill the beans on?

When looking to someone for guidance, help, or coaching you are assuming that the person who is giving you the advice is truthful, and also walks the walk. I have had bosses tell me what to do, without understanding what it is they are asking. I have seen parents tell their kids not to smoke as they choke on a puff from their Camel Lights. I have seen politicians say one thing, yet do another.

Why is it we need to do the same thing as parents? I have seen parents straight up lie to their kids about their pasts, just to justify two self-serving things. 1. It's not their business and 2. to save face and maybe ridicule from their teenage kids.

Why wouldn't you tell your kids? What are you afraid to say? Are you scared that if you tell your kids the truth, they might actually go out and follow suit?

We are so scared to tell our children the truth, but didn't your parents tell you not to do drugs, or not to have premarital sex? We see how well that might have worked out. Why would you expect your child to actually listen to you, when you yourself defied you parents wishes against it? This is the typical Catholic thing to do. We want to tell our kids what to do, but not actually equip them to make the right decisions. You cannot honestly tell a teenager that having premarital sex is bad, knowing they are going to do it anyway, and not at least tell them what a condom is. I know Vodka Logic said some things to this nature that this is not a problem. My school of thought on this whole idea is, don't hide behind your [self proclaimed] mistakes and let them be a chance to learn and use them to illustrate a point to your kids.

We live in a world of lies. Everywhere you look. The television and movies make having sex for the first time downright glamorous. Little do our kids know that the first time sucks, but it will get better. Or when you take the first hit off the bong, you're going to cough, but the second hit will be better.

We need to give our kids the knowledge so they can make an informed decision. This is something I was taught at a young age. I was never told NOT to have sex before marriage. I was never told that I shouldn't do drugs. I learned about them, I talked about them, and to say the least, I am drug free and I have only had 2 sexual partners. It isn't because the adults around me weren't scared to tell me the truth when asked a simple question. I mean they aren't asking you to smoke up then and there with you. They just want some guidance.

So where do you stand? Pre-teen kids, teens, grown children, will you lie? Will you tell the thruth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


heelsnstocking said...

My kids have thrown some curve balls at me and ive told a few white lies when they were younger but the eldest (9yr old girl) has older friends so she has started asking stuff like whats a lesbian how does daddies special seed get from him to my tummy. Ive been honest but not graphic. I dont want her to be the fool but i equally dont want her to be older than she needs to be. There inosence is what makes them so wonderful and non judgemental, leaving them open to new ideas in life.

Heels x

Anonymous said...

Well since I teach my kids honesty and know that honesty is always the best policy I intend, when asked a tough question like these you two have noted, to lie like a low down dirty dog.

Cara Smith said...

The only thing my husband and I have thought not to be honest and straigt with our kids on is drugs (at least the extent of such use) I did very little and had unsatifactory experiences, while hubs was recreational. We will probably lean more towards the side of my experiences. I don't ever want the guidance I give to my kids to come back with, well you did it.

Missty said...

We try to be honest with our kids... about some stuff. lol The hows and whens of sex - I am straight forward with what I think and what they need to know. I pretty much tell them whatever they ask. I hate that sex is a "secret" so we don't ever discuss it. We have family members who are that way, and there teens act so immature when something sexual is brought up - they giggle, etc. My kids nothing. lol

BUT, as far as experiences you would rather not have thrown back up in your face - I would be careful as to what I say I have done. Because it does get brought back up. And it isn't fun. And its hard to manage. Or backtrack.
Just sayin'
(from a mom who has 4 boys 18 -25 yrs old)

Anjeny said...

I've been asked these questions, in fact when my four older kids were each in 7th grade, they had to take a health class as part of their requirements that covered teen sex, diseases and so forth so they had to come home and interview both parents. Vodka and Adam, all your questions were posed in their interview questions and more and I did give them my honest answers.

I've always tried my best to be completely honest in what I say and do, it's easier to be that way because if I have to lie about something, I would have to come up with more lies to support that lie and quite frankly, I find it a more difficult to keep track. And then I try to teach by example, too, actually, I'm really big on teaching by example. I grew up with adults all around who were constantly preaching about one thing and live just the opposite, very hypocritical in my book.

Of course, I do believe that you don't need to go divulging information about your past to your kids if they don't ask about it.

Great post, you two.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

TO me it's just about being as honest as one can be at whatever is age appropriate.

My kids when they asked are told their right words to certain parts of the anatomy. But as far as what goes on specifically in the sexual act? Nah... they haven't asked I haven't told.

However, I do plan on having them watch a bunch of baby births and all that comes with it when it is time so that they know the CONSEQUENCE of sex before they are married. Yes, I'm still old school.

As far as my past? I have nothing to hide. But if I did... I'd be honest if they asked, but I wouldn't tell if they didn't.

Awesome, awesome post you guys!

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Being honest doesn't mean having to tell the entire truth. I believe its about what's best for the kid. What lesson are you trying to impart? My kids aren't my buddies. They don't need to know every detail of my life before I was a parent. But if revealing some truth about myself could help them, I would in a second.

MiMi said...

I'm not gonna lie.
I'm ALL FOR a little lie now and then.

Vodka Logic said...

Mimi, I knew I liked you...

Geek by, that is my point, I can be honest to the extent that fits the age and situation. I also think that until the situation arises I really don't know exactly what I will say..

I don't think I have anything to hide but I do think as an adult and parent I don't owe my children every detail.

Dare I say "dont ask don't tell"

TQ Writer said...

so we are teaching our kids to tell the truth, but when it comes to tough questions, we lie?

what are YOU doing when your integrity is held is questions, ie, they figure out you were lying.

I don't understand, regardless of what you may have to hide, you cannot admit that, yes you may have had premarital sex, and yes, I might or might not have done coke off a stripper's ass?

Vodka Logic said...

Cant say I ever did coke off a strippers ass thats no lie.

So half truths and omissions are lies too? I just think there are lines to be drawn in how much my kids need to or are entitled to know.

they don't know how much I weigh either.. oops.

"hey dad my bf wants a blow job how exactly does that work" You going to tell her?
I am not trying to be rude just is there a line you draw.

TQ Writer said...

No omissions are not lies, but if my daughter asks me a question, I will answer it. very easily.

a blow job is oral stimulation of a penis. pretty simple stuff. I hope they make a nasty face and say, I want to be a lesbian, because I would feel good about that too.

But if my child asks me a yes and no question, I will answer it as such.

dad, did you ever do drugs?

no. [not lying]

dad. did you ever have pre-marital sex?


I am not offering details, it is a yes or no question. If they ask for an elaboration, I will explain it.

These are not the tough questions to me. the tough ones are, dad what is this blood stain in my undies. That i am terrified of.

Anonymous said...

Both of my parents were very honest with me when it cames to things like sex before marriage and drugs. Both told me they drank and experimented with drugs. But had sex before they were married.

I plan to do the same. I see no point in lieing to my children about my past.

I experiemented and used drugs. I'm not proud of that. Far from it. I was stupid and made mistakes. I paid for it too. Lost friends, had a hospital visit once or twice, etc.

I had bad experiences with those things and can actually explain what happens, not just rely on books for the answers. It's the only positive that came out of those experiences.

I also want to add that I agree with Shelle; age appropriate answers. And unless ask, not telling. I wont lie, but will wait until that topic comes up.

Vodka Logic said...

My parents were not open with me, most of what I learned about sex and drugs was on my own or in sex ed classes. Perhaps that has to do with the way I would react. As I said in my post, if I really felt it would help my child I would elaborate more but just for the sake of their curiosity I see no reason. The yes answer will lead to more questions.

Adam do you really think your answer will satisfy? Too clinical..thats easy.. and as for the blood stain.. chicken.

Gender certainly has a lot to do with that topic. I am a woman and I am raising girls.. no problem. If I had had sons and was asked what that "wet spot" was... off to your father with that one.

It would seem how we are raised plays a part in it.

secret agent woman said...

I've always been honest with my kids, at a level I felt they were ready for. I don't know that I'd give details like number of sexual partners, but I also think it's okay to tell kids that some things are none of their business. But the kids certainly know things like the fact that their Dad and I lived together before we got married and they are also aware that both of us have had intimate relationships since we've been divorced. I want my kids to see sex as a healthy part of a relationship. They know I drink wine and beer since I keep it in the house. So in general, I think honesty is the best route.