Monday, March 13, 2006

The Dirt About Mom and Dad

Adults know that we should talk to teens about the dangers of substance abuse, porn, eating disorders, promiscuity. But a slimy voice inside our heads asks, "What right do you have to preach? Remember what you did when you were that age?"

Many parents avoid certain subjects of conversation because we're so ashamed. What if our kids asked, "What about you, Mom? Did you ever get drunk in high school?" or "Hey, Dad, did you have sex before you were married?" Here's my question: can parents tell you the truth about their mistakes without tempting you to follow in their footsteps? Do you really want to know the whole messy truth about our teen years?

Some people think that teens need heroes to look up to. They counsel that withholding the truth is not the same as lying. Others recommend that parents leave the door slightly more open for self-disclosure, pointing out that confessing our mistakes, past and present, may encourage our teen to tell the truth about her own struggles.

Would finding out about the mistakes your parents made as teens be helpful to you? Would it bring you closer, and make it easier for you to confess your own shame or pain? Or would it be too much information?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh yes it would help... except my parents were Good kids they really didnt get involved with stuff that could get em in trouble but the man that had the most impact on me was the man who could identify i first person and not tell me what his friends or people he knew did or felt