Monday Musings: How Much Do We Reveal to Our Kids?

by Samantha on July 1, 2013


How much do our kids need to know?

It’s a question that we, as parents, grapple with on a daily basis.

I’ve spoken before about my particular view of parenting, and how I don’t believe that we should be “friends” with our children. There needs to be a clear demarcation between adult and child, so that the child will have the respect enough to take the advice and knowledge that the parent is passing on to them.

While this may be the case, we as parents, are obliged to prepare our kids for life in the “real” world. This includes  dealing with some of the more unpleasant realities of living such as handling finances, relationship stresses, marriage, divorce and death. These are day-to-day occurrences in the lives of people, yet not particularly ones that we want to have to discuss at length with our kids.

Yet we, as parents, are only human and as a result, we will have to deal with many of these life realities at one time or another. Our kids are a captive audience and unwitting participants as well, when we lose our jobs, our marriages and our loved ones. They’re in the trenches with us whether they like it or not, so they do deserve some type of explanation. The question is: how much?

It’s a fine balance between sheltering our kids from the harsh realities of life and preparing them for the harsh realities of life. We struggle with the question of whether we’ve done the right thing by telling our kids that we’re overdrawn at the bank and have to make ends meet until payday, or that Mommy and Daddy aren’t getting along very well right now, and that’s why they’re seemingly cool with each other over the breakfast table.

In my own experience, my parents never talked to us about money or finances and I rarely saw them fight or argue. But as I became an adult, I realized that like everyone, they did indeed have financial stresses and probably had an argument or two that made them cooly converse over the dinner table.

We don’t want our kids to have unrealistic expectations of life; nor do we want to be so familiar with them that we’re sharing every intimate detail of our personal lives with them either. We want to give them the tools that they require to be able to function successfully in life, once they’ve left the comfort of the family next but we don’t want to scare them, scar them, make them uncomfortable or ultimately hurt them. It’s so hard trying to discern where we draw the line, isn’t it?

So this week, I have to ask: How much of our lives do we reveal to our kids? Where do we draw the line and why? How do we help our children to become adults who understand the important issues that will arise in their lives, and will know how to deal with those situations accordingly? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.

VIDEO: How Much Should We Reveal To Our Kids?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Louay July 2, 2013 at 8:11 am

Samantha, that’s the question every parents asks themselves. Well in my opinion it totally depends on the age factor. If you have to tell your kid something very important then you should wait until they are matured enough to understand all this.


Samantha July 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

Agree, Louay. It’s determining what their maturity level actually is, and that’s what I find challenging. Kids can be deceptive: they may seem okay to handle certain things, and seem mature, but the reality is that they’re often ill-prepared to deal with some of the things that we choose to share with them. That’s why the question is so important; we don’t want to do damage or hurt our kids in our efforts to help them. Thanks for commenting.


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