Ask Amy: Should I Tell My Kids The Truth About Their Grandparents?

Ask Amy: Should I Tell My Kids The Truth About Their Grandparents?

Dear Amy: My son and daughter are now middle-aged, and my parents passed away over 20 years ago. I never told my kids the whole truth about my parents. It was awful growing up in a house full of alcohol, anger, and abuse.

The reason I didn’t tell them was because I didn’t want to hurt their memories of their grandmother and grandmother. My parents treated their grandchildren with love, unlike the way my siblings and I treated us while raising us.

I’ve grown and changed over the years to overcome the damage done to my sad childhood, and my children have worked out all that they have suffered because of my incompetence, most likely through therapy.

My daughter and I are close, while my son, to whom I used to be very close, began to treat me lightly as soon as he went out on his own.

I wondered if telling them the true story of my upbringing, including traumatic events they had no proof of happening to me and my siblings, would be OK this late in the game moment. They are very moral and responsible adults and in solid marriages.

I almost feel like I answered my question, but what does Amy think?

Mother: I do not suggest initiating a discussion about this with your children unless there is useful context, and until you are prepared for a wide range of responses, from sympathizing with you – to blaming you for belittling their grandparents after their death.

It would be wise to begin by discussing your childhood trauma with your siblings. They are your fellow survivors. They may have made disclosure choices with their family that will influence you.

Understand that your children may view this as a bombshell and not quite know what to do with what you reveal.

Do you approach this openly as a successful survivor, honestly answering the questions: “What was your grandfather like when you were young?”

“It was tough for us. I’m glad he was so cute.”

I suggest starting an open and frank conversation about your childhood alcohol use. Alcoholism can manifest as a family disorder, and your children should be aware of alcoholism in their family.

Trying to repair the relationship with your son should be a priority. I don’t think you’ll necessarily build a bridge by talking about your childhood experiences, but by encouraging him to talk about his own, and then take it from there.

You mentioned that your children may have sought treatment. Your wizard will help you work through the process, now.

Dear Amy: I attended a big party in a public place. All (many) gifts were laid out on a table.

My gift was expensive and personal, and since it was placed on the table, I was worried that it did not reach the recipient’s hand.

It’s been over a month and I haven’t heard anything. Do I have to call? I don’t want to sound like I’m hunting for a thank you card.

Worry: Yes, call, text message, or email. You can start by saying how much fun you had at the event, and thank the person for inviting you.

Then – be honest! Say, “I was a little freaked out that my gift might have been lost in the pile. Could you do me a favor and let me know if I have received it?”

Dear Amy: “frustrated with in-lawsHe wrote about his wife receiving calls from her brothers every evening.

Here is a mental health provider I started during my family’s struggle period that applies to “drain” calls/messages from family/friends.

We call it the “eight o’clock rule,” and after 8 p.m. every day, we stop talking or thinking about anything negative, troubling, or out of our control.

If we can’t solve it “tonight,” it’s out of our thoughts so we can rest and refresh for the next day. This also applies to receiving calls or texts from others who will not contribute to our moment of rest.

I tell others about this so they know I’m not ignoring them, but allow myself to recharge so I can be the supportive friend or family member who needs it.

It works wonders, and I hope other readers will find some value in this practice.

Recharged: I appreciate the way you put this option, and would recommend it to others.

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson Distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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