How open are you with your kids?

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How open are you with your kids?

El-Jaro El-Jaro
When I was growing up, I didn't get a lot of information on relationships from my parents' marriage. I never knew what was going on unless they were fighting about something. To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when I'm yelled at.

If you're in a marriage, how open are you with your children about your relationship? I'm thinking things like "You're dad is thoughtful, he brought me flowers just because" or "Your mom is a great listener and can keep me on task". I'm also wondering about things like "Your dad and I aren't fighting now, we're just disagreeing on _____. Couples argue all the time, it's not a sign of divorce or anything. I still love him."

Thanks in advance for the feedback!
07/13/2010
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Alicia Alicia
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
When I was growing up, I didn't get a lot of information on relationships from my parents' marriage. I never knew what was going on unless they were fighting about something. To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when ...
We're pretty open with our kids. We hug around the kids and kiss around them, nothing too in depth of course. But, they see affection between us. They also see us joke around and laugh and they know that we go out on date night so that we can spend time alone together.

When we're fighting we don't normally say anything to them because we try to keep the fighting on the down low so they don't get scared but if it was clear we were fighting then we will talk to them so that they know everything is ok and that it was just a disagreement or something.
07/13/2010
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Interesting topic. Like you, my parents were not good relationship models - lucky for me, my grandparents were and I leaned a lot by observing what I could.

When I comes to my family - I have to say my kids are much luckier to be growing up in a home where harmony is the rule. I will say that I worry a bit about their ability to handle conflict - because they have little experience with that.

We do not advise our kids much on relationships - we try to lead by example and respond to questions as they arise. So far my 18 & 19 year olds have made good choices - but undoubtedly break-ups are pending and it's important that they can come to you for advice.
07/13/2010
*Ashley* *Ashley*
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
When I was growing up, I didn't get a lot of information on relationships from my parents' marriage. I never knew what was going on unless they were fighting about something. To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when ...
I am in the same boat. I grew up kind of rough and today my parents are divorced. It was had since growing up my father was mostly gone (navy). But when he was home my parents partied, argued, fought, cheated.. not something I want to repeat with my kids. I grew up fasted then needed to be and learned allot in a negative way then being talked to. I now hate confutation and will also shut down when yelled at or if I feel like I’m being put down.

My daughter just turned 2 and I’m due with my son in September. So they are pretty young. But growing up in the environment I did I know I will do just what you are wondering. It is great to reinsure your kids and to set a example for them. You want to show them how to have a healthy relationship and all that fun stuff. I know that I’m going to be very open with my kids but also have a line. I don’t what them to grow up to fast.
07/13/2010
PassionQT PassionQT
We are pretty open with ours, save for the really juicy stuff . And we hardly ever fight. They see us having many stimulating conversations about current issues, etc.. Our daughter said to me the other day "mom, when dad is home (he travels a lot), you two talk ALL the time!". I take that as a good thing .

We both grew up Catholic and there were so many things that my parents tried to do right that ended up being misguided. I don't want to make that same mistake with our children, especially when it comes to their sexuality.

When the time is right, we'll sit them down and have a good discussion with them, something neither set of our parents ever did.
07/13/2010
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
My wife grew up with out a father and my parents separated when I was young. Neither of us got a lot of information on relationships from our parents.

So early one we decided to be as open and forthcoming as possible with our relationship and kids. We always try to teach love and kindness and always show our love for each other, and others as well.

We don't argue much but when we do we make sure to explain to them that everything is OK and mom and/or dad just needed to blow some steam. We also give them the opportunity to vent when they feel they need to with no repercussions from us.
07/13/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
We're pretty open, too. The kids know we really love each other, we tend to have PDA a little too much for the teens' liking, but hell, it's our house. ("EW, you guys are old. Gross!")

My Man and I are both fiery people. I am a hellcat and have a Mediterranean temper with a Celtic short fuse, and the Man reacts just as loudly as I do. I know this probably isn't great for the kids, but also they get to see that people CAN get mad at each other, and scream and yell and 20 minutes later, be apologizing and in each others arms. One of the problems with some kids who come from families that are too quiet, especially if they don't have siblings their age to fight with, is that they think that every argument with their friends or S.O. is a sign of The End. Seeing that people can have real emotion and resolve it teaches kids that ALL emotions are legitimate, as long as you respect each other and let the kids know that is ISN'T their fault, and that you and your partner love each other, even when you are fighting. We always let the kids know (especially the smaller ones, who are home all the time) "Mommy and Daddy love each other very much. We had an argument, and that happens, just like how you argue with your sister/brother but we've worked it out, and it was our issue to work out. Arguing doesn't mean two people stop loving each other."

Most of the divorces I've seen come from icy marriages, where people freeze each other out, and say NOTHING when angry, give each other the silent treatment (that would NEVER happen in our house, we're both too opinionated to say nothing. And shit, when I'm MAD, the person is going to know about it.) I think getting it out in the open, dealing with it, venting, then making up is more healthy.

Likewise, our love is in the open, within reason. The kids know we love each other a lot. Many of their friends come from divorced parents and although there's nothing wrong with that (some people just can't live together and often for VERY good reasons. My parents are divorced and it was probably the best thing they could have done.) having parents who are still together at our older kids' ages is almost a novelty. People always ask me what my kids' last names are, and some people are astounded that ALL the kids, from their 20s down to small ones have the same last name, same Mama, same Daddy. That may be a novelty in this day and age, too.

I've had to explain some of the noises the smaller ones hear at times. (That's one reason I love our White Noise Machine which resides in the Little Ones room.) Letting them know that when people love each other they make each other feel "happy" and that can generate some noise is a good thing. We're also open with sex (although we don't use ourselves or our own experiences as examples, that would just be weird for me) and our kids learn about sex, body parts, reproduction, infant feeding etc naturally, through their own curiosity and honest answers from infancy on.

Your mileage may vary.
07/15/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
When I was growing up, I didn't get a lot of information on relationships from my parents' marriage. I never knew what was going on unless they were fighting about something. To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when ...
Those are GREAT things to tell your kids! I see nothign wring with that and I plan to do it. I don't have kids and am not expecting for a few years though.

"To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when I'm yelled at." I'm the same way. I come from an abusive household that is still extremely dysfunctional to this day. Even now, at 22, I appreciated my mom correcting me when I said she hadn't had sex in years. I thought that with how much my parents yell and fight, and the fact that my mom hasn't worn her wedding ring in years, that they had no passion anymore. Apparently they do...I was baffled.

I have never seen my parents kiss...ever.
07/15/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
Those are GREAT things to tell your kids! I see nothign wring with that and I plan to do it. I don't have kids and am not expecting for a few years though.

"To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when I'm yelled ...
Lauren, it is baffling when people seem to have NO affection for each other and stay together. My Man's parents were like this, I knew them for well over 20 year and NEVER saw them touch, ONCE in all that time. My parents divorced when it went sour, and I thought at least they were honest about the fact that it was over. His parents, different story. No passion, no apparent love, just staying together because if you divorce "people will talk" and the fact that his father considered himself a Catholic and "that isn't allowed."

However, some people who are loud are not necessarily dysfunctional, it's just the way they deal with stress. If you let the children know WHY the two of you were upset and allow them to know it isn't their fault and that you two love each other even when you are fighting, it is MUCH more honest than a relationship conducted through gritted teeth, icy stares, freeze outs, and whispered obscenities, with the kids in the dark but KNOWING something isn't right. Doncha think?
07/15/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
When I was growing up, I didn't get a lot of information on relationships from my parents' marriage. I never knew what was going on unless they were fighting about something. To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when ...
Recently we had a major argument, Sigel and I, in front of the kids and Arch. It scared the girls and concerned Arch. Even Monkey (my baby) was crankier than usual afterwards. Sigel went afterwards and talked to the girls candidly about the fact that this isn't the first time we have argued and won't be the last. I had the same conversation with Arch. Then we switched and I talked to the girls and he talked to Arch. We then sat down and worked out our problem until we were satisfied each of us had been heard (Sigel and I) and we worked to bridge the intimacy gap between us. We modeled this for our kids because we believe they should be armed and have many coping mechanisms that will help them build strong happy relationships. We always talk about how thoughtful the other partners are and treat each other with respect in front of our kids. Our kids learn how to say please and thank you from us...because we say this to each other. It is not unusual for Sigel to walk into the schoolroom and kiss me and say, Thank you for last night...or whatever.
Our kids need to understand that couples fight but you don't walk away from a relationship that isn't abusive just cause you can't agree...you work it out and compromise until you can either agree or agree to disagree.
07/17/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
We're pretty open, too. The kids know we really love each other, we tend to have PDA a little too much for the teens' liking, but hell, it's our house. ("EW, you guys are old. Gross!")

My Man and I are both fiery ...
Heh sounds like our home! We are all very opinionated and tend to get loud but when someone feels like the end is nigh we take a moment to do a reality check. It's a bit more of a dynamic in our house because of Arch and Monkey (our son) but I think all kids feel like it's just a harsh word or scream away that dreaded divorce. We try to show them that even if we did get divorced we'd still love each other and them....mostly and forever them.
07/17/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
Those are GREAT things to tell your kids! I see nothign wring with that and I plan to do it. I don't have kids and am not expecting for a few years though.

"To this day I can't stand yelling and will shut down when I'm yelled ...
WOW I am so sorry Lauren! One of the greatest things my parents did right was to openly show affection to each other. When my Dad left the house he ALWAYS kissed my Mother and whatever kid was around. He kissed my Mom passionately as well! Both Sigel and Arch do the same and they both feel like if they walk out the door without kissing their loved ones goodbye and then (Gods forbid) they should die...then what? Heck Arch still to this day kisses both his Mom and Dad goodbye AND they share a short prayer!
Yes, sex should remain the business of those involved in the bed but dang you shouldn't ever hide your affection for your partner from your kids. Kissing and hand holding is fundamental!
07/17/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Lauren, it is baffling when people seem to have NO affection for each other and stay together. My Man's parents were like this, I knew them for well over 20 year and NEVER saw them touch, ONCE in all that time. My parents divorced when it went ...
Amen! My parents fought loud enough to shake the foundations...made love that loud too just to kinda balance things out you understand...
My GrandParents knew this and tried to hide their fights from my sister and I until they caught us hiding in a closet during one of their whispered arguments. We knew something was wrong and we didn't know which end was up! Neither extreme is ok without the outpouring of love to reassure the little guys that everything is ok...
07/17/2010
usmcwife99 usmcwife99
I dont have kdis of my own but I have custody of 3 girls, there old enough to know if somethings wrong. If its a arguement between me and my husband or something they find out or relize. They know that if I saw "hes driving me crazy" or something I really dont mean it. When it comes to the financial aspect they know more then most and havea good sense of moeny, the oldest one knows the most.

The 2 are in a relationship, I know there gonna grow up one day so I just make sure they know what comes with it both good and bad. Ime there for advice and to talk if they need to.

When it comes to sex they know more then most there age normally would when. The older 2 and me talk about sex and the youngest one we sort of talk about sex a little. As far as my sex life the older two know and the youngest one knows a little. They know I have toys and I know ive bought them some but thats between me them and my husband(well exept I guess people on EF who read this lol)Ile give them space if theres doors closed or something, but if my doors closed they dont bother me lol.


In the end they have matured quikly. Some have told me I expect to much from them, but its a two way street. I dont mind doing stuff the them or buying them stuff if they can take care of school take the garbage out without being told clean there rooms stuff like that. If they seem to lack a little then I seem to treat them more there age.
10/10/2010
SexyTabby SexyTabby
Being honest helps a lot. My husband and I aren't angels and I get verbal at times but we don't hide our emotions from them. We are equally as affectionate and loving. We don't go into details of disagreements or beyond a hug and pat on the butt in front of our children but they know that what Mom and Dad have is a good functioning love for one another and our family. We've been together so long and are so solid that the kids get the benefit of seeing us finishing each others thoughts, knowing the signs of irritation or need, taking care of one another and seeing the joy we have as a family. Sex itself isn't an issue around them. As they get older we will continue with honesty and make sure they are educated in common sense as well. My oldest went through sex ed class and he had a lot of questions but it was all relatively tame and what he didn't ask me was probably more profound then what he did ask. Ended up he talked with Daddy in those regards and both of us reinforced that we are here if he has questions no matter what it is. He's still young though and I'm sure he'll have more serious questions as he matures just as they all will.
10/15/2010
Total posts: 15
Unique posters: 11