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jlai
10-19-2010, 12:44 AM
Do you keep bad family news from your children? My family do that all the time and I always wonder why they do that (to me anyway).

For example, my brother in law told me recently his brother got arrested for drug possession/trafficking, and his bro's wife was leaving him. My bil also told me he was keeping this piece of news from his children (who are between 10-14).

At about the same time, my mom also told me that my cousin was getting a divorce, but she made me promise I must not tell my brother because that will "affect" my brother's marriage in some way. :huh: Years ago, my mom also decided to keep the news of her own mom's death from me, so I didn't learn about the details surrounding grandma's death until years after.

I've been wondering about why people decide to keep family news from family, and I always wonder if this is cultural, or how widespread it is.

So question is: Do you do it, and why?

jp1andonly
10-19-2010, 01:02 AM
my parents didnt tell me my grandma had cancer. At the time I was in a different province and they worried about how my health would react to the news..I have MS. When my grandpa passed they didnt tell me until the week after the funeral. At the time I was doing my teaching practicum and had a big concert to conduct at . They knew I couldnt come home for the funeral and waited until the oncert was done. Was it the right thing to do? Probably not, but in the case of my grandpa, they were right in that I couldnt fly home and really would have just been worried the whole time

Auntie
10-19-2010, 01:16 AM
Most of my husband's family rarely discuss any negative personal issues. I think it stems from a New England yankee tendency to respect other people's privacy and to "just suck it up". The problem with that is that you can't be supportive about things that you don't know about it.

I'm pretty honest with my children but do sensor a bit depending on the circumstances. They tend to have an idea that something is up, even if you don't discuss it in front of them.

genevieve
10-19-2010, 01:19 AM
I'm the youngest, so my family often tries to shield me from bad news (even though I'm well beyond being a child). As a result I grew up with a highly developed ability to read people. My mom also has a habit of giving me family news in really inappropriate ways. When my grandfather (dad's dad) died when I was 11, she took me out to dinner and told me right right as our food arrived :rolleyes: :mad: :wall:

OTOH, the summer after high school I lived with a friend at her dad's house while we worked together. He mom had left the family a year before - her own kids didn't know where she lived, and she would call them, they weren't allowed to have her phone number. If that wasn't strange enough, I took a road trip with them to the dad's family's house. Right before we arrived, the dad stammered out that his family didn't know his wife had left them, he told them she was on a business trip and couldn't make it. Could I please make sure to not say anything different? I was :eek: and nervous all weekend I would say the wrong thing.

milanessa
10-19-2010, 01:27 AM
My mother got married when I was 16 without telling me - I had no idea it was even in the works until we moved in with my step-father. I'd only met him once. :lol:

myhoneyhoney
10-19-2010, 01:35 AM
My family either chooses to not tell me or "forgets" to tell us "kids". For instance, a couple of months ago I found out my Grandma was in the hospital. What pissed me off? My Grandma was already in the hospital for a WEEK and I had to read about it on Facebook when my cousin posted about just finding out she was in the hospital herself! My Grandma is like a mom to me because my own mom was always too busy working full time while attending college full time when I was a child. This is just one example of many news that I wasn't told and just found out "accidentally". My family is filipino. My husband's family is the same way, very "hush hush" about the negative things. They actually tried to tell my kids that my FIL was on vacation instead of the truth, he was sent to jail! My husband's family is white. I really don't think race or ethnicity matters much when it comes to keeping information away.
When it comes to my kids, they know the truth. Hubby and I chose it this way. They need to understand how life really is, maybe not the full guts and gore of it all, but it's certainly not sugar coated.

skaternum
10-19-2010, 01:51 AM
A friend of mine comes from a large, close Vietnamese family. Her father died almost 16 months ago, and so far they've managed to keep it from the grandmother! She actually came all the way from Vietnam to the States for a visit and has stayed, but they just tell her he's ill and in the hospital. Can you imagine the stress of not being able to openly grieve your father's / husband's death and trying to keep up the charade? It makes me crazy just thinking about it.

genevieve
10-19-2010, 01:51 AM
My mother got married when was 16 without telling me - I had no idea it was even in the works until we moved in with my step-father. I'd only met him once. :lol:
When I first read this, I thought you meant your mom got married when SHE was 16 and didn't tell you - as in, she had some secret short marriage before she had you and you had found out accidentally (which wouldn't be that strange of a secret to keep). Or that she had you when she was very, very young :saint:

Prancer
10-19-2010, 02:16 AM
My in-laws never tell us any bad news about anyone--and some news that isn't necessarily bad but they think should be private. Like, oh, my husband's siblings getting married or divorced. Or moving to another state. Or getting pregnant. Meaningless little stuff like that. But that's kind of par for the course; it's like a family habit to not tell the parents any of that stuff, either, until it's absolutely necessary for some reason. Everyone always says it's because they don't want to worry anyone or that it's just none of anyone else's business, which I find :eek:.

My FIL is having some major health problems right now, but can we get any information out of anyone about it? No. Because my MIL thinks we shouldn't worry about such foolishness.

I always thought my family was more open, but when my mom realized that she had only a few months to live, she took me aside and told me that as the only female in the family, I had to become the keeper of the family skeletons. And then she unloaded a whole lot of :eek: stuff on me and told me to Never Tell Anyone Because It Was All Very Bad.

I will admit that I don't always tell my kids everything. We haven't told them how sick my FIL is, although we have told them that he's pretty sick. I don't know if that's because we don't want to worry them or because we don't know enough to know how worried they should be. I told them that my mom had cancer and was going to die even though they were very little because I didn't want it be a shock to them when it happened, but I held off telling them for a long time because I didn't think they could handle it for a prolonged period. But if it were happening now, I would tell them almost immediately, so they could come to terms with it.

I dunno. It's hard to know what the right thing is to do when you have children, and I don't think most people ever come to think of their children as anything other than children. And maybe sometimes if you are overwhelmed yourself, it's hard to tell people something difficult and deal with their responses?

Aussie Willy
10-19-2010, 02:35 AM
My family either chooses to not tell me or "forgets" to tell us "kids". For instance, a couple of months ago I found out my Grandma was in the hospital. What pissed me off? My Grandma was already in the hospital for a WEEK and I had to read about it on Facebook when my cousin posted about just finding out she was in the hospital herself!

Probably another reason not to do Facebook. Because someone is going to get offended. My mum found out something about my sister on Facebook which I can't remember what it was (she had posted it to my other sister). Knowing both my mum and my sister and the way they would respond, it was probably not a good idea for her to post it.

I have been told later after my dad had a health scare (had a couple of stints put in his heart). But when he had a pacemaker put in I got a phone call straight away which I appreciated.

milanessa
10-19-2010, 02:42 AM
When I first read this, I thought you meant your mom got married when SHE was 16 and didn't tell you - as in, she had some secret short marriage before she had you and you had found out accidentally (which wouldn't be that strange of a secret to keep). Or that she had you when she was very, very young :saint:

Oops. :lol:

jlai
10-19-2010, 02:47 AM
Oops. :lol:

My first thought was even stranger: that you as a fetus asserting your right to be informed about the marriage. :o

Matryeshka
10-19-2010, 02:50 AM
Not our family. We revel in our relatives' foibles with fiendish glee. We were all :watch: when eville beyotch cousin got her second divorce. We trade such info with abandon. And I'm sure she got just as much of a kick out of me being laid off.

And yes, that is truly dreadful. OTOH, if something's really wrong, someone's really in trouble, we all know instantly and can openly talk about it.

There are pros and cons to being the type of family that lets it all out or tucks it all in.

Allskate
10-19-2010, 03:03 AM
Yeah, my family lies and covers up all the time. I'm pretty sure my parents lied about the year that they were married and that my mother was pregnant at the time. My grandmother lied to other family members about the date of my uncle's wedding -- my cousin was born very prematurely. :lol: My mother originally tried duping me about that, but I pointed out that I did know basic math and actually had met my cousin, who was very, very large for a newborn.

They also bury their heads in the sand about drug use. There are much uglier things they've hidden about abuse and about abandonment of children from other relationships. I still don't know all the details.

BigB08822
10-19-2010, 03:49 AM
My mom tends to be like that. I don't remember it being an issue when I was young but it is an issue now that I am out of the house and out of the state. She got married without telling me. When I brought it up she just said "are you sure I didn't tell you?" I think I would remember a wedding announcement! My mom and her brothers and sisters were suddenly abandoned by their mother when they were very young. While they had the best Dad in the world as well as the best stepmom one could ask for, it has to have an effect and I wonder if this is part of her issue.