How much should you tell your kids?
How much should you tell your kids? Karin Eloff, ex erotic dancer and author of Stilleto along with the FAIRLADY team and readers tell us their opinion.
In our August FARILADY, we spoke to Karin Eloff who was once an exotic dancer in the sex industry and is now a successful journalist. She told us about her experiences of raising her daughter and how she has explained her unconventional past to her eight-year-old.
In Karin’s opinion honesty is the best policy when it comes to telling her daughter the truth, but she also realises that there are ways to do it. About her drug use, Karen explained it like this: “I explained drugs (coke) as ‘sniffing poison’. I explained that it makes one stupid and that it can kill you. Clever and logical girl that she is, she asked, ‘So why did you sniff it then’? I had to be honest with her and say that it made me feel good, but that she must know that not everything that makes you feel good IS actually good for you”.
One thing that the article identifies is that this is a difficult aspect of parenting. We asked you and our team how much you should tell your children about your past. Here are some of the answers:
'My children know a lot about my past. In fact, I am going to write a book to leave for them, also telling them what I know about my parents' past.' – Brenda Rose Wellard
'I tell her the stuff that's not R-rated!' – Allison Gibson
'Incredibly important to share the mistakes, reasons for the mistakes, and key learnings with your children. It’s critical that children from a young age also understand that parents are not perfect, that parents are constantly evolving and learning from mistakes.' – Karen Ingrid Feenstra
‘There are so many factors to take into consideration before telling your child about your past, especially if it's controversial. You should firstly analyse your child's personality type and judge if they would be able to mentally cope with what you're about to tell them. If they are too sensitive, due to age, or are just sensitive in general, rather refrain from telling them. Remember to access the situation; if it's relevant to reveal the past to your child and it can benefit he or she in the long-run, then do it.’ – Kelli Clifton, Assistant beauty editor
‘I think it all depends on how sordid your past is and how much you deem necessary to divulge. I'm incredibly close with both my parents and some people say I tell them too much! My mom has told me everything about her past, which a lot of other mothers wouldn't tell their daughters. If anything it helped me realize that my parents are human, that they went through the same things I've gone through and that they got through it. It bought us closer together as a family as I didn't feel the need to live up to any standards.’ – Catherine Zachariou, Junior fashion & beauty editor
‘It depends on how old they are, I think it’s all relative to their age.’ – Candice-Lee Kannemeyer, Fashion and beauty director
‘I would say tell them as little as possible and if you feel the need to share only do so when they are much older and can understand what you are telling them. If your past poses no danger to them and there is no book or video tape keep quiet.’ – Zimkhitha Sulelo, Digital intern
Read the full article: How much should you tell your children about your life? on page 34 of the August issue of FAIRLADY and find out what psychotherapist Coletta Canale has to say on the matter.