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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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(Future worries) telling children? - August 29th 2011, 03:10 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Alright, so, I have a hard enough time as it is knowing when and how to tell new close friends / boyfriends about the abuse I suffered in the past, and a thought dawned on my the other day- What about when I'm a parent?

Is it appropriate for a parent to tell their child about being abused/raped as a child? Obviously I'm not planning on announcing it the day my kid turns 2 or anything like that, but I sure that eventually questions will be asked. Why don't you ever want to go to [place]? How did you get those scars? (SH) That sort of thing.

When is a child(/teen, I'm guessing) ready to hear real answers, and what do I say until that time?


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - August 30th 2011, 02:17 AM

That is a tough question and it won't be easy for either of you (you or the child/children) I'd say by the time they're 8-10, they can comprehend it and start to understand things. Until then, just say something like mommy got hurt, or I'll tell you when you're older. And come to think of it I know what you mean. I never really thought about that before. Having to explain to my future kids why they're mommy has scars, or has trouble with eating, or why she doesn't like or is even scared of certain people or places, or why mommy doesn't talk about their grandpa. I see what you mean, but like I said, by 8-10 they can understand for the most part, but whenever you are ready to tell them too. Until then, simple things will work and just a , mommy got hurt, will usually do.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - August 30th 2011, 05:24 AM

Yeah, that definitely works. My sister's trying to decide between the "Grandpa was a bad man" route when they're too young to have details, or the "Grandpa's dead" route, so they don't ask. Personally, I don't want to flat-out lie, so option #2 is out of the question.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - August 30th 2011, 04:30 PM

leochick123 was right in a lot of ways. Telling them you'll "Tell them when they get older" on the other hand is probably not the best course of action.

Don't tell them about it until they are eight-ten, but if they ask before that, give a simple explaination. "A very bad person hurt me once" and leave it at that until they are older. You're abuse, as terrible as it may be has made you stronger, it's not something to hide. The sooner your children understand abuse, the sooner they can protect themselves against it.

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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - August 30th 2011, 08:45 PM

You don't have an obligation to tell your children anything, that's completely up to you if you do. You can teach them right from wrong based on your own experiences, and they can grow up to be great people, but you don't have to reveal you were abused in any way.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 1st 2011, 06:16 AM

someone in my family was abused and she told her child when he turned i think 10-12ish? im pretty sure 12. in the mean while like listed abouve, telling them little things like that u got hurt and if they ask tell them its a long story or that its hard to explain could work.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 1st 2011, 07:23 AM

Thanks for the replies

I guess the part I'm most worried about in the whole "before they're old enough" explaining is the fact that it's my father I'm talking about. If I tell them my Dad hurt me then I'm afraid they'll worry that their Dad will hurt them. "Someone hurt me" is a good enough statement to explain to a child things like why I don't want to go to [ insert place ] or why I have scars, but it doesn't answer why they don't see their grandfather.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 14th 2011, 01:36 PM

Yes, should they ask. Don't say you'l tell them when they get older, things can happen, and ths, it leaves unanswerd questions Trust me, then you feel like you missed something you should have known, the the guilt sets in

If they ask, they WANT to know, you don't have to be graphic, say something like "Mummy got hurt, but a LONG time ago, she's safe now" Tell them THAT until they are older, it doesn't leave unanswerd questions really, and a 5 year old will accept this

With regards to not seeing their grandfather. That is YOUR choosing until they reach the adult age in your country. Then if they WANT to see their grandfather they can, but I suggest telling them he hurt you when they are old enough to understand that that doesn't mean ALL fathers are this way. Simply saying "Grandad is not a nice man" when they are younger will do. They wont make the link to their dad at this age (him being your dad, littlies just see grandad, not mum's dad etc)
If you get why what did he do. Just say again " Grandad is not a nice man, that is all you need to know"

Hope this helped some, if I can be anymore help just Pm or Vm me okay?

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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 14th 2011, 03:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sythan View Post
You don't have an obligation to tell your children anything, that's completely up to you if you do. You can teach them right from wrong based on your own experiences, and they can grow up to be great people, but you don't have to reveal you were abused in any way.
^This.

I'd have to ask why you're even thinking of sharing this with them at all? What's the goal? What are you hoping to accomplish?

This is your issue. If you've addressed it and put it in its proper perspective, then it shouldn't affect either you, your parenting, or them. If, on the other hand, you have this need to tell them, what you're saying to yourself is that work hasn't been done, and you should be in a place (therapy!) to do it, so the emotions don't interfere with your parenting.

The adult world works differently, especially for parents. You have a role that is much different, it's not so much based on what you need, as much as it is what your kids need. So, if something is largely invisible to them, then the choice to tell them should be based on their need to know, not your need to somehow get something back from them for this disclosure. Likewise, if the evidence of S/I for instance, scars, are apparent, then the response needs to be based on the info they can understand and appreciate. Similar to the many questions kids ask, like where babies come from. But, again, that's based on an appreciation of their perspective.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 16th 2011, 01:22 AM

I see you've already gotten a lot of advice which is great! but i'd like to throw in that from my experience with my mom and her abuse that it's been pretty traumatic for me. Just don't spring it on your children if you're feeling especially vulnerable because I have been scolded at during one of her flashbacks or something and she just said it and made me feel like it was my fault. It's not like I could've ever done anything about it and now it's difficult to stop thinking about it because I never wanted to see my mom in that way. just be very careful about how you address it if you decide to, it's not easy having this information.


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 16th 2011, 01:38 PM

My mum has a scar on her wrist that isn't anything to do with self harm. I never once asked her until i was 13. so they may not ask you questions.
I have been raped, sexually assualted and sexually harrassed i am never tellin my children at all, unless they unfortunately get anything like that happen to them then i will. If your going to tell them wait until they are young adults


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Re: (Future worries) telling children? - September 19th 2011, 09:54 PM

I appriciate what Glen shared good anser to your question I feel.
Honesty is your best anser however details are not ... share what is best to keep them safe. As a parent myself I wish for my girls to be safe and not to deal with such questions as you are asking thus if I can anser their questions and show that the world is full of love hoever some people let fear get the best of thema nd therefore harm others that last for a lifetime.


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