Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Secrets: Did Grandma Spill the Bean?

This Grandma is not spilling the beans!
I was having dinner with my daughter and her friends the other evening and the issue of Grandma Spilling the Beans came up in the conversation. What do I mean by that? Well it seems that some grandparents find it necessary to tell their grandchildren about their parents misdeeds as teens or even as young children. Why would they do that? the young parents asked. We don't want our children think that just because we were stupid they can be too. I could see why they were upset.

One of the grandchildren had been caught driving with younger people in the car before it was legal. When asked why they thought it was okay to do that, the response was that "all the kids sorta ignored that rule". The grandmother that was having the conversation snickered and proceeded to tell all their dad's misdeeds, what trouble he was in and how simply driving with a young person in the car seemed pretty minor in comparison.

Now, I am sure that you would never do that but think about it...aren't you just a little tempted to tell the grandchildren about their mom and dad and how they behaved when they were 5 or 10 or 16? Here is where I warn you to be very careful. Only hold your children up as good role models for their children.

My mother told my children that my husband and I were married when I was 19. While I was not ashamed of it, I didn't want my children to think that getting married at a very young age was a good idea. My husband and I were lucky but a lot of people aren't. I wanted them to get an education and become secure before they took that leap. I would have preferred to share that part of my life when they were adults.

Telling grandchildren about a DUI their father had when he was 17 is not information they need...it opens the window a crack for the idea that it may be okay to drink and drive. The same applies to other pranks or mishaps. That is not information that is yours to share. In fact I would even warn you not to share information on the lack of interest in school. Telling these children that the mom or dad failed in Math is not a good idea.

So, I am just saying. Don't spill the beans all over everyone. It just makes a mess!

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1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. Would it be so terrible if your kids knew when you got married? I don't see sharing the funnies or mistakes in life as being an approval. My kids know that in junior high my husband and a friend climbed to the top of a two story school to of and then could not get down. They think its a hoot but none have indicated a desire to follow.I tend to think of those kinds of stories as family lore that build closeness.


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