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Don’t tell me that! The things our adult children tell us that we wish they wouldn’t

(54 Posts)
morethan2 Sun 22-Dec-19 08:25:58

When I was bringing up my children I clearly remember wanting to do it differently from my parents. One of the things I felt it was important was that they could talk/confide in me about anything. Oh there are times I wished I’d failed. There have been times I’ve wanted to put my hands over my ears and shout NO I’d rather not know that. It doesn’t help that you can’t share your concerns (well unless you have a sister like mine) with anyone. One of my adult children has recently shared something I wish I didn’t know. I’m not overly worried, or at least I don’t think I am! But as they were confiding in me I clearly remember thinking I would never ever have told my parents any of my personal problems. They were blissfully unaware of any of my troubles or at least I think they were. My father in particular would have hated to know anything that made us unhappy. I’m just musings really on how our actions no matter how well intentioned can come and bite us on the bum,

Humbertbear Sun 22-Dec-19 08:35:31

I never told my parents any of my problems, even when I was bullied in primary school. I think we all just got on with it. My DS and DiL are having serious problems with two of their three children and we have become involved because we have been doing a lot of babysitting, often for the third child. The other grandparents are in blissful ignorance and , although I am grateful I can be there to offer support , I also wish I didn’t know what is going on.

Humbertbear Sun 22-Dec-19 08:38:14

morethan2- sorry I also wanted to say that I hope things are soon resolved for your offspring. It is a compliment that they felt they could confide in you but sometimes I think our children don’t realise we are getting older and don’t always want to know.

Calendargirl Sun 22-Dec-19 09:11:05

I know what you mean and sympathise. You want to help and support them in any way, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

sodapop Sun 22-Dec-19 09:11:30

I think we are much more open with our children than ever our parents were. When I was young everything was hush hush and problems discussed in private. It's good that our children trust us and want our advice but as you say morethan2 some things we wish we didn't know.

Gemini1789 Sun 22-Dec-19 09:22:12

I completely understand what you mean. I have always been open with my children and encourage them to open up to me. The trouble is it keeps me awake at night worrying about them. I’ve now told them not to tell me but I am irresistibly drawn to trying to solve their problems.I don’t think motherhood ever ends - at least my kind of motherhood.

Witzend Sun 22-Dec-19 09:24:21

I know the feeling. There are some things you'd rather not know.
One of my dds is an absolutely open book, always has been.
The other is quite the opposite. So I do sometimes worry that there's something wrong that she hasn't told me about! Almost invariably needless worry, thank goodness. But she communicates considerably less than her sister, who either phones or emails just about every day.

sf101 Sun 22-Dec-19 09:40:28

I have a DD who offloads nearly everything good and bad and always has done. Used to worry me when she would come home from school and say no one is talking to her, she's got no friends, and then go bouncing off to school the next day happy as Larry! She got married this year so hoping she shares more with hubby and less with me.
My DS is the complete opposite, and I never told my Dad anything when I was growing up, just got on with it.

Franbern Sun 22-Dec-19 09:40:34

Sometimes, trying to protect parents can be wrong. A couple of years after my Mum died, I became quite poorly - did not tell my Dad any of it as I was concerned about worrying him. When I needed to have quite a major operation for this condition, again I told him nothing about it - just telling him I was going into hospital for a small procedure for 'womans problems'. My condition had nothing whatsoever to do with my gender!!
Anyway, my poor Dad (83 yrs 0ld), turned up at the hospital the day after my op. I was in Intensive Care -my children were being told to say good bye to me each time they left.
I did survive (obviously), and still feel so guilty about my poor Dad and the total shock he had. A few months later he told me he only had his cat to talk to. My children were all too much in shock themselves to take into account the need to help their grandfather.
On the other hand, my eldest daughter got herself into some problems with the law soon after I came out of hospital,. She was always my Dads favorite, (he had been the first person to hold her when she was born). So pleased that I kept all that from him, as he died a few months later. She turned her life around totally and often says to me that she is pleased that Grandpa never knew of that bad time, but she wishes he could see how well she is doing now - nearly thirty years later.
Must admit I do say to my adult children that I do not want them to protect me from anything which is going wrong in their lives. I have told them that if they do not tell me such things -then I will just spend more time worrying about what they are NOT telling me!!!

Coconut Sun 22-Dec-19 10:18:08

I’ve 2 sons 43 and 45, plus a daughter 40. Having had a mother that I couldn’t talk to about anything, as it turned into a lecture or a “control” thing .... I am so happy and a little bit proud too, that my AC can talk to me about anything under the sun, and I in turn can also talk about anything back to them. My best friends, confidantes and advisors, am very lucky.

dragonfly46 Sun 22-Dec-19 10:25:11

Unfortunately my children tell me everything. It is flattering of course, but it does mean a few sleepless nights.
My DD since she has married has now more confidence and I think shares problems with her DH more than me which is good but my DS tells me everything unaware that I worry.

harrigran Sun 22-Dec-19 10:26:10

I have one DC who has always told me all their woes and asked me to keep their secrets, just lately several other family members have too and now my brain is in overload.
I suspect that once they have offloaded to me they then feel relieved and go about their business whereas I am then condemned to sleepless nights. An update from troubled person would help too. I asked one about a particular problem and got the reply "oh that, sorted a few weeks ago".

rizlett Sun 22-Dec-19 10:27:09

Perhaps we might feel good that our adult children talk more about the things that they are dealing with ~ secure in the knowledge that they are letting it out & not because we are expected to solve it all.

Maybe all we need to do is to listen & nothing else.

How nurturing it is just to be heard.

optimist Sun 22-Dec-19 10:39:55

That is exactly my story.

GardenerGran Sun 22-Dec-19 10:42:35

I absolutely know what you mean. I never shared worries with my Mum once I was married. Now my DDIL tells me all her worries when she’s dropping off DGD including any problems she has with DS. She says she feels better afterwards and whatever issues she has are usually soon sorted whereas I lose sleep and fret for days. I really would rather not know unless I can do something to help. I suppose I should be flattered though..

jannxxx Sun 22-Dec-19 10:56:04

my kids and I are close and my grandchildren they tell me things and I'm glad we can talk it all out, however I had a mother who never listened or cared, and I went through some horrific stuff but she wouldn't listen, so I never told anyone anything, still don't,

Greciangirl Sun 22-Dec-19 11:02:17

Children are always a worry, no matter what age.
And yes, I’m having problems with one of mine.

vinasol Sun 22-Dec-19 11:04:05

I do believe in the saying that you are only as happy as your unhappiest child.

Youcantchoosethem Sun 22-Dec-19 11:04:57

Well done you for being such a fantastic parent that they do have the confidence and openness in the relationship to share personal things with you. You have done an amazing job.

I can however appreciate it is sometimes a cross to bear, can cause worry, stress, hurt and can be embarrassing at times, but even when you want to cry, scream or squirm please remind yourself it’s because you are an awesome parent flowers

CatSea Sun 22-Dec-19 11:09:06

My dad tells me most things and I worry a lot but then after shes regaled me with all her angst - she tells me ofc for worrying!!
Like this morning - she messaged me at 7am to say she was taking her 16mnth old to out of hours dr as he'd woken up very wheezy and lethargic.
When she got back - I messaged to see how he was and she said - its viral and he's fine for goodness sake stop worrying!!!! I can't win!

Chestnut Sun 22-Dec-19 11:09:15

I feel much more comfortable if my children tell me their problems than worrying that they are keeping things from me.
Also, if your child is feeling down and this turns into depression wouldn't you rather know before it overwhelms them? You hear dreadful stories of people committing suicide and no-one knew there was anything wrong. It can be very difficult to talk about depression, but if they were in a dark place then I would hope they could come to me.

CatSea Sun 22-Dec-19 11:09:58

That should be daughter not dad!

josiew58 Sun 22-Dec-19 11:10:48

Both ny DD and my DS, 38 and 32 tell me all their thoughts, problems and dilemmas, its fine, I could talk to my mum and must admit to sharing most of what the children told me, between us we could usually solve it, sympathise where needed and then carry on. Last year I lost mum and I didn't realise quite how much it would affect me, my children still share but I tend now to worry myself to death over them. I always come down into their corner and if it's to do with their partners end up resenting the partner long after they have made up or resolved it. Yes, it's very difficult but bless them, they have to talk to someone and I'd rather it was me.

Grammaretto Sun 22-Dec-19 11:23:33

My DM wanted to know about our lives as we were growing up. "Did he kiss you? " became a joke amongst my siblings as we all found it excruciating.
I stopped telling her anything to the extent that I would tell white lies to avoid it.
I never pry into my DC lives but now they probably think I'm uncaring!
You cannot win.

mrsnonsmoker Sun 22-Dec-19 11:29:03

I'd be devastated if my adult DDs had problems they felt they couldn't tell me or come to me with. I can't believe what you are saying - surely you are always their parent?