Thursday, July 8, 2010

Needing Advice

Last night my oldest daughter shared something with me. And then she asked me not to share it with Martha. Because, she said, Martha would freak. And she is right - Martha would go ballistic.

But now I have a dilemma. This is something I should share with Martha. I really should. But I don’t want to break Beanie’s confidence. And I want her to contitnue to feel safe in talking to me.

So I am caught betwixt and between. The confidentially of the child or the right to know (should know) of the parent? Anyone have any experience with this? Any pearls of wisdom? I tossed and turned all night. Any and all advice would be appreciated.


  1. A promise is a promise and if you do not stand by your word with her, you truly will lose her trust. That's really tough to take. That said, I think the parents out there would be of better help than me with this.

  2. One story comes to mind. A friend's son came home for the summer following his first year of college with a big bag of weed. "I hope it's OK if I do this in the house sometimes," he asked his Mom, "I don't want there to be any secrets between us."

    Like you, my friend tossed and turned all night. The next morning, still unsure whether she was doing the right thing, she called her ex-husband and gave him the scoop. The ex marched over, dumped the son's pot down the toilet and gave him an unequivocal lecture. My friend felt guilty; she was afraid she'd broken her son's trust.

    And, indeed, he probably behaved like a total tool for a few days or weeks - stomping upstairs and whatnot. But I guess the moral of the story is that even when your kids are grown, someone still needs to be the parent.

  3. greg - I did not promise her. When she asked me not to tell Martha, I told her I would have to think about it.

    August - thanks for taking to time to comment. Fortunately, its not drugs, but you have given me something to think about.

  4. Here's what I would do. I would talk to Beanie and say, "I have to tell Martha. This is too important. She is your other parent, after all, and loves you and will need to know." Then I would ask her to come with me to tell Martha.

    These are the times that try a mother's soul. And heart. And spirit.

    Big Hugs!

  5. I agree with E but I would tell Beanie that she should tell Martha herself. Or that you'd go with her to tell Martha.

    If she doesn't want to -- you can offer to tell her for her...

    But tell her how you couldn't sleep over it because you felt like Martha has a right to know.

    I would not, under any circumstances, tell Martha without warning Beanie first.

    Hang in there!

  6. FWIW, I agree with e and Tina-cious.

    The good news is that Beanie talked to you about it.


  7. Thanks everybody for all your collective wisdom. It has helped me considerably.

    I have decided to talk to Beanie and explain to her why I feel it's important that Martha be in the loop. I am hopeful that she will agree. If she doesn't, I have decided to keep her confidence. As much as I don't like keeping things from Martha, it is probably more important, in this instance, to keep the lines of communication open with my daughter.

    And now I wonder how much is being kept from me . . .

  8. I have encountered this with my 16 year old. I think it depends on the secret, if it is something serious or that could be potentially harmful to the child, you may want to calmly discuss with your partner...if however, it is something that doesn't really warrant a 'red flag' I'd keep your promise.

    Recently, my 16 year old shared something with me and I didn't tell my wife. But I told my daughter, if she felt comfortable she could tell her other parent as well...and she did on her own time.

    Honesty and open lines of communication are a must with our teens. :-)