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Old 02-14-2012, 09:30 PM
 
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If one of your children is in serious trouble, (not necessarily legally) do you discuss it with your other children? In most cases with my own, we have not, but they tend to talk to each other anyway.

It came up today because a good friend told me her daughter is addicted to drugs and moved out of the house. I asked how her other 3 children were taking it, and she told me they didn't know about the addiction, and had been told their sister decided to attend school in another state. The other kids are 14, 12 and 8.

My friend wants to protect her daughter's privacy where her siblings are concerned, which I understand, but I wonder if they would benefit from knowing the truth, especially since the mother involved spends days at a time in the other state trying to help her eldest. She also intends to move the family from their current location because of the easy access to drugs, so the other three will be directly affected.

I'm just curious how others feel about using the bad example of one to caution the others.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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since when do kids "decide" to attend school in another state? I simply cannot imagine a scenario where the other 3 kids were not aware of their siblings addiction- your friend has got to be only fooling herself if she believes that
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:11 PM
 
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Perhaps, but that's not really what I was asking. Does a child have the right to an expectation of privacy if they get into trouble or should the siblings be made aware of the problem as a cautionary measure?
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Perhaps, but that's not really what I was asking. Does a child have the right to an expectation of privacy if they get into trouble or should the siblings be made aware of the problem as a cautionary measure?
Usually the kids know something is up with a sibling even before the parents do, I don't see any reason to hide the truth from them. Also it doesn't help an addict to cover up the problem, by the time someone has become an addict, it's as much an illness as anything else.

Also, I don't know what area doesn't have easy access to drugs. Unfortunately it seems that drugs are very easily available and being pushed to kids just about everywhere.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:22 AM
 
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
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I agree usually the siblings know.

If the kids are adults then yes, they have a right to privacy. Not as kids/ teenagers.
How much I would say totally depends on the situation- in the example given, I would definitely tell my other kids, because they may have been experimenting with drugs already. Plus if oldest sibling comes home for a weekend, I'd want informers. On the other hand, if, say, one of my girls got pregnant, it would be up to her what to say and when, but it would probably make me have a general re-inforcing contraception chat with the others.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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The siblings already know. Rumors fly around in schools, churches, etc and many times dozens of people know before the parents know.

As far as "cautionary tale" goes I don't think one sibling should be presented to the others as "see what your sister has done, this could happen to you" That is not fair to the siblings. They should be told and the family should discuss it or even get professional help to cope with the situation and to better help their sister. The other way sounds like throwing the big sister under the bus just to make a point.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
The siblings already know. Rumors fly around in schools, churches, etc and many times dozens of people know before the parents know.
Maybe they do know. Maybe they don't. The question that was posed was should siblings be told by the parents one of the kids is in trouble of some kind.

I vote yes. Not because it should be a speech about "this can happen to you" and the dangers of drugs but, well, because they're my sibling and if they are having difficulty or going through some life altering thing like an addiction, I would want to help them. Knowing might also explain why I saw some behaviors and attitudes that made me raise an eyebrow. No fun guessing What's Up with Mary? and even less fun if mom and dad know but allow the kids to twist in the wind wondering what is going on or find out from rumors in town or at school.

Lying to them about her going to another school seems wrong to me. If they have to have an answer because the kids will ask where she is, it should be an age appropriately explained truthful answer.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Perhaps, but that's not really what I was asking. Does a child have the right to an expectation of privacy if they get into trouble or should the siblings be made aware of the problem as a cautionary measure?
I think it depends on the kind of issue. When talking about a child who is drug addicted I think that parents need to tell the other kids. At one point my middle son thought he might have an STD (it was a heat rash LOL). When he confided in me he asked that I not tell his brothers. I was willing to keep his confidence because that was something that did not affect them.

Drug addiction probably has affected the other kids. And they are in the dark about why their sister moved out, why she has probably been erratic, why she has lied to them, why their mother is preoccupied with her, why she has shut them out, etc....They need to know that nothing they did caused the problem. Siblings worry about one another.

They also need to know that their sister may not be herself. She may try to manipulate them, steal from them, etc...It is not fair to allow them to be victims of someone because they did not have enough information to protect themselves.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: here
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I think kids pick up on more than parents realize. I can remember overhearing my parents, and gathering just enough info to figure our what was going on. Something like drug addiction impacts the whole family. I think the other kids should be told. They're going to find out anyway. Better to hear it from their parents than from someone else.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
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The 12 and 14 year olds maybe but i'm not sure the 8 year old will get it. I'd have to play that one as I saw it. The older two already know I'm sure. Why would you let your addicted child move away? Did she go to rehab? That is my question. Is she out alone with no help getting off of the drugs? How old is the one addicted? Sounds like a strange situation to me.
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