What do I mean by trouble? Well, it could be anything, like drinking, drugs, reckless driving, being bullied, bullying, or acting out in any number of other ways. Honestly, we parents aren't usually the first to know about many of these things that our own children do, and sometimes we're the last.
Kids are incredibly adept at hiding things from us if they really don't want us to know; they can be very sneaky and crafty. They simply may not want to suffer the consequences of their actions, or perhaps, at a deeper level they just don't want to disappoint us. Also, as parents we can be in a bit of denial, not totally understanding what we're seeing, and maybe only seeing what we'd like to see.
Anyway, once we do find out that our kids are doing things that put them at risk, and we come to understand that our friends knew before we did, and didn't tell us — it hurts. We can feel betrayed and lied to. We wonder why they didn't 'care enough' to tell us, and we feel hurt by that. We think it might have been nice to have heard it from a friend, and yet that didn't happen. We wonder why no one 'bothered' to tell us about such an important thing.
Here are 4 reasons why your friends might not tell you what's really going on with your kid(s):
- They figure you already know. Your friends may think that since they know it, that you must know it too. This is actually a valid assumption on their part. Along with this notion goes the thinking that, 'If she wanted to talk to me about it, she would. So I'm not going to bring it up'. And thus continues the silence between you on the subject.
- They might think you won't believe them. Certainly, this can and has happened. We've all seen a parent who simply is not ready to hear it, staunchly defending their child, and blames their friend for engaging in harmful gossip. Friendships can end this way, and your friend(s) may not be ready to risk it.
- They don't want to embarrass you. In their own way, they may be trying to spare you some pain. Your friends know that you'll probably feel some embarrassment and guilt around what has gone on. They care about you and they don't want to be the one to induce that hurt for you.
- It is always easier not to have the tough conversation. Many tough conversations are never had because they're just plain difficult, so people will avoid them like the plague. It's human nature. People in general aren't adept at having really tough conversations, and so they just don't, and will come up with great excuses (like the 3 above) in order not to. Simply put, it's just easier not to do it, period.
Though you may be hurt at first when you come to realize that you officially were 'the last to know' about your child's behavior, I hope this helps you understand why that may have happened, and that it eases the pain just a little bit.
Additionally, I have to ask. Have you ever been that person who knew something but didn't say anything? For me, I have to answer 'yes.' What about you?
I want to hear all about it in the comments section below!
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