Should I tell My Children I’ve had an Abortion?
Many women who have voluntarily terminated a pregnancy wonder if they should share their abortion history with their children. There are a few things to consider before you make this decision. Here are a few suggestions to think about.
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1).Is there a reason to share this information with your children?
Being motivated to tell your children about a past abortion because it serves a purpose for their life is one thing. If you feel like you need to tell them because you are feeling guilty or sad, then the motivation is to ease your own internal rumblings and is not really a good reason for putting this on your children.
If you are sharing publicly about your abortion and therefore do not want your children to hear this news from someone besides you, then this is motivation for sharing your secret. If this is the case, you want to be as open and as honest as possible with them.
If you are not speaking publicly, you should only share your secret if you are running into a situation where it would be helpful for your children to know. For instance if your teenage daughter is starting to use risky behavior in her own life, this would be a good teaching moment to let her know the consequences of such actions. While it may seem scary to share such a deep, dark secret, children want vulnerability and realness from their parents. This could actually then serve the purpose a wonderful life lesson and/or teachable moment.
2).Sharing your voluntary pregnancy termination should always be age appropriate.
I would not recommend telling small children, as they may not be able to understand on a cognitive level a procedure like this.
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3). Even if you decide not to tell your children it is good to give them the message of the importance of them being able to come to you to and communicate in any life situation where they need advice and help.
Sharing with adult children is probably the best format. This gives them the time to have the maturity level for greater understanding. This can also be a time of connection to help them see that you also struggled with difficulties in your own life. This makes you real and again, that is something all of our loved ones need to see in us.