Posted by: PMS | 2012/12/03

Do we tell our son?

My husband had a very hard childhood. He ran away from hom at a young age. Went to the army at 16. Was in reformatary schools cause he rebelled etc. He however turned his life around when he went to the army. He is an wonderful husband and father to our 14 year old son. My brother in law mentioned to him that my hubby was in reformatary. He asked me and I said no. Was I wrong? Do we tell him about his fathers reformatary school etc? I am not sure how he will react or think that if his father behaved in a cetain manner so can her. Or he might see his dad in a different light? My husband is a loving caring family man. What do I do?

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Our expert says:
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Its unfortunate that your husband had a difficult phase early in life, but highly admirable that he has so brilliantly turned his life around and made it so good - that is something to be commended, not hidden.
I'd wonder why your brother in law ( ? your husband's brother ? ) chose to mention the reform school aspect to your son, without checking with either of you as to whether the lad already knew - that was irresponsible and possible hostile, and needs to be understood. But the boy is probably old enough to learn of how marvellously and bravely his father, having got into trouble, turned his life around and made it so good, and how terrific a thing this was for him to do.
Telling the boy prevents any further accidental exposees, and removes any possibility for anyone else to maliciously Tell him.
The message isn't that his father once upon a time behaved badly, and no he can do so, too ; but that his father once long ago behaved badly,regretted it, and made it good. And that's what he should do if ever he does something wrong.

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Our users say:
Posted by: ME | 2012/12/06

Lies have a way of coming out and your son will lose trust in you if you lie to him. Tell him the truth - we''ve all done things in our past we''re not proud of and the fact that your husband turned his life around is something to be proud of and to be a testament and inspiration. Being open with your child will show him that he can trust you and talk to you about anything

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Posted by: John | 2012/12/04

Definitely tell him. The more itis denied or kept secret the more your son will think his father''s past is something to be ashamed about. The fact he turned his life around is something to be proud of. Also being open and honest with your child will encourge him to be open and honest with you as parents - he''ll see you as people who make mistakes too. Telling him will only deepen your relationship. And I agree that his dad should speak to him first.

Reply to John
Posted by: PMS | 2012/12/03

Thanks. Yes, this is our only child. They are very close.

Reply to PMS
Posted by: Lori | 2012/12/03

This is actually a great lesson for your son - learning to take responsibility. Your husband changed his life and took responsibility for his actions and his future. Your son should know that his dad had a difficult life, did wrong, but worked to be a success. He should appreciate his dad even more for being who he is now.

Tell him. Actually his dad should tell him. Is this your only child??

Reply to Lori
Posted by: Maria | 2012/12/03

Don''t lie to your son. The way in which his father turned his life around can be a valuable life lesson for him.

Reply to Maria

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