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To those with kids

2778 Views 30 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RageOfCreation
I have a 12 year old daughter (who is very mature and intelligent for her age) and she is aware that I have some very serious problems but really doesn't know what they are beyond anxiety.
For those with kids.... Do you feel it safe and easy to explain DP to your kids? How have they reacted?
Should I show her the "definition" of DP from this site? It so clearly explains how I feel and I think my daughter would understand a bit better if (along with my help and further information) she could read the definition from the site.
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Interesting, I just saw Dakota Fanning (young actress in War of the Worlds) on Letterman. I think she's 11 years old. She is so smart and poised. I understand what you mean by a kid being beyond her years.

My good friend has a daughter of 15 who may as well be 30. She is so responsible, plays violin professionally already.

I don't have children so I don't presume to have the right response, but I like what the Captain said.

This also reminded me. I have a friend who lives in California, Lizzie. I watched her son grow up from a 3 or 4 year old. Spent a lot of time with him. Babysat, etc. He was a smart kid, and an only child. He's in his junior year at Berkeley now ... in love of course etc.

Here's a strange thing. I was at Lizzie's house talking about DP. She CAN'T understand it to save her life, never has, never will, even though was a philosophy major and subsequently a Social Worker before being a full time Mom. She gets depressed now and then, but nothing major.

Any way her son comes into the room looking for CDs or something, around age 12 or 13. I didn't stop talking and Liz is very open about things. I'm explaining this to Liz for the 50th time, and she's saying, "Is it like, this? or that?, etc." Then Adam, her son says. "Oh I've felt that a lot of times. It's weird. Then it goes away."

End of story. He finds the CD he's looking for and leaves the room. No big deal, LOL.

When I observe my close friends with their children, what seems to work, and never ceases to amaze me is honesty and communication (not in major detail) makes these kids (I can't speak for all of them) feel more comfortable.

I guess I am envious. I will never forget when my mother was very ill, was bleeding profusely in her bed before I went to school. She needed a hysterectomy. I was in 6th grade, so about 12. When I asked her what was wrong she told me to shut up and get in the carpool and go to school.

There's a lot more to the story, including her removing her self from the hospital early against medical advice, but her lying about what happened, keeping these "secret" and mysterious from me, made me pull further inwards.

I can't speak for anyone else's kid. I just like the idea of open communication which makes a kid feel "more comfortable" with being able to express his/her concerns.

From someone who really wanted to be a Mom. And I don't know how I would handle this myself, but having grown up with secrecy and lies, I prefer honesty ... of course geared to the level of the child.

Take Care,
And I admire all the parents on the board. You all deserve medals of honor.

EDIT: And of course I realize it isn't easy discussing scary things when they feel they'll lose you. But my mother never explained her problems, even when they were major, and I felt more frightened and confused. My parents were separated early, so I just feared the worst. I feared loss an abandonment.

I agree that DP has got to be the damndest thing to explain to anyone, but kids never cease to amaze me. Sometimes they can comfort an adult!
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I do believe it is extremely difficult to convey this experience. I also believe it can be a predisposition that can be inherited. I'm not sure a child would try to "feel the same way" any more than a child would try to feel any illness.

Children can be empatheitc, or they can try to hide their fears. (Both in extreme aren't good, e.g. if they feel they need to "take care of you" or if they stuff their emotions.

In my position again, I found it absolutely outrageous (especially now as adult) that my mother, though she knew I had anxiety, DP, was depressed as a very little girl did nothing to comfort me. I guess I'm coming from the other POV. She wouldn't let me see a psychiatrist until I was 15.

If she had explained what was happening (again as a psychiatrist herself) I don't think I would have gotten this long term conditioning which has resulted in part (I don't know for certain) with the chronicity of my DP and in earlier years great difficulty coping with it.

The thing is, I suppose, one doesn't explain the chronicity of the DP, but if one is having a bad day to use any of the excuses above and to reassure the child that you are going to feel better and that it has nothing to do with the child, etc.

Again, don't have kids, but have spent a lot of time with them -- my friends' kids. Yes they soak stuff up, but it's like with my friend Liz, or even a select few of my friends I tried to explain DP to in high school and college. They had NO CLUE what I was talking about. None.

Yup, I'm coming from the opposite side of the problem here.

Bottom line, open communication when necessary makes the most sense.

It's so difficult to answer this, as we all have different experiences, relationships with our parents, and kids as adults are so unique. I don't think one can predict the outcome.

I have to go with the parents on this one though, as I don't have a child. But I know if I did, I would have tried like Hell not to be MY mother. And I've heard that doesn't work, that adults say, "MY GOD, I swore I wouldn't do this with my own kids, and here I am sounding like my Dad or Mom."

You have to do what feels best to you. Follow your own instincts I guess.

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