What to tell son?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
What to tell son?
5
Tue, 10-28-2003 - 10:18pm
This is kind of an addition to my "I lied to my parents" post.

Basically, I will be visiting relatives who my mom and dad hate. I have lied to them and told my parents (emotional blackmail) that I won't be seeing them.

My son is 3. What I am afraid of is that he may mention this somehow. I was thinking of coming up with unique names for my aunts and uncles, but then I will have to explain why they can be just Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob. Making a big deal about it will backfire, but are there any other solutions?

Also, how do I explain this as he gets older? "You see son, I am lying to your grandparents and I want you to do it also. BTW, lying is generally wrong."

I know that the easiest solution would be not to go, but I really want to reconnect with that side of my family. I think that they will love me for who I am, not who they think I am or who they want me to be. I need that.

Any ideas?

Ejkdmom Come visit my store: www.leorra.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: ejkdmom
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 8:41am
Your parents have really forced you into a corner. No matter what, you come off looking like a bad guy. First your lied, then you taught your son to lie, and then when it finally came out, your mom got sick anyway. No matter what you do, your mom will get sick over it, thats her choice. You need to decide when it would be best to deal with the fall out.

Next time you have an issue like this, tell your dad that he won't like what you are going to tell him, but you won't lie, and you won't change your mind just to spare his feelings. Your mom doesn't need to know, but if he chooses to tell her, then any resulting sickness is on his head. Throw that guilt crap right back down his throught. Then ask him if he still wants to discuss it.

You could tell your son that his grandparents don't get along with these people, and that they don't want to hear about them at all, so it is best not to say anything about it. But he is three and will most likely forget and slip up. This is probably what you would have told him even if you had not lied to your parents, and they would still be just as upset if they didn't have a clue that you were planning to see this sid of the family.

I'm thinking damage control at this point. It might be time to come clean, and the best way might be through a letter so that your dad can't interrupt or bully you into changing your mind. With a letter, you may be able to explain it very gently to your mom so that she might even understand your need to connect with her family. It might be easier for her to hear about it before the fact and so any resulting sickness is obvously self-serving. If your dad wants to discuss it after the letter, you can always hang up, or leave if he gets disrespectful, or bullys you too much, or you can simply refuse to discuss it, then hang up or leave. You are not a child anymore and don't have to discuss anything with him that you don't want to. This way, if your son slips up, it won't be such a big deal, and he won't be "responsible" for your parent's finding out, or for their reaction.

Have you ever said anything to your mom about how she uses illness to control people? Have you ever told her that you know that she will get upset and then get sick, but that won't make the problem go away nor change your mind? Sometimes when it becomes apparent that other people know their strategy, and that it won't work anymore, they stop doing it.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: ejkdmom
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 4:59pm
It's plain and simple called CONTROL. When we were younger, my sister always got sick, if my parents didn't have a birthday party for her. Every year they have a party for her. Every year, I don't get a party, I never get sick. Now my sister aren't even talking to my parents. She's denying her kids to talk / visit my parents. She can no longer control my parents. My parents are taking sis off their wills. It worked both ways. Either you control your parents of WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN, stop lying to them, and visit your aunts TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, or allow your parents to CONTROL YOU. If they don't meet you halfway, there's bound to be heartaches, pain and suffering. It's your choice. No matter, your parents can not manipulate you, because they have A PROBLEM. But you don't have to go there!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
In reply to: ejkdmom
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 5:58pm
Normally, I would agree. I have been telling them that they could not control me up until recently. I have told my mom and dad that I am an adult.

I don't think I made it clear that my mom is very very sick. She is a cancer patient with complications. They think the cancer is gone, but the treatment has left her practically bedridden. They had to crack her ribs and they are not healing, she had a shunt which the muscle grew around and they had to cut it out, plus some other bad things. I was there for a week and she was only out of bed to go to the bathroom and once to sit at the kitchen table for about 10 minutes. Apparently, this has been on her mind and she needed an answer.

I don't think telling her the truth at this point would serve any purpose except to get her mad and upset. With her history, I can see this killing her (or putting her in the hospital). That is not something I want to happen. I do not like lying at all, but after a lot of soul searching, it was the best solution.

So while you do have good points, I cannot take that path. I appreciate your comments. Do you have any for the situation I am in?

Ejkdmom Come visit my store: www.leorra.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: ejkdmom
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 9:02pm
I wouldn't call what your dad is doing to you "emotional blackmail," since it is a FACT your mother gets sick when she is upset. You already knew this, so your father telling you is not blackmail. It's just stating the facts.

I agree with the other poster, that all you can do at this point is damage control. I truly understand why you made the choice you did, and in your shoes I would probably have done the same, even though I am strongly against lying. Considering your mother's serious condition, I think you made the right choice to not tell her the truth, at least until her condition improves.

However, there still lies the moral dilemma...

One lie begets another, etc. yada yada. So now you are wondering what to tell your son. With a keen eye to how lies seem to multiply, I would be honest with him and just tell him that Grandma and Grandpa don't like the other family, and would become very upset to hear that you are going to visit. Tell him that someday, when Grandma is better, you will talk to her about the visit, but for now he needs to keep it a secret. He may let the news slip anyway, and you'll just have to do the best you can (remember, lies multiply) in dealing with it.

Really, I don't think this is teaching your child to lie... Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, and explained to him in terms he can understand, he will deal with it just fine.

You could, after you return from the visit, keep your son's contact with your family brief and sporadic for a little while. With a 3yo's short attention span, he will likely fall back into the normal routine quickly, and the visit will be less likely to pop up unexpected in his conversations.

As I see it, the only other reasonable option would be to delay the visit until your mother's health improves enough to handle the news.

Good luck and blessings to you, and both families.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: ejkdmom
Fri, 10-31-2003 - 8:22am
I thimk that msfit's suggestion is a very good one, but you should plan for the possibility of your son slipping up.

I have read several articles, and some research lately that suggest strongly that all lies are not necessarly bad. Sometimes, certain kinds of lies are the best we can do in a given situation. So, I wouldn't feel so guilty about lying.