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Withholding information

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by kobold, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. kobold

    kobold Banned

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    Withholding information

    I'm curios what people here think about withholding information from their children.

    The hypothetical: a child that is adopted. At what point do you tell them, if at all?

    The real situation: my daughter has a condition known as dandy-walker variant. Luckily she has a mild form of it, with only minimal impairment of motor control. She has noticed though that her friends are better at sports than her, and was upset about it. It's difficult to balance wanting to be open with your children, but not wanting them to see themselves as "different" from their friends.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    I'd tell them around 5 or 6. By then they will have already noticed they are different, you just get to fill them in on why. Tell them it isn't their fault and you love them. Better to tell them instead of just letting them get frustrated that they cannot do something and not know why.

    Eventually they will have to know for their own medical records or will find out because of a complication. Either way I'd feel betrayed if my parents had kept something like that from me.

    Good luck no matter what you do.
     
  3. KremBanan

    KremBanan Diabloii.Net Member

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    The hypothetical: As early as possibly
    The real situation: As early as possible
     
  4. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight Diabloii.Net Member

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    Disclaimer: I'm not speaking from experience.

    I guess that depends on the child and his/her individual level of maturity, desire to know, and awareness of the situation. I could be wildly off base here, but I'd say that if a child starts asking seriously, it's important to get the truth out while you can make sure it arrives with some reassurance. Without a direct question, I'd probably judge by just watching for possible signs that s/he could take the knowledge okay, or has begun to notice.

    Again, no experience here, but I'd first consider how much your daughter's syndrome is/appears to be a factor here. If she wants to be better at sports but doesn't play much and her impairment isn't truly central to her performance, you could certainly try just plain old practice first. I'd be ridiculously proud if my child had a minor handicap in terms of, say, basketball, but didn't know about it and just worked to become a decent player regardless, and in that situation, I'd guess your daughter would feel good about that later too, even after she knows. (Sorry for making a few assumptions here...)

    If it is a major issue, then, well...there's a lot to consider, but if asked to choose blindly, I'd lean a little towards not telling her because the perception of difference is a beast for some people, and it tends not to be a huge benefit. I know that's a bit cold and analytical, but that's what I have at this level of knowledge, because ultimately, my choice would depend on what I know about my child's personality and who they are. If I thought my child could handle it given some time, I'd tell.

    Best of luck to you and your daughter.



     
  5. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Even if knowing you are different sucks, she already knows she is different because she isn't as good at sports. It sounds like Dandy-Walker will keep her from becoming good no matter how hard she tries. So either way she is going to know she is different, but telling her will allow her to know why she is different. Being kept in the dark doesn't work unless it is complete darkness, which is already gone.
     
  6. Dondrei

    Dondrei Diabloii.Net Member

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    I think it's up to the parent. I'd personally tell them, probably early on.
     
  7. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    If you tell her then she just has an excuse to give up.

    Its like when a fat person becomes convinced that they are fat beceause of genetics then they are all "Oh hey its not those 2 bags of potato chips for lunch or those hamburgers for dinner, the snickers bars for breakfast, those 6 cans of cola each day and lack of any excersize that is making me fat. Its genetics, so now I can stop trying.

    I mean seriously there are people with only 1 leg who can outrun even experienced athlete runners. Why? Because they try much harder, They want it more and they train harder.

    Just tell her to keep training. Or specialise in a sport where she has the least problems then compleatly outdo the other kids in that field.
     
  8. kobold

    kobold Banned

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    That is exactly why I don't want to tell her. Well said. I want her to understand what is going on, but don't want it to be a crutch either.



     
  9. LunarSolaris

    LunarSolaris Diabloii.Net Member

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    Johnny I might use your example and got he opposite way... sometimes knowing an impairment isn't about having an excuse, but perhaps to use it as a motivator to do her best to overcome it.

    I think that any child who has the capacity to understand should be told. I'm not there Kobold and your obviously know your daughter infinitely better than I do. If you feel that she would be capable of understanding things, I might suggest you consider telling her.

    I would refer back to my first paragraph and suggest in telling her that you provide context to encourage her to try to excel despite the condition she has.
     
  10. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    We are talking about a very small minority here that get on the whole Hollywood "Triumph over Adversity" theme. Most people will just give up. And telling her is either a make or break situation. All or nothing. At a very young age too.



     
  11. toader

    toader Banned

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    If I was in the situation as your daughter, and I grew up, and eventually found out on my own at the age of 16-18+...

    ...I would be severely pissed off at my parents.
     
  12. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    Still a few years to go. Who knows what they might have in store.



     
  13. HockeyChic

    HockeyChic Banned

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    In the case of adoption, I think I would simply make sure they always knew. I can't imagine having to sit down and have a "talk", dropping a bomb on my child like that (That's just my opinion).

    As for your daughter, I would explain it to her. I would also be positive and encouraging about it. That maybe she might have to try a little harder to keep up and although it may be difficult at times and, quite frankly, suck at times, that it's no reason to ever give up.

    Our son has mild cyclic neutropenia. This causes him to wear out, be cranky, sometimes even run a low grade temp. He knows he has this "thing" that makes him not feel so great at times, but he also knows that at those times he just needs to take it a bit easier and not be discouraged by it.

    Her condition does not need to be a crutch and knowing she has it may even encourage her knowing what she can do instead of dwelling on what she can't.
     
  14. KremBanan

    KremBanan Diabloii.Net Member

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    But I do think those 1-legged sprinters are aware of their handicap.



     
  15. bagar

    bagar Diabloii.Net Member

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    Not trying to give any advice to Kobold as the decision will and should ultimately depend on his and his spouses feelings in the matter, but i don't really understand why you would be pissed off when finding out. If the parents explain their decision and their motives for it, in a reasonable way I know i wouldn't be upset for too long, if at all in this case.



     
  16. Merick

    Merick Diabloii.Net Member

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    I remember a story about some people being upset with a one legged runner because they alleged that his prosthesis gave a little springy push which gave him an unfair advantage.



     
  17. Nolecub

    Nolecub Diabloii.Net Member

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    I think they just denied a runner from participating in the olympice because he uses 2 prosthetic legs.

    I would explain to my daughter the facts and emphasize ways of trying to overcome the handicap. It could be discouraging her from trying if she does not know that there is something preventing her from succeeding.



     
  18. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    The point was that the handicap can be overcome and that you dont have to be the worst at sports in the class because you where born to. But with practise you can become better than most in the class.



     
  19. Amra

    Amra Diabloii.Net Member

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    I would definitely tell her. When the time and manner is right of course.

    Each child is different in their own way. Some are too short to be good at basketball. Some can play the piano better. One is good at chess and another is at welding. Each has disabilities/abilities. Some are just more extreme that others.

    It sounds like this is something that won't stop her from having a productive life if she knows about it.


    I disagree. Well, only if they let her.



     
  20. kobold

    kobold Banned

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    On to the next part of the story:

    She already knows. My wife apparently sat her down and had a chat with her about it. She accepts the whole concept, and understands why she had to go for testing (cat-scan and MRI). When questioned by a classmate why she tilts her head, she explained in a matter-of-fact way that it was because she is missing part of her brain.

    I just found out last night that she knows, and have been trying to decide if it was the right time to tell her. I certainly would have told her at some point, but as mentioned earlier, my concern is that I don't want it to be an excuse for her.
     

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