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Screaming Infidelities: How Do You Explain Cheating Ways to Kids?

With extremely public accounts of infidelity - how do you explain cheating to your children?

Cheating is not new for famous couples - it is just a bit more public. We know about with a member of his staff, Tiger Woods' sexually charged text messages to a multitude of women that were not his wife, and even a bit too much about Eddie Murphy's encounter with a transsexual prostitute. But how do you explain these moments of infidelity to impressionable young ones?

What’s a parent to do?

Our local Moms (and Dad) Council weighs in.

How do you expalin infidelity to your kids?

Stacey Ross: Speaking as a former school counselor, I think that there are age-appropriate discussions for almost any topic. But often in the case of this topic, kids dealing with their own parents’ infidelity do not need to be involved as much as some parents think. Often they are prematurely forced to deal with issues that they should NOT be subjected to, and they do not have the coping skills and maturity to warrant being privy to such details. Ideally, if adults were approached by kids initiating the topic of “cheating,” they would focus on the virtues of remaining faithful and committed in marriage. It opens up an opportunity to commend people who have remained loyal and faithful to each other during tough times. If appropriate, parents might share the consequences people have to face when they are no longer regarded as trustworthy. More than anything, adults would be wise to listen and reinforce what kids have to say on the topic.

Ray Pearson: My discussions with my kids about infidelity happened when they were in their teens. The discussions were not in a vacuum but around morality, marriage commitment, impact to families and emotional pain. 

Carol Yeh-Garner: Our family doesn't really watch the news so my kids haven't been exposed to the stories about Arnold and Maria, as well as other celebrities. When the time comes, we plan to share with our kids that sometimes people have issues with their marriage and choose to look outside of their marriage for comfort and love. We will highlight that infidelity comes with some very long-term consequences that are difficult for all that are involved, and that a relationship is something that needs constant nurturing and work in order for it to be healthy.

Each week in Moms Talk, our Council will take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Meet our moms and dads:

Carol Yeh-Garner is the mom of a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl who are constantly teaching her how to be a better person. She is also a local HypnoBirthing instructor and HypnoFertility practitioner.

Stacey Ross has one 7-year-old boy and 8-year-old-daughter who remind her daily how precious life is. In addition to running two websites, she writes feature stories for the Carlsbad Patch as well as shares local and national deals for the "Frugal Family" column.

Ray Pearson is the father of three children, ages 26, 23 and 17. He lives with his wife in Carlsbad and devotes most of his nonwork time to young people and the Rotary Club.

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