Parents often think their kids should be "protected" from the harsh truth, but the fact is that kids usually find out everything anyway -- even if they don't find out until they're adults -- and then it's the fact that it was kept from them that bothers them more than the actual secret. But this sort of thing will never happen in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's household, because they have a rule in their house(s): No secrets! Brad told Extra:
We have a policy in our family, no secrets. I mean, there's an age of understanding, so you've got to present it in a way that is age appropriate, but we know our children very well. We want everything to be on the table and any questions they have, for them to ask.
He was talking, of course, about Angelina's double mastectomy, but apparently this applies to everything in Brad and Ange's world. Like I guess this must mean that the kids know that Daddy was married when he met Mommy. Well, why not? They'd Google it anyway.
Some other "secrets" the kids must be in on include:
- Brad's drug use when he was younger.
- Mommy's "blood vial" she wore when married to Billy Bob Thornton.
- Mommy's topless photos with a horse.
- Meet Joe Black. Now that's something hardly anyone knows about!
Hey, I think Brad and Ange have the right idea. How many times do we have to hear about some well-intentioned parent bringing up their kid as their sibling and letting them think that grandma and grandpa are their parents? Never works out, I'm telling you.
I have a friend who had to figure out how to tell her four kids that daddy was gay. One was only a toddler. To that one, she said that "Daddy doesn't love Mommy like a wife anymore," but the others got the stark truth -- which the youngest did too, but in an age-appropriate way. Kids want to know that their parents are truthful people -- I don't think they expect them to be perfect. (Or if they do, the sooner they are disabused of that notion, the better.)
Besides, when you keep secrets from kids, that means you have to lie. And aren't we always telling our kids not to lie? Why should you be any different? It's all in the way you tell it.
Of course, Brad and Ange would have a harder time keeping secrets than most, given that every particle of their lives is out there for public consumption. But it's a good rule for all families to have.
Do you tell your kids everything?
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