You cannot tell your children everything. I'll repeat: YOU CANNOT TELL YOUR CHILDREN EVERYTHING.
Many thanks to the Redditors who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article.
1. The things we do as married adults.
My wife explained the birds and the bees to my mortified 9 year-old daughter. The next day she asked me "Did you and mommy do that so I would be born?"
Looking down at my sweet daughter, I had to soften the blow. I couldn't destroy her little world with the knowledge that daddy had willingly done these disgusting things to her mother. So I said the first thing that came to my mind: "Mommy made me do it."
2. That "Batman", who calls them when they're misbehaving, is actually my Arabic co-worker cussing them out in Arabic.
3. Pretty much anything I did between the ages of 16 and 22.
4. That I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm literally just them, but a few decades on.
At no point did I suddenly transform into an adult. I love naps, candy, rolling around on the couch mumbling to myself, being warm and cosy. I'm still not keen on the dark, don't like going to the dentist, forget stuff all the time.
Everything has been a conscious effort to act like some hypothetical adult figure OR a massive effort not to think too hard about stuff like mortgage payments, responsibility, duties in case it overwhelms me and I find myself paralyzed by fear.
Basically we are the same. I am you with a lot of life on my shoulders. You are me before it all happened.
5. Alternatively, what I do want my daughter to know is I still love her and I didn't cheat on her mom and leave her, it was her cheating on me and taking my daughter away from me. She's only 4 but she knows enough to hate me and not even look at me. It breaks my heart.
6. That I dropped out of High School and got my GED.
I want her to graduate, not one day say to me, "Well you dropped out, why can't I?"
7. That I spank their mom all the time.
8. That I met her father on a BDSM dating site and that we normally don't have sex with out some sort of roughness or kink. Or about our drawer of fun.
9. That I don't like being a parent.
I love my kids, but I miss being able to be selfish once and a while without feeling like an enormous piece of crap.
10. The meals my wife and skipped out on so he could have food.
11. I was a heroin addict for many years and on methadone for several more before I got clean. My son was 8 when I was finally done with it.
12. My dad probably doesn't want me to know that he had a penis enlargement. I went into hospital once for a lump on my balls and the doctor looked at my medical records and said something about a penis enlargement.
Then when I told him I hadn't had one, he showed me the records, which clearly stated the procedure. I then noticed that the DoB was wrong and I went on tell him. He clearly hadn't looked at the age and just gone on name and address. (we have the same name, my dad and I).
13. As a dad, I'm not really a huge fan of the idea that any aspect of my life should be a secret. I really didn't know a lot about my own dad before he died (he was in my life, just a very private person).
I learned more about his past in the week it took to clear out his apartment than I did in the 27 years I knew him.
14. That I was a Stripper in my early 20s.
15. My wife and I are good people, college graduates, decent jobs, take care of our family.
Things got carried away one night with one my wife's friends and we had a threesome while my son was in his crib in our room.
16. That I was boring as heck. I Never did anything or have a secret sex life that I'd want to hide. Guess that's something I wouldn't want the kids to know, who wants to be known for being boring.
17. All the partying and drugs I did in college. The random sex, skipping class, going to Mexico with some guy I met two days before. Drinking ALL.THE.TIME.
Getting a DUI, abusing Rx drugs, going to psych wards (twice). I'll try to keep most of my past the past.
18. The amount of times their strong invincible daddy has cried without them seeing.
19. That V8 isn't colloquially known as "superman juice" and that it doesn't actually make you immediately grow and run faster.
I demonstrate the effects of it by standing behind the kitchen counter as they sit and watch me drink it myself, then I slightly go on my tiptoes as their eyes widen and their jaws drop to the floor. meanwhile I pretend to not notice if anything happened and ask them if I grew at all... then with wide-eyes they squeal that I did and furiously chug the V8. Then they ask me if they grew and I tell them their arms got juuuust a little longer... or their ears grew juuuuust a little... etc... then they sprint across the house to see if they feel faster.
Good way of getting them to drink some liquid veggies and get some exercise.
20. I really really wanted a boy but after she was born I was happy to have a girl.
21. That I met her mother on an online dating website.
If she asks I'll do a Mosby and go through my life story of love conquests... With any luck she won't last the 5 minutes.
22. That I have no college degree and mommy does - yet I make six figures and mommy couldn't even find a job in her field. Also, we were both arrested for DUI's and were both on probation at the same time when we met. In fact, it's what we talked about - when we met at a bar.....I tried to buy her a drink, she had a breathalizer in her car and couldn't drink because of DUI. The rest, as they say, is history.
23. I don't tell many people this but, I never wanted children. When I found out I was pregnant, I was absolutely devastated. I made an appointment to have an abortion, but never went through with it and throughout my pregnancy I don't think bonded with her. I almost tried to act as if it wasn't happening. And even when I gave birth, I was scared to death.
It took a while for me to bond with her and when I finally did, she had a regression and a major personality change and was diagnosed with autism. I feel responsible because of my negative attitude during my pregnancy. Now, I love her more than life itself. Everyday she gives me a reason to smile. And she has the such a beautiful soul. But my pregnancy is my most shameful time in my life.
24. How much trouble I would have been in if social media existed when I was in school.
25. I'm probably okay with her knowing most everything about me. It's just a matter of when she learns it.
She is 5 now, so I would be upset if she learned about how I was raped because she is too young to know that horrible things like that happen. I play to tell her either right before or right when she starts high school (I was 16 when I was raped) so I want her to know to be safe.
Stuff like that.
26. That we have a drawer full of sex toys ranging from the mundane (vibrators, lubes, etc) to the medium (nipple clamps, bdsm stuff, vibrators intended to be used in public spaces) to the extreme (a vast assortment of buttplugs), a VAST collection of marijuana paraphernalia and marijuana itself, and full color, high quality nude pictures of each other.
Being an adult is awesome.
27. Before I was married and had my kids, I spent 6 years in the Navy, 4 of those years on a ship with 2 deployments overseas. I would not want my kids to know what took place on those deployments. Nothing bad, but very much "adult content" that they don't need to hear their father being involved in.
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.