“If you do decide to tell your children, especially when they are young, the only thing on their minds will be how it affects them. So, assuring them that this information does not affect their lives in any way is necessary. If you're remarried, assure them that the current marriage is strong and the family is secure. That's all they really care about. As far as sharing information with children about you or your family's past I think it's important to incorporate it as a teachable moment: what wisdom can you impart? If you don't have anything to teach along with it, it may not be worth sharing.”
“Hang in there, Kim! I have an 11 year old and a 7 year old, and if my own experience is any judge it does get easier! I found the most important thing with my kids at the toddler stage was to slow things way down, and to validate them while at the same time voicing your expectations. Someone wise once reminded me that the word "discipline" comes from the Latin word "to teach". When we slow down, make the parent child relationship an exchange rather than a top down experience, I believe it has long-term benefits for the whole family. I was fortunate in that I worked part time so I had time to bond with my toddlers, spending time painting with my daughter and throwing rocks in streams with my son, among other things. I found when it was time to teach about rules, the things we did together that they wanted to do helped them receive my message a lot easier. Parenting is never a one size fits all approach, but just sharing what helped get me through the insanity! And yeah, my 7 year old son STILL loves to snuggle in the morning!”
“I have been a social worker at a psychiatric hospital working with adolescents, children, and families for 12 years. I have always strongly urged owners to relocate their firearms.
I had an incident with a patient who was in day treatment that drove home the seriousness of firearms in the same home as a family member with mental illness. The adolescent had broken into his father's home and accessed a rifle. The father thought the gun was secure because he had it locked in a safe and did not have ammunition. What the father did not know was the boy had stolen bullets the father had owned in the past but had since disposed of. The boy had had the bullets hidden under his mattress. FOR THREE YEARS. Imagine being the father who arrived home with his son sitting on the front porch with a loaded rifle across his lap. Fortunately, the boy did not use the weapon on himself or anyone else.
You can't predict this behavior. Everyone but the boy was taken by surprise by this. Weapons in the homes of mentally ill people are more a danger for people to use for the purposes of suicide rather than homicide, although risks for both are elevated.
While I support the 2nd amendment, I think families need to use great prudence having guns in the same home as a family member with mental illness. I sincerely hope your husband changes his mind.”