Dear Straight Talk: My daughter, 17, always attends prom. She is curious about my prom experience. I wasn't popular in high school, but right before graduating, a boy I'd just met asked me to his school’s prom. WOW! I was making prom after all. (Back then, a date was required.) It turned out to be a triple date — to the Motel 6 with a trunk load of booze! I, alone, was blind to the plan. To my credit, I didn't sleep with my date even though the other couples pressured me. On the other hand, I was too insecure to ask to be taken home, or, duh — to PROM! Instead I got totally plastered and wasn't taken home until 5 a.m. The panel probably wants me to share this, but what does Lauren say about ‘sensible’ sharing for this and other wild times? — Toledo
Dear Toledo: You underestimate what young people really want — which are sensible adults, who don’t share too much. The panel nailed every shade of gray on this important question. — Lauren
Taylor, 16: There is definitely a line. Sometimes when my parents share too much, I feel like I’m not living up to their “exciting” lives. Or, I interpret their stories as permission to do something and then I get in trouble.
Katelyn, 18: Parents shouldn’t share their wilder experiences unless it's to guide you to better choices. Kids emulate their parents more than we’d like to believe.
Brandon, 21: Hello?! Your daughter doesn’t need to know you were a skank on prom night! You want to garner respect as a parent, not a party buddy. I’m sure my dad had plenty of wild nights with my mom (and other women). OMG, I can’t visualize this anymore! Thankfully, he hasn’t jeopardized our relationship with any of those stories.
Molly, 21: If told in the context of making a bad choice, a story can be educational. Let her know if she’s ever being pressured to have sex, she can call you (even drunk) and you’ll help her, not punish her.
Ashley, 25: I was determined to do anything I felt like, whether my parents had done it or not. Because my dad told me everything about his past and my mom barely said a peep, I could talk to him, but not her. Best: Don’t reveal everything, but let her know you’ve been through stuff and are there for her.
Ochatre, 23: I love when my parents share. Their stories are given as lessons to build me into a better person. My advice: Ascertain the purpose for which you are sharing something, and the impact it could have on the receiver.
Breanne, 15: My mom was a partier and not interested in school. She’s told me stories of waking up to awful hangovers, or skipping class. She never made any horrible mistakes, and is way past this stage now, but she wants an open relationship with me so she shares these things because she trusts I’m NOT following in her footsteps.
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