You may have been a bit of a wild child a few decades ago, but if you think sharing those experiences with your kids is a good idea, think again. According to a feature on, it's best to keep mum about that time in your life.

Researchers led by assistant professor Jennifer Kam from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed 561 children from grades six to eight with European and Latino descent who have been residing in the US. The questions were about their opinions on drug use, their own drug experiences, and the messages that their parents tell them about drugs.

The researchers discovered that parental discussions have a huge impact on children's beliefs even if it doesn't seem so at the onset. Parents who talk about their own experiences with drugs may cause more trouble, as teens tend to think that it's okay to try because their folks did.

Kam explains, "I think parents are expecting that if they share their experiences this can be used as a teachable moment. But even when the parents say they regretted using drugs, the fact that the parents used them at all undermines the negative point they're trying to make."

Since parents act as moral templates to their children, it's important to set a good example. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't talk to your children about your past mistakes--you should, as they might learn from them. But if you want to talk about those college days when you and your friends used to share a joint, it may be better to keep it under wraps until your child is old enough to understand the real moral of the story.

(Screencap from It's Complicated courtesy of Universal Pictures)

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