Is she wrong to let them learn from their own experiences?
Reading Lily Allen's revelations about not advising her own children about her experiences with drugs made me surprised and shocked to say the least.
Surely, as a parent, your responsibility towards your children is to protect them and guide them into becoming well-balanced, responsible adults?
Yes, I have done things that I'm not proud of and I agree that we need to make mistakes in order to grow as humans, but passing on our knowledge also helps those around us learn.
I am not a parent who wraps their children in cotton wool, I let them go out and make their own mistakes, but with a degree of consideration and plenty of guidance along the way. They need to know the real world.
I had experiences in my younger days where I was so intoxicated that I wasn't aware of what I was doing. The thought of my 16-year-old daughter being in that situation - where she'd be vulnerable of being attacked or making a decision that she could regret - how could I give her my blessing to go out and get in that state?
That would not be protecting her; I firmly believe I would be neglecting my privileged position of being her mother.
The key word here is mother, not friend, not best pal, but mother - the person to help them grow into adulthood. I tell them about the mistakes I've made, so at least they're well informed to make their own (hopefully, wise) decisions.
As the saying goes, if you tell someone they can't do something, they'll probably want to do it even more!
Why would I want to force my own fears and my own mistakes onto my children? It's mistakes that shape our lives and I'd hate for my children to live by my lessons rather than their own.
Of course there's an element of guidance, that's part of being a mum, but I agree with Lily. I've tried drugs, smoking and drinking, so I would also be a hypocrite if I told my children they couldn't do the same.
It's also important to me that they can speak to me about anything without judgement or fear. As my eldest approaches his teenage years, of course I'd rather he didn't drink or take drugs but I know he may experiment.
I wouldn't advise my children against trying something dangerous because almost everything has an element of danger, whether it's swimming in a lake or having a cigarette.
If they wanted to try something new, I'd warn them of the dangers and make sure they had responsible friends to look after them. They'll learn a lot more efficiently from their own experiences than anything they'd learn from me.
I want my children to live their own lives and be able to reflect back on their mistakes. It's the lessons they learn that'll mould them into the wonderful people they will become.