Lots of times as parents we want to show our children how brave we are, how much we have things together, and how well we are doing. We don’t want our children to see us as anything less than perfect. Although, if we are constantly showing them how perfect we are and we are never showing them how we struggle and fall down, how will they ever learn that it’s okay? How will we ever teach our children that true courage is to fail and get back up to try again? We need to be honest with our children, showing them that we too struggle and how we get through that so that when they face challenges they will know how to navigate those situations.
The other night we were sitting there with our son having a conversation about how he needs to use nicer words and think about how he is treating people. He wasn’t totally understanding why until my husband and I shared with him some stories about how people have torn us down with their words. I think that hearing how it hurt us, these people who are supposed to be strong and have everything together, made him understand just how powerful mean words can be. To take it even farther we then shared with him the fact that both of us, even as adults, struggle with being cautious of what we say to people and thinking about how our words will affect other peoples lives. Sharing this with him was actually very difficult for me, I didn’t want to share my downfalls with him, but when he said to me, “I didn’t know it was hard for you too,” I knew that it was worth it.
Another way that we can share our struggles with our children and share with them how we overcome these things is during work or completing things around the house. My children know that doing laundry is a struggle for me and not only because they commonly have to get their clean clothes from a bin in my room. I have told my children that I struggle with the laundry, but not only that, I have asked them for their help. Asking for help on its own can be difficult, but asking your own children for help, that’s really hard! It taught me something though, It taught me that I could show my children that everyone needs help sometimes and it’s okay to ask for help. Secondly, I could show them that they’re a need piece of this family. Sometimes as a kid it can seem as if you are just floating through life without any purpose in your family. When you ask your children for their help you are not making them feel as if you are in charge of them but rather that you actually need them, and what a great feeling it is to feel needed!
I am no parenting expert, obviously, I struggle like everyone else, but I wanted to share these stories with you so that maybe you too could share your struggles with your children. I truly think that this will change the way that children and parents communicate with each other and relate to one another. By showing your weaknesses you are showing them that you trust them enough to be vulnerable with them. By asking for help, you are showing them that you need them in your family. So please, don’t be scared to show your children your weaknesses, share them and show them how you overcome those struggles!