It’s NOT apparent to a parent as to how transparent a parent should be, right?
In some ways, I think I seek to be pretty “old school” where parenting is concerned. I am the mother of my children and not the kid-pleasing, need to be liked by my children, “best friend.” When my daughters are older and adults, I’m good with being buddies. It’s one of my greatest hopes as we all grow together.
But, when children are children, I buy into the belief that kids need boundaries and structure. So, as I moved through some covert operations with my daughters, (proper parenting, or so I thought), some challenges began to pop up left and right.
We all know there’s no handbook, but don’t we all wish we had one?
A little more than one year ago, several trusted individuals who specialize in crap that pops up, suggested I begin sharing more of my own difficult historical experience, with my daughters. Each time this was suggested, I must have appeared scared out of my mind, which makes sense, because I absolutely was.
I didn’t really like the idea of pulling myself back into the pain of my own experience, (selfish), but if it meant it would benefit my children, it became a no brainer. I had no idea as to how to actually do it, so I went with my instincts.
I moved forward, and waited for the cues from one or both of my daughters. I grappled with how open I should be about my own history and I still do.
After becoming more open, but having a solid boundary around what will likely never be said, I believe my daughters have the benefit of feeling less alone on mountains they climb.
While they seem to understand they are not the first or the last to walk through something, they also know that even if I haven’t experienced something they’re struggling with, like all of us as parents, they have someone making sure their harness is secure. They may drop on the side of a mountain a bit, but if they fall to the very bottom, (G-d forbid), it’s because they have cut their own ropes.
I know this sounds dismal, and I’m nauseated as I type it. Still, I believe it to be true.
Above all other human beings, I love my children most. The suggested transparency I practice with my children isn’t easy for me, but I know as a parent, it is my responsibility to help my kids. Whether I like it or not, I am meant to go back to certain challenging situations from my own experience.
No matter, like all of us as parents, I will continue to try like hell to help my daughters thrive. While I am their advocate, I hope that some of what I share with them, will help them see that THEY must be the #1 advocates for themselves.
I am always open to parenting advice. Actually, I am pretty open to listening to all advice. Parents and non-parents alike, if you have an idea that you think works to elevate parenting, I am totally open, hungry to learn, and likely, transparent with you.
How to be the best parent, isn’t always apparent. Because of this, I give and take, to and from, the village. Let us be real and transparent about these pitfalls and victories,