By: Mia L. Hazlett
I’ve recently had conversations with family and friends about what is “too grown” for children. Now like I’ve mentioned before, me and my kids have gone through a lot in the past year. It’s forced me to have an unusually high amount of “grown” conversations with my daughters. Are they conversations that I enjoy having? By all means no? But it comes down to; there is one thing I always promised my daughters, honesty.
I believe there is a way you can tell children the truth, while still shielding their innocence. It’s not about details and drama; it’s about the simple message without all the gory intricacies they wouldn’t comprehend. Recently I’ve begun dating. I had to be honest with my oldest because she is old enough to know what is going on with my personal life. I don’t tell her everything, but I feel it allows her to accept the fact her father and I are not going to get back together again. She knows we are going to get divorced, but she somehow feels without me dating that I am somehow waiting for her father to come back home. That is not the case at all, but I understand why she would think that. We’ve spent about two years separated and she’s never seen me simply talk to another man.
The point is, we as parents are responsible for having the difficult conversations with our kids. I’ve witnessed the outcomes of what lying to your kids does in some of the now adults I know. They number one, pass it on to their own kids, and number two, have very strained relationships with the parent/s that lied to them. But I think the most detrimental is number three, they don’t see a problem with it. I know in other posts I’ve written, I’ve stressed that kids are smart. If you think you are getting over on your children with your half-truths or outright lies, you’re not. You are taking a very dangerous step into possibly losing your child’s trust.
I will reiterate; I’m not a psychologist, just a woman offering advice based on personal experiences. Because if you are not willing to answer your child’s questions with honesty, and believe it or not your child will eventually find out the facts, they may seek the truth from another source or listen to what others have to say about your situation. This is why I was very happy that I was honest with my daughter when it came to her father and me separating. The one thing I assured her of was; she would be the first to know when and if divorce proceedings began. About three months after the separation, she continually asked me for about a week if we were divorcing. I finally asked why she was so concerned all of a sudden. She told me one of her classmate’s parents were getting divorced and her father had moved out also. It’s only been in the past few months I’ve begun having the divorce talk as promised.
I don’t know if you are going through anything, but I’ve always believed that just because I don’t know what you’re going through, I shouldn’t assume there’s nothing. I believe we all have rough times in our lives and do our best to get through them anyway we can. Whether it’s financial, marital, relationship woes, or maybe just the good ole have-to-have sex talk, be honest with your kids and have the difficult conversation. It’s all about the point of this blog in the first place; you are their parent, not their friend!