Friday, October 9, 2009

Honesty and your kids

The article below came to me today as I was questioning myself over how much to share with our 8 year-old about recently loosing my job. I was upset, hurt and dissapointed and there were a lot of tears!

In a clear, calm, age-appropriate way, we decided to explain to her what had happened and what that meant for us as a family. We were open and honest and answered all her questions. I have to be honest: I was worried that maybe I had "traumatized" my child in some way and that maybe I should have "shielded" her from the truth. Guilt is never too far from a mom's mind!!!

To my surprise, she was understanding and willing to do her part in our efforts to use our resources even more responsibly. Because we were calm, she was able to be calm too!

Modeling for our kids in developmentally-appropriate ways how to handle stressful situations helps them learn that their emotions are valid, real and important. What a great lesson for all of us!!

Scream Free Parenting Tip of the Day

by Hal Runkel, LMFT

Kids are remarkably perceptive creatures. Even infants pick up on parental cues and follow our lead, regardless of the emotion we emit. If you have something major going on with your career, marriage, finances, health – you name it – your children are picking up on it.

Your best course of action is honesty. Pretending like nothing is wrong does nothing but send mixed signals to your kids. It makes them question their own instincts and judgments – one of the cruelest things you can do to them. When your child approaches you with a tough question – especially one involving a perception they have – be simple, be direct, and be honest. You’ll actually be doing them a tremendous favor!

How have you handled life changing situations with your children? What worked for you?


  1. You are so right. Being honest without giving away more information then what's required is a great rule of thumb to follow when bringing up kids. Children are like little barometers who detect the slightest changes in the emotional climate of the household - no sense trying to hide it. It's better to expend your energy in discussion with your partner about how best to present an honest and unified front.

  2. "If we can mention it, we can manage it"....honesty is always the best policy!

    Sorry about your job! I'm going to hope that it is allowing you to open yourself up to bigger and better things!

    Keep shining bright!

  3. I love what you said Connie: children are indeed barometers who truly can feel the slightest changes in the emotional climate... individually and of the family!
    Wendy, I am keeping that saying : "If we can mention it, we can manage it"... I think that if we can name it, we can claim it and own it and move on!
    Thank you for your wonderful feedback!