Parenting is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. I desperately want my boys to grow up feeling empowered to be the best versions of themselves…with the least amount of emotional scars from home.
I was really blessed to grow up in such a positive home with amazing parents. They loved each other and loved Jesus. They constantly encouraged us to be everything we could be, seeing the best in ourselves.
Sadly, most of the people closest to me in this life didn’t have this. I realize it is rare for people to leave their home without some kind of trauma. They often have to push past this because of their parent’s toxic behavior, or various battles they were fighting during their childhood.
Knowing this has definitely created a sense of fear and concern. I often wonder if my husband and I are doing things “right” or if we are off-base. The world is difficult enough. Having a positive experience at home is important to both of us. At the same time we still want to challenge our boys to be the best they can be.
When we became parents, we began to realize the difficulty of apologizing to our kids, sharing our tough experiences, and humbling ourselves to relate to them.
This type of humility isn’t something that comes natural to parents. I’ve seen the lack of it have a lot of negative effects on people in adulthood.
As parents, we have had to be super intentional and “come off our high horse” sharing the “real” of the struggles we experience. We can also relate to various areas where our boys may be struggling.
We do not always get it right. Hearing us admit mess up’s or saying “Sorry” without a long explanation has really helped them open up to us in a more honest way.
Especially with our older middle & high school sons. This has been really impactful.
We are used to only instructing and correcting. We really had to switch gears and ensure they know there are many things they face that may be difficult or challenging throughout life. For example…
Yes, people can be frustrating. It’s O.K. to admit that. There are people we don’t like too.
Yes, we feel overwhelmed some days by our work load also.
Yes, some days we struggle staying connected to God, and have to make a better effort to keep Him first in our lives.
Yes, managing your time is a challenge and you have to be really intentional about it.
Yes, we also have moody days where life gets the best of us, and we might need to withdraw to get things right.
Yes, friends break your heart and may disappoint you. That doesn’t stop in adulthood.
Things like this have opened the door to better communication overall. Sometimes people don’t need advice, they just need to hear “Yep, me too. I get it.” This is true for our children also!
This is definitely something my husband and I continue to work on and improve. We hope it will foster a life-long deep relationship with our boys where they feel safety to talk about anything!
For more lessons on parenting, check out: “Powerful Prayers for your Child.”
Thank you for such a thoughtful post. I have high school aged daughters and being vulnerable to them can be a challenge. However, my 17 yr. old is as observant as a hawk and doesn’t miss much. She frequently calls me on things and I have to apologize and be vulnerable then, not always easy. I like the reminders to share with them disappointments, loss, difficulties that we adults experience, so we are relatable. I am working on just listening without coming up with an answer because sometimes they just want to know I hear them when they need to vent.