Agree with me or not, but kids need authenticity.
We all need authenticity. Imagine the adults we could become if someone planted this magical seed in us early on?
This blog post was sparked by a conversation I had recently with someone. Finally, I was able to express this idea with an adult who I felt truly understood and heard me.
I think society forces on us to create this picture perfect world for our kids, right? I’m saying this like I’m a parent, but I can only imagine being a mother one day and wondering what my role will be to a tiny human.
I reflect on myself and the moments where I felt the adults around me were truly human and it was often in moments where real, hard and unexplainable things were taking place.
Don’t get me wrong, before I keep going I want to make something clear. I think that as adults it is our job to protect kids and I believe that firmly, but protection draws a fine line with perfection...remember this as you keep reading.
The authenticity I am speaking of does not discredit magical things like Disney characters, Santa Clause and the tooth fairy. I believe creating magic for kids, whether they are ours or not, brings a certain type of joy that you can’t put a price on.
There is no psychological danger for putting your kid some money under their pillow.
The fluff that I speak of includes hiding tears when you are ready to burst and acting like everything is okay when it just isn’t. It’s adults acting like they had the most perfect day and are trying to be “strong for their kids” when in actuality, all your kids REALLY want is for you to be vulnerable and show them that bad days happen to you too…
Believe it or not, kids are craving for you to show them this side of you. You see, if we continue with days ONLY filled with rainbows and unicorns, we are teaching our kids that bad days do not happen when you get older. So how do we explain bad days to them when a kid pushes them down on the playground or when their friend doesn’t want to give them their bread in the cafeteria because they “aren’t their friend anymore?”
As adults we deal with the same things just on a grander scale. For example, we have all been knocked down by our boss at work and we have all had friends who abruptly decided they no longer want to be friends with us anymore…so why do we try to conceal this from the kids around us?
The answer is because society has made us believe that we shouldn’t “burden” our kids with our problems, but what if this so called “burden” was viewed as a teachable moment? Fun fact, you are giving your kids one of the greatest lessons by allowing them to empathize with you and see you as a real person made of flesh, bone and whole lot of feelings.
Can we crush the idea of super mom and dad having to be stone cold, perfect and “stepford” like? It’s not reality. It’s not what your kid needs despite what Pintrest makes you believe.
I pray that one day my kid thinks I’m super mom because I made a crustless PB&J for the two of us to wash down with a tall glass of what the hell happened today!
I’m talking to you right now who is hiding in your pantry with a bag of Oreos crying over the day you had. I see you momma. I know that your recent cancer scare made you spiral and the idea of not being able to hold you babies anymore makes you physically ill. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to mask your feelings to “protect” your little ones.
It’s okay to let your son cry when his feelings are hurt. Show him what the definition of tough REALLY is. “TOUGH” is being vulnerable, open and honest about your feelings. “TOUGH” is NOT holding them in until anger is the only way he can let out what he’s feeling.
…and we wonder why statistics are higher for men when it comes to problems managing anger?
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a mom. I’m not even close to it and I know you may be reading this thinking to yourself, “You have no idea, Jessica.” I don’t, but do you know what? I have experience being a kid.
I am a child who has somehow magically graduated to an adult (no idea who gave me that diploma). Safe to say I have learned a thing or two from the adults around me and I can recall the moments where I felt closest to them. It was often when they were at their lowest dealing with situations where emotions could not be masked.
It was in these moments that I saw these adults as real humans, just like me. They came down from their adult pedestal, took off their capes and the role of “adult” and “child” didn’t seem to matter. It was in these moments that we were on the same playing field feeling all of the same emotions.
I can’t ever express through this blog post, or any blog post, how wonderful it felt to have my feelings understood and validated.
That’s all I wanted. That’s all kids want. They want to feel understood and have their feelings validated and it’s up to us to be these people for them.
What’s an easier job than being exactly who you are?