My parents never discuss anything with their children. They talk about everything in what is so called “closed doors”. Therefore I never knew what they had to deal with, or what made them angry.
Today, as parents, facing possibly great financial uncertainties, it is absolutely critical to bring an appropriate discussion of family finances to the dinner table. A discussion not from fear but from the heart. When children are little, parents can get by with a lot. We can tell our little two-year-old, Mommy’s just tired, as a cover up for depression. Or we can tell our five-year-old, “Daddy has to work hard,” to cover up the real reason he’s never around.
When it comes to communicating truth to our children we must practice discernment and tact. We must know when it is appropriate to tell a child the “truth” and how to tell them. As parents, part of our role is protector. But there comes a time when children deserve to be let in on what’s happening behind closed doors. Not to burden them with the truth but to let them know that changes in behavior or mood from Mom or Dad is NOT because of them.
Children pick up on the “energy” or the emotion of parents, some being more sensitive to it than others and they naturally want to take on the responsibility that the anger or sadness they’re seeing is because of them. If you are facing some dark times financially right now, bring the discussion out of the closet to at least your children eight years and older. Create a family circle time where you as parent/s calmly discuss what may be in front of you. Instill in your children that “all is well” AND there may be some changes ahead. This family gathering is not about spreading fear and worry but is an opportunity to allow your child or children into the big world of having to sometimes make tough decisions.
And the greatest gift to them is them seeing how you are responding to the challenges. I write extensively about the difference between reacting from fear and emotional wounds and responding from the calm place of your heart. Children deserve parents who respond, not react. Children deserve to have role models that include them in their successes and their trials in a way that is in service to the child’s learning and growth.
If you are facing some difficult family challenges right now, whether they are from the current economic meltdown or because of other factors, unburden your child or children from them trying to “guess” what’s wrong with Mom or Dad. While assuring them they are loved and safe be authentic with them about what you are facing and allow yourself to be vulnerable and not Super Dad or Super Mom. Connecting with your children, heart-to-heart, is the greatest gift we can give them – whether times are good or not-so-good. Trust that when a child can feel your love for them, they can handle ANY news you want to share!
Steven Wand, co-author of the book, Living the HeartLife…Letting Go of the Hard Life which is a profound model for personal and global transformation, offers, along with his wife, Cynthia, transformational coaching to those desiring support in letting go of limitations and stepping into their divine power and magnificence.
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