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How to be transparent with kids

Has there ever been a time in your life where you felt rejected by your parents? Or that your opinions did not matter? Have you ever felt if your mother or father were completely transparent with you in regards to life, your relationships with them and others would be better? I for one can say I developed a bond with my mother that has guided me throughout my life. My mother and I share a special bond that I desire to form with my kids.

Being around Kids long before I conceived and had my own; I’ve observed that they are very receptive little humans that soak up absolutely everything like a sponge. Kids understand way more than we give them credit for and when we are untruthful or misleading they pick up on the cues very easily. So, as a mother my main priority when raising my boys is to be completely transparent; in order to build a strong bond that entails good communication, respect and trust. Difficulty in being transparent We have our challenges when trying to instill certain rules and guidelines. Transparency becomes difficult in circumstances where our kids are disobedient or refuses to listen. Especially if you have kids that are energetic, disrespectful and stubborn. These are few traits that creates challenges and we should not personalize them when trying to instill rules and guidelines while being transparent. As parents we tend to manipulate our kids into listening and following instructions because let’s just face it; they think they know it all and can really test our limits. But this should not stop us from our main purpose; which is building a strong bond through being completely transparent. I strive to achieve and maintain good communication; respect and trust which I believe will form a solid bond and help our kids navigate through future relationships. Being Transparency with kids. Transparency Is being truthful, honest, not hiding, concealing or denying your kids from knowing who their parents truly are (https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/transparent). For example, if my son ask to explain something I try to explain in a way he will comprehend or I respond very honest and truthful. But, I try my best to avoid lying or denying him an answer. Kids are very smart with an impeccable memory box. If you say something you better mean it because these little humans will not stop until you honor your words. Often times we become so controlling in our roll as parents we forget our kids are human and require just as much respect as we demand. Parenting is definitely not an easy role and it doesn’t end when our kids become adults. We are in it for the long haul, no exchange and no returns. Hence why I believe being open and transparent with your child is vital for a successful relationship. It sets a foundation, shapes their future and relationships with others.

How open Communication with kids can help shape their future path I foster healthy communication in my household as I believe it’s a key factor when building and sustaining a relationship, or it could also be that I’m very expressive and like to get things off my chest. Whatever the reason, effective communication is important to enhance an honest and open relationship with your kids. Lack of communication between the parents and child may lead to depression as well as suicide. The Frontiers in Psychiatry Article discloses that Poor communication within the family system is found in many suicide cases (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218408/). The article describes communication as being a key component when supporting a child, adolescent and young adults throughout life during their developmental stage (Johan Bilsen, 2018). Communication with young kids may require a lot of dialogue since they are still developing and figuring out the operation and functionality of this world. With my boys, who are 1 year and 4 years old, I allow room for expression of feelings and emotions when faced with overwhelming situations and difficulty. Listening plays an integral part in communication. It is very important to listen actively in order to understand the information being conveyed and to respond to concerns very candid when providing feedback. It is also important to avoid negative judgments or imposing ones ideology/belief upon your child (as tempting as this is). To create open communication debriefing works best with my kids by asking open ended questions like; how was your day? What did you like/didn’t like about today? However, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all so, find the communication method that works best for you and your family. It is evident to me that this communication method is effective because my relationship with my boys has been thriving as my 4 year old tends to pull me aside when in a crowd to share his feelings (good or bad). His response lets me know that being transparent with him and providing open communication is effective. As their parents we will witness the trust and confidence they develop overtime as we continue to have open dialogue. Just keep in mind they are never too young for us to teach positive behaviors. More rewarding our kids will feel comfortable expressing their feelings to us while relieving themselves of unwanted stressors that usually linger in the psyche. Communicating with kids builds a trusting relationship that will carry on throughout their lifetime. Trusting relationship with kids builds a substructure. Parents can build a solid foundation and an unwavering friendship with their toddlers, adolescents, teenagers or young adult by building a trusting relationship. Think of a time when your parents lied or withheld information from you. How did that make you feel? Without trust there can be no strong foundation and no complete bases to form an unwavering bond. So, I strive for a trusting relationship with my boys. We want our kids to be confident in expressing their deepest feelings and to trust that their parents will support and assist them when needed. In other words, by being open and honest about our own experiences we are demonstrating transparency mean while establishing trust for the future. Kids want to know that as their parents we will honor them by upholding their rights and freedom when being expressive or forming opinions. I was reviewing this site Reachout.com (https://parents.au.reachout.com/skills-to-build/connecting-and-communicating/building-trust-and-teenagers) and it disclosed some of the benefits of building a trusting relationship between the parent and the child and how it plays an integral role in their development when transitioning into adulthood. I also believe trusting relationship with your child shapes the level of respect that they will display to you and others. Giving your child respect while maintaining parenthood Growing up I was taught that respect is something that is earned. Had my parents not instill respect in me as a child I would not understand the importance of embodying this quality in all aspects of my life. I can only hope that my kids mirror the type of respect I distribute to them and others. Respect is a two way street, I give it, you receive it and dish it back in return. Our kid’s model the behavior to which we portray, so be careful what values you are instilling in your child knowingly or unknowingly. It’s the subtle cues our kids tend to gravitate towards and mimic throughout their lives. oddly enough the bad habits seems more attractive to our little humans and so they gravitate to those habits. Most disrespectful behaviors are done quietly but perceived loudly/openly because the child is typically unaware of their body language or tone. Example; Ignoring, walking away, pointing fingers, shifting blames etc. yes we are all guilty one way or another of these habits. The quiet disrespect becomes very open and evident because it is usually overlooked as phases or a natural part of the child’s development. When my children display disrespectful, negative, questionable behaviors I try to give them the opportunity to correct themselves before I yield to disciplinary actions. I usually respond to back talks with “Excuse me?” or “you might want to rephrase that?” sometime I even make it situational in the sense of “how would you feel if I said that to you?” mutual respect will sustain a relationship and keep it thriving until it develops into a strong bond. Respect goes a long way and when it is uphold there is room for relationships to thrive. Ultimately practicing transparency with our kids entails building a strong bond through good communication, trust and respect. So when faced with any difficulty throughout life our kids would most likely have the confidence to approach us when needed.

 

* There's a sense of Joy in parenting. Continue to be awesome parents and remember create a method that works best for you and your family.


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