Opening Up To My Daughters About My Insecurities
One of the greatest gifts we can offer our children is relatability. They need to know the situations they’re growing through are also things we as parents understand. It doesn’t have to be our exact experience but there’s usually an element of familiarity.
Both of my daughters are very open with me & I’m happy to know I have their trust. They feel comfortable telling me things others may deem too personal or embarrassing. In the instances they don’t want to share, I do my best not to pry. I remind them to take their time & come to me when they’re ready to talk.
In other words, if the situation isn’t life-threatening, it’s okay to step back. Give your child a chance to think about & process what they’re dealing with.
I had just gotten into bed when my oldest walked into the room & invited herself under my covers. We snuggled for a bit, laughed, & chatted about life. During that time, she shared one of her biggest insecurities with me. While I couldn’t relate to the exact insecurity, I had plenty more to share!
I told her about my insecurities as a child & others that developed as an adult. I did this without shame or fear of being found out. Our kids need our honesty, comfort, & reassurance that nothing is “wrong” with them when they have self-doubt, fears, unpopular opinions, a politically incorrect stance, or they feel like a misfit. These feelings are what it is to be human.
For instance… Hate is a strong word in our household & one we try to avoid. It is used from time to time concerning a yucky food or pet peeve but directing it towards people is a boundary rarely crossed. When my daughters admitted & felt guilty about their feelings of hate towards a particular person, guess what??? I admitted mine, too. Then we confronted the hard questions together, got to the root of our feelings, & expressed our need to do better.
Another example is when my oldest expresses what she considers her flaws. Of course I encourage her to love & accept herself, BUT, I first tell her how much I understand what she’s going through. I give her a personal example which sends the message that she’s not alone. I always notice how her mood lifts or the tension in her shoulders dissipates after realizing I can relate to her.
Do you think being honest & vulnerable with my daughters causes them to feel comfortable or hesitant about opening up to me? I hope the answer is an obvious one.
My parenting style is not about being right or perfect. It’s about being real. From that standpoint, I can explain to them better ways to be/do & how to confront things properly. As a parent, I am here to guide my children but how can I guide them through struggles I never admit to having?
One of my biggest pet peeves is encountering people (especially parents) who act as though they’re perfect. Listening to their words, you’d think they’ve gotten everything right, never making mistakes along the way. We all know better & can see right through those facades!
Parents, I implore you to be open with your kids. They’re going to make mistakes & yes, consequences are a part of life. However, don’t let belittlement or holier-than-thou attitudes be the consequences from you. Talk, really talk to your kids. They need to know you see them, you’re listening, & that you love them despite any faults they (or you!) may have.
Use your own discretion about what or how much you share. Age & maturity levels obviously play a part here. There are many experiences from my past I haven’t shared with my daughters because they aren’t relevant or my girls aren’t yet mature enough to handle them. Then, there are a few things I won’t share. Not because I’m embarrassed but because there are levels to privacy.
We all have something that’s off limits for one reason or another.
Some of my history would scar my kids or make them unnecessarily afraid. Choosing not to expose every detail in no way undermines my ability to be candid, caring, & concerned as they grow. If anything, it causes me to be more so. I don’t have all the answers but I do have a lot of experience & wisdom to help them in life.
My daughters will have their own wins/losses & I’ll continue to share mine along the way. They deserve a mom who will get in the trenches with them while loving, protecting, & guiding them without judgment. I’m no parenting expert & I don’t believe there is such a thing. I do know what has contributed to the close bond I have with my children. It is my hope that as many parents as possible are able to have the same.