Transparent Parents

5 Reasons to Be A Transparent Parent

In addition to having a Healthy Co-Parenting Relationship, you want to have a Healthy Parent-Child Relationship. I believe as parents, we try to protect our children from the mistakes we have made in order to seem more credible in their eyes. We want our children to respect us and believe that we always have the correct answers. We want to seem perfect and think that parental perfection means never exposing mistakes from our past. There is no reason to impose an impossible set of standards onto our children. Help them understand that failure is a necessary part of life and a building block for success. While it’s honorable to want to present our best for our children, one of the best things we can do for our child is to be completely open and honest about our past. This includes where we fell short and how our mistakes helped shaped us into the person we are today.

I remember getting to the age where I figured out that my half-siblings were both older than me, but younger than my older full siblings. As my brain began to process what that must have meant for my mom and dad’s relationship, I began to see them as human. One thing I have always admired about my mom is that I have never heard her speak ill of my bonus mom. I am not saying she never had problems with her, she just never brought it to her children. Although she never spoke with us about what happened, she allowed us to have our own relationship and opinions of my father free of her influence.

Creating a culture of honesty within your family is something we must all strive to do. It means parents must work hard at modeling honesty and showing our children that failure isn’t the end of their goals or dreams. We often question how much we should expose to our kids, but that is dependent on age and circumstance. Think back to your first experience with alcohol or sex. This is probably not something you would want to discuss with your fourth grader, but your middle or high school child can learn from the lessons of your mistakes. Your second grader may need a lesson in the importance of being honest even in difficult situation like stealing or lying to avoid getting in trouble. Our children need to know that we made mistakes, how we handled them (right or wrong), and what the consequences of our actions were. It does not let them off the hook for their behavior, but it shows our children that we understand because we’re human as well. I know I could have learned from hearing not only from my parents, but other influential adults in my life. Some mistakes will have to be experienced, but some can be avoided by honest and frequent conversations. These are five reasons I have found beneficial to being a transparent parent.

1. Making Mistakes is ok
Mistakes are going to happen to everyone, so if your child sees that you have made mistakes, and survived them, they will realize that to make a mistake is to be human. This allows your child to build self-confidence from your honesty. Because your past has shaped you into who you are today, there’s no reason to be ashamed of it. Even the painful, embarrassing parts have shaped you into the person you are, and have probably contributed to your parenting habits, skills and choices. If you share your past with your kid, instead of hiding it, you’re teaching them that the choices they’re making now, are going to help guide them in the future.

2. More Credible
Your child will see more of themselves in you when you are open with them. When children see their parents as perfect, they try to make their parents happy instead of themselves. If you can be open and honest with your kid, they will be more open and honest with you. You cannot require something from your child that you are not willing to do yourself. My pet peeve from other parents is the phrase “Because I said so”. This is NOT an answer, at least not an acceptable one. Would you be alright with this answer after asking your child a question? You must give respect to get respect, even with your children.

3. They need to Hear the Truth from You
I can’t say how or when, but your children will learn more and more about you as time goes on. Usually this is after they’ve experienced life and made some mistakes of their own. Because of this, they might as well hear about your life from the person who lived it. Being honest while they are still young can help them avoid some of the same mistakes or at least help them deal with them in a healthier manner if they do make the mistake.

4. Your Children Feel More Comfortable Sharing with You
If you open the communication, your child will be more inclined to reciprocate. When they see that you trust them enough to share something intimate or embarrassing, they will trust you enough to do the same. I remember talking with my girls about sex for the first time, they were not receptive and did not want to hear about sex from their mom. I continued having the talks and I put out an anonymous box for them to leave questions in. The next talk we had; I addressed the questions in the box without anyone knowing who it came from. Now we are at the point of having open discussions without the shame or embarrassment behind it.

5. Honesty is an Act of Self-Love
While being honest about your past may be difficult at time, it is beneficial to your children and for you. It is not helpful to hide who you are from the person you brought into the world or those that you have influence over. It’s best for you if you be completely honest with your children and set a healthy example for of someone who overcame tough situations. You cannot fully love who you are if you hate the experiences that shaped you.


-Miss Kris

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email