The other day I had lunch with a friend of mine which is an extremely rare occurrence these days. This friend is the one friend I have where we don’t do superficial conversations.
No. We immediately get into the dark places and I love having a friend like her. We have built a trust with each other that assures both of us that we can have the hard conversations together.
Within minutes we were on a topic that I can’t stop thinking about. Both of us have struggled with
health issues recently which had made us feel weak. We have not been able to be a part of our family as we normally would be.
She said she felt bad for her kids because when she was young her parents never let their kids see them struggle. She knows now that they did but in silence. I told her my family had been the same way. I grew up believing that adults didn’t struggle and that they were superheroes who always knew exactly what to do and when.
After I left, I could not stop thinking about our conversation. We left there feeling guilty that our children know we are not perfect. By the time I got home, I felt differently about our struggles.
I immediately texted her and I want to share my thoughts with you in case you are struggling too.
I don’t think that parents keeping struggles to themselves serves our kids well. It didn’t for me. It made me think when I grew up that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t know exactly how to hand things. I felt like I was failing because I struggle.
Instead, what we are showing our children is how to be human. We teach them everything else so why not teach them this too? When we do wrong and snap at our kids we apologize and admit our mistake. This is showing grace. Do you know how many adults I know who can’t admit they are wrong no matter how much evidence they have to the contrary? We are teaching our children that when times are hard we struggle, we learn and we get back up and move forward. These lessons are as important as teaching them their ABCs. Probably more important. We are teaching our children to not be afraid to ask for help when the struggle becomes too much for us to handle. In the end, I believe these lessons will serve our children far better than a false picture of perfect.
The struggle IS real and our children need to seed us triumph.
Many blessings to you.