Many parents want to be the “perfect” example for their children and be the person they look up to and turn to but this can have its downfalls.
The desire to be “perfect” for your child might make you reluctant to divulge some of the details of your past, possible “mistakes,” or regrets that you have over past experiences.
But the truth is you don’t have to be “perfect” for your children. There isn’t anyone who can live up to the preconceived standard of perfection that most people have, and chances are neither will your child. Here are some reasons you should be open about your past with your child:
One Of The Best Things You Can Be Is Real
Your child may not make every choice you’ve made exactly, but if they know your experience, they will be able to come to a situation with the knowledge you’ve learned instead of having only themselves to rely on.
Having A Connection With Your Child
Knowing that you’re not perfect can allow your child to relate to you better. In this way, you’re easier to talk to, and your child might come to you more easily to share the “good” and the “bad” of their life.
It’s Freeing For You
Instead of being burdened by the idea of your perceived perfection that you put on yourself, you’ll be more of yourself which is freeing.
When you are comfortable being yourself, people around you, including your child, have the space to be themselves and explore their true selves.
There’s No Shame In Being Human
Your past happened, and you are who you are because of it or despite it. If you have regrets about your past, you can show your child that you are not held hostage by the past and that you can make better decisions if you want to.
Rather Your Child Hear It From The Horses Mouth
You might know this from your own experiences with your parents or not, but the truth has a way of coming out. Whether your child hears it from someone else or sees something, hearing the truth from you is better than the assumption they might form of you.
Your child might be more inclined to trust you and the things you say if you are open with them than if you hide yourself from them.
Teaching Them Honesty
By showing them how to be honest people instead of just telling them that they need to be honest people, you begin to provide an example of how to practice honesty in real life. This is a lesson your child can carry into their future relationships and friendships.
Modeling Exemplary Behavior
The “do as I say. Not As I do” messaging can be conflicting. When you tell your child that being honest is a “good” thing, but they never see you do it, it might be confusing.
Mistakes Are OK
At the end of the day, mistakes happen. Rather than shrouding mistakes in shame, show your child that they’re an inherent part of life and that there are always invaluable lessons to take.