Donna, “Try to always be honest.” Tip #2
Donna, also affectionately known as Mama D, is one of the most important women in my life. She has given me the second greatest gift I’ve ever received, Big Mike!
Mama D has only rose-colored glasses when it comes to those she loves. She is never mean, or harsh and believes only the best. She is kind, generous, and easy-going. Luckily, Big Mike has inherited all of that!
In Donna’s second tip she mentions honesty. I love most that she suggests “Try.” She knows it isn’t always possible to be 100% honest. After a few stumbles myself, I too have come to learn that.
I am a huge fan of parenting truthfully; however, sometimes the truth is a bit much for developing brains. One of my most common philosophies is, get as close to the truth as you can. At times, complete honesty may not be the best approach.
In our communication with Michael, age appropriate information was the foundation of our conversations. He was on a need to know basis. We didn’t cloud his head with negativity, grim perspectives, pessimism, or even gentle gossip. Michael’s environment was tailored to him, for him, free of fear and doubt.
I know, Mama D provided a beautiful childhood for her babies. A childhood is no place for complete parental honesty. Honesty can be scary, especially, when we as parents have no idea of what we’re doing or where we’re going. Sometimes we have to choose between providing honesty or a sense of security.
I didn’t want Michael to know I was terrified, broke, or betrayed. I didn’t want him to know I failed, had poor judgement, or no idea what to do. Instead I would tell Michael I was tired, or maybe cranky. Those words were close to the truth, but were not scary.
Michael deserved an explanation for my sour moods; however, he didn’t deserve to be fearful and to feel unprotected. He didn’t deserve to believe the world was a scary place because his Mother couldn’t handle it.
I tried to always provide love, security and a lot of room for fun, just as Mama D did with her babies. In both cases, our kids have grown up to be strong, confident go-getters, able to give and receive love. I believe they’ve move through life a little easier, and a bit more quickly, not having been forced to carry the extra baggage that can come from parents who overshare.
I agree with Donna, all we can do is try. As Moms, we have to discern what information to disclose to our kids. Right or wrong, we try to do our best. I think in weighing information, not acting irrationally and with maturity, we can find our answers. It is the consideration that will make the difference.
These days, Mama D enjoys filling the lives of her sweet grand kids. She still aims for honesty, and has mastered an age-appropriate delivery. She manages to keep them all wanting more of her time, regardless of their ages which range from 7 – 27.
Thanks Mama D! All ages love you to pieces!