Can I be Honest with My Kids?
- Thursday, May 08, 2014
I’m in a funk. My life, as I know it, feels very strange to me. Where I could typically see the road ahead a bit, I see only fuzzy murkiness. (I hate fuzzy murkiness.)
Usually, when I swing in and out of moods or my hormones go up and down, though I’m sure my kids can tell a bit that I’m going through something, we sort of have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy, even though they’re in their mid- to late-teens.
I assume they don’t want to know, or it would be inappropriate for me to share, and, well, they’re teenagers, so it’s pretty rare that they check in with how I’m doing.
Except this time. Because this time I told my kids on the way home from school that though they could totally talk and tell me about their day, I was feeling kinda off and I didn’t want to talk, but I’d listen. So, I heard the normal rundown and we went about our business when we got home.
Then we went out to dinner, like we do every Wednesday night before youth group, and I was just sort of sitting there. I was even bumming myself out, to be honest. I still didn’t want to talk, I wasn’t feeling any better (it had only been two hours, so I wasn’t expecting to, but still), and my daughter rested her head on my shoulder, in sort of a, “I love you, Momma” kind of way.
And I took a deep breath and said, “Do you guys want to know what’s wrong?”
I think they were surprised I asked. And they surprised me right back by saying yes.
So I tried to explain it, the best that I could. How my life feels odd to me and I’m frustrated and a bit scared and feel confused and just plain weird and I don’t know what’s coming and I hate not knowing what’s coming.
And they both nodded and said, “Me too.” In fact, my daughter said, “That’s how I feel every day.” Now, I know they do not feel the way I feel because our life circumstances are completely different, but you know what? Oh yeah.
Even though I once was a teenager, I think I forgot that what I’m feeling, in a very profound way, is what they are feeling as they try to look down their roads and can’t make anything out either.
And I was blown away by not only their interest in me, but their immediate resonance with what I was poorly trying to describe.
Yes, we quickly switched subjects, as I can only assume it’s a bit unnerving to have the head of your household basically say she feels like she’s sinking, but we had those few moments together, my children who are on the verge of adulthood and me. And no one can ever take those away.
What can you appropriately share with your children today that will bring you closer or make one or both of you feel a little less alone?
(C) Elisabeth Klein, 2014
Elisabeth is mom to Sara (17) and Jack (15-1/2). She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing. She is the author of the new release, Living Through Divorce as a Christian Woman: Questions & Suggestions, Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage: Questions & Suggestions, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage, At the Corner of Broken & Love; One Girl, Third World; He Is Just That Into You; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul. All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com. Visit her website here.
If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a divorce, she has created two private groups on Facebook that she would like to invite you to. Simply email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you’d like to contribute to Elisabeth’s ministry, click here.
Publication date: May 8, 2014
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