What I discovered when reading the comments was that most of us struggle with finding a balance of how much of ourselves to share with our children. All of us agree, I think, that we need to always be truthful. Other than that, it seems that how much we reveal has to do with our individual children, their ages, their personalities, the specific situation, and the leading of the Lord. Ahhhh, music to my ears.
As an educator for the last 17-or-so years, it's been my observation that many parents overshare with their young children. I've counseled kids with anxieties about things children should never have to worry about. Kids have poured fears out in the forms of prayer requests for their parents to be saved from divorce, prison, certain financial disaster. Parents who use even older children as confidants often heap undue burdens on hearts that are not yet ready for that kind of pressure. Though I agree that the truth needs to be told, (we don't want to lie and break the trust that kids have in us) I find it negligent- perhaps even abusive to ask our children to help us carry a load that is meant to be shared only with the Lord.
That being said, I think it's also unfair to hide reality from our children. If my children think my husband never disagree, they will have an unrealistic idea of what marriage looks like. They need to see that because we are perturbed doesn't mean we have to get a divorce, because we have differing opinions we don't need to scream or name-call, because we are angry doesn't mean we get to be disrespectful. We are aware that we are modeling married life for our children, saying to them essentially, "This is the kind of marriage we want you to have." I would hate for them to grow up and think they're somehow doomed the first time they don't see eye-to-eye with their spouse.
sidebar~While it's good for them to see us handling disagreement in a healthy manner from time to time, I also have to say that great efforts are made in our home to present a united front. We ALWAYS back each other up, we NEVER talk badly about each other to the kids, and we NEVER purposely undermine each other. (That's a topic that we could go off on an entirely different tangent on for sure)
The same is true for finances... I don't think it's good for them to think we have a endless cashflow, but it's clearly bad to leave them fretting about where we will sleep or what we will eat. We want to live out Matthew 6:25-34- not worrying about our lives, but placing all in the hands of God. It's true for really all our struggles... showing them a realistic glimpse but never putting them into a place where they feel responsible for fixing a problem that is not theirs.
I had some more thoughts, but really I'd be just echoing the commenters from the last post. Go, read. learn. I sure did.
Next up... transparency with friends... and with self. This should be fun.
Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
Colossians 3:21 nlt
Colossians 3:21 nlt