One of my main goals as a mom has been to make sure I am creating a safe place for my children’s hearts. I don’t ever want them to question if they can come to me with the really hard stuff. (And it seems to be working!! My preteen shares some pretty intense things.)
Hiding things will always create a playground in our hearts for shame. Will they tell me everything? No. But I want them to know, that when they do share, I am a safe place for them to fall apart. They don’t have to fear shame from me.
As my kids get older, situations get more complicated. Since life has changed pace, I’ve created an, “I’ll be there for you” card. It goes on our fridge. If they are dealing with anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, they can pick up that card and bring it to their dad or I.
It’s a promise to them that we will listen and remain calm no matter what they unload on us. It’s a promise to them that they always have a safe place to turn to. No matter what life throws at them, no matter what mistakes they make, I always want them to know, they can run home.
You must stick to your promise to be calm no matter what they say! If you break that even once, they will have a hard time trusting enough to try again.
No one will do this parenting thing perfectly. Don’t hesitate to ask for forgiveness from your children if you need it. Not only does it help keep them free of resentment towards you, but it’s a lovely precedent to set for them in future relationships.