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Being Real with your Kids

Being Real with your Kids

Most of us grew up with parents that seemed god-like when we were small, always knowing what was best at any given moment.

And as we grew up we learnt about life along the way, and we had experiences where we gradually understood that our parents didn’t know everything. In fact many teenagers go through a phase as their parents joke ‘ask them while they still know everything!’

Out the other side of this, we find ourselves as adults and there are these little people looking up at us with nothing but love and wonder in their eyes….

It’s a place of sobering power that warrants careful management. Yet in a world that seems to spin quicker and quicker, how many of us have the presence of mind to reflect on the big responsibility of how we use our power as parents? How many of us make mistakes along the way because of the pressure of time and money?

It is one of the biggest issues in our society… the misuse and abuse of power and it starts at home. We hear it all the time from the fathers we work with. Time poor. When we are bereft of the right amount of time, we eat fast, drive fast and often react rather than respond in situations. We have lost patience and then we abuse or misuse our power.

Well-meaning and intelligent parents make their biggest mistakes because of this. An error of judgement or simply unskilled is easily forgiven. But what if I know better and still make the same mistakes? ‘Too busy’ is all too often heard as an excuse.

Little people have vastly different agendas; they move at a different velocity to busy adults and this is where they can feel wrong or hurt when mum or dad gets annoyed or angry just because they are hurrying about. Busy mums and dads need to pause and be clear as to what is really important and be sure they use their power with respect and responsibility.

How do we use our power when we are time poor? As a quick fix solve the apparent problem. Rarely do we put our best foot forwards and often do our children and loved ones end up the poorer.

Power can look many ways and on a good day it can be kind and understanding. On a bad day it’s as though some idiot is at the wheel and we are on autopilot.

Some of the things our parents did will hopefully serve us well, but it is a different world and there are some things we did not get and some things we got that don’t serve us or anyone else. This is the nature of things, this is happening to our kids…. and so on it goes. Our task is to improve on our own experience to the best of our ability, knowing all along that we will inevitable hand on some gold and some ‘useless treasures’.

What can we do?

Firstly we need to be gentle with ourselves. Nothing will be gained by blaming ourselves. Consider moving forward with an ‘even better if’ motto.

It is important we cultivate a place inside that will catch yourself in the act and gently nudge us in the direction of authentic power.

Mostly we will realise we have made a mistake after the fact, and we have to make amends. Saying sorry to your kids is one of the best things you can do. When your kids do experience you displaying genuine remorse, and when they see you acknowledging that you got it wrong (and not give yourself a hard time) this models to them, healthy human behaviour.

This is real power.

Be honest with them. If they understand that you have a problem at work that is troubling you, they will show you one of the most beautiful things on this planet…. the empathy of a child. If you can be real and a bit vulnerable with them, you will be respecting them and they will respond in spades.

As your children get older you can use more detail. The content must match their level of development, both intellectually and emotionally.

Power over is clearly a display of powerlessness. Power to be real takes courage and is the only way forward for raising caring and aware children.

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  1. Do you have a book I can read?

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your inquiry.
      We certainly do and you can purchase “Raising Teenage Boys” from the front page button, top left-hand side.
      If you run into any difficulties, pls drop us an email at and we can arrange a copy for you.
      Hope you are enjoying our blog posts!
      All the best,

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