Our Walk, continued…

Hey Everybody! So, Does everyone remember #5?

“Don’t Cap Intelligence”- Don’t assume your child cannot understand, just continue to make teaching moments out of every moment!

So, now we can continue on to 

#4- “Honesty IS the best policy”.

Now, in my last BLOG, I said that we would be discussing a trait we all want our children to have and yet we do things to teach them the opposite. Well, as you probably figured out, that trait is HONESTY! Now, before we discuss honesty, I want to discuss lying. Particularly the 3 types of lies.

1. Out right Lie- When asked a question, you lie

2. Made up Lie- You create a lie, without question

3. Silent Lie- You lie by action or omission

I don’t know many people that ARE NOT guilty of at least ONE type of lie in their life, if not ALL 3! Myself included! Almost all of us are guilty of all 3 during childhood. and many of us are guilty during teenage years and up! And, I hate to say it, but just about ALL parents are guilty of lying to their children in ONE of the three ways…Yes, even me. But I have, since realizing the damaging results caused by this, tried very hard to change my ways with my daughter. Believe me, it is hard sometimes. But, seeing the positive results of honesty in our relationship, has begun to make it easier. And it’s become contagious with Daddy, too!

So, there are SOME lies we tell our children, just about all of us, that EVERYONE accepts. Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa, etc. And though I protested my whole life about not teaching my OWN child these lies, I have a daughter who believe in them all! Why, some might ask. Because she has cousins. and Mammaw. And Grandmom. And the list goes on and on. Well, I just caved! And, I got to experience Santa with Bailey. Which also meant facing my fear of Santa (yes, you are reading correctly, FEAR of SANTA). And, it was pretty awesome. So, I have changed my mind on THESE particular lies. IF you CAN get around them, try it, I’d love to hear from anyone choosing that! If you can’t or don’t want to, don’t feel bad! The discoveries of these lies have taken on such a “right of passage” in our society, with so many children experiencing it, I suppose children might be missing out if they DON’T experience it. (Hm, hadn’t ever really thought about it that way before now! See, I’m growing too!)

So, we’ll move on to the first type of lie

#1- Out right Lie

There are some parents who do this. Plain and simple. They lie to their kids to either avoid a tough subject or avoid a long talk. Folks, I hate to say it, but I think this is PLAIN WRONG. There are ways to avoid tough subjects, but at some point you need to discuss those tough issues anyways! And, don’t lie to avoid long talks, if you don’t have TIME, simply discuss it LATER. (MOMMY TIP: Get a journal and write down ANY idea you can’t discuss RIGHT THEN. Makes your kid feel super important, and makes for great memorabilia!) But the outright lying most parents are guilty of is lying to OTHER PEOPLE in FRONT of your child. I’m not going to say that you should stop lying. I’d be a MAJOR hypocrite. But, what I learned, was to try not to do it in FRONT of my daughter. Cutting down on her exposure to lies that, inevitably, you will make. (lol) Obviously, the best thing, would be to NOT lie, ever, not even FIB… but that’s an order even I can’t fill, as Wild Mommy, so I cannot TELL you guys that! But I can encourage it! So, let’s all try not to LIE at all! Crazy Concept, I know! (lol)

Anyways! On to the next one:

#2- Made-up Lies

Obviously, the idea of fabricating a lie for your child is ridiculous. Any parent who does this (other than the aforementioned common holiday characters) would be considered a bad parent. Right? WRONG! Parents do this all the time. And honestly, it drives me crazy. Stories about monsters getting children for not sleeping or misbehaving DRIVE ME CRAZY! I just can’t help it! I in no way want my child to learn to behave out of fear, I want her to learn to behave out of respect and LOGIC! Stay in your bed at night, why, because a monster will get you if you don’t? NO! Because it is bedtime, I am your parent and these are the rules. I won’t even act like I know some big relationship with a negative affect. I don’t. I just simply do not like this way of parenting. I think it’s a pointless lie. Which could perpetuate an assortment of problems in your relationship or NONE.

BUT, the real issue I want to address is:

Creating lies WITHIN your child.

We’ve all seen this. And it ranges from parents not creating TRUTH within their children to parents creating LIES withing their children. Parents all over the world are responsible for the upbringing of DECENT people. It is our job to create the best little THEM we can, before we send them off to face the world. So why are so many parents sending their kids off with BROKEN spirits and NO SENSE of SELF WORTH? Like I said, it ranges from lack of truth building to actual LIE building. It can come in many forms, one of which is PUSHING your child to do BETTER. There is a difference between PUSHING and ENCOURAGING. Children who feel constantly PUSHED to do BETTER, may develop a sense of “never being good enough”. I’m not saying you do not encourage your kid to do better, but you have to praise them for what they HAVE done, as well as allow them to “have done their best”. Another form it comes in is different for boys and girls. For boys, it is “Boys Don’t Cry” for girls it is “Girl Power”. There are not 2 greater lies, we tell our children, than these. So many boys are brought up feeling that any emotional response from them is WEAKNESS. And so many girls are brought up feeling femininity and loving a man is WEAKNESS. These two concepts are so deeply woven in our society, that we don’t even see them anymore. We need to break these molds. I think if we could, communication between sexes would open. Because all the “girl power” is making the “boys don’t cry” worse, which in turn makes the boys tougher on the girls so the girls “girl power” up! It’s a vicious sexist cycle that we begin teaching them in childhood! And, it needs to stop, really.

Lastly, we have the parents that pick on their children’s physical or mental attributes. If you, as a parent, have ever made fun of your child for any of their physical or mental attributes (i.e. short, skinny, fat, shy, loud mouth, stupid, etc.) you have planted a LIE WITHIN YOUR CHILD that will FOLLOW them for the rest of their LIFE! The most damaging thing a parent can do is point out and scrutinize a child’s characteristics. Every child should enter life feeling as self-confident as possible. If you plant any seed about their character, it will grow as they grow, affecting EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of WHO THEY ARE! So you have to choose the right seeds! Encourage you child to be original, to be simply THEM! I tell my daughter, just about every day, that she is beautiful. My boyfriend, her “Daddy”, tells her the same. (He also tells me everyday as well, for more info on that: wildwifey.wordpress.com) I want her to hear “You are beautiful, nice, sweet, kind, worthy, etc” as many times as she can throughout the time she is in my care. Then I plan on telling her at least ONE of those every time I communicate with her throughout her adult life. Another thing I think parents sometimes neglect to say OFTEN is “I am Proud of YOU”. Too many kids are sent off either a) NEVER hearing it or b) NOT hearing it ENOUGH.

and LASTLY, (drumroll, please)

#3- Silent Lies

This is the big one folks, the one that probably most of us are guilty of, including, again, myself. These are the lies we don’t TELL, but SHOW. One example of “silent lies” is saying that you NEVER do something or that you ALWAYS do something. Perhaps even using it to “set an example” for your child. Then turning around and doing or not doing that very thing. This can also kind of cover the “Do as I say, not as I do”. In a way, it’s a lie, too.

But my biggest example is a silent lie that sometimes ventures into the out right and made-up lie. When you are upset, angry or stressed, do you tell your child why?

It is sad for me to see it, but I see it all the time. Mothers and Fathers who do not share their feelings with their children.  And I think it is a terrible waste.

The argument is, of course, made that parents shouldn’t burden their children. But the fact is, whether an explanation is given, a child can VERY MUCH tell that there is a problem. Even INFANTS can tell when their parents are stressed. This, I actually DO know fact about! (lol) Children are GREATLY affected by the moods, attitudes, actions and interactions of their care-givers! By not talking to them ABOUT the REASON for these issues, all we do is create an even MORE stressful environment. Where the child KNOWS something is wrong, but cannot reach ANY level of resolve. Are there perhaps some issues too mature for your child at whatever age they currently sit? SURE! But there are also LEVELS of explanation that can be given to alleviate some stress without creating an “awkward” or “too mature” situation. And the thing is, your child is not the only one that will benefit. You will too! Not only will you see an increase in the amount of information your child will want to share with you, But you also get the amazing insight of your child on these different issues. And, you won’t believe how CLEARLY children can see situations. Sometimes, the advice they give can be better than any you have ever considered because they see the world so SIMPLY. Not to mention, we all know that by sharing you strengthen and deepen relationships. And who wouldn’t want that for themselves and their child? And, down the road, your child will be more open to the world and the people in it. Their relationships will deepen because they will be able to share and be share with in return.

There are many personality traits we would like for our children to have when they are grown. Humor, Generosity, Compassion, etc. But the one trait no child should be without is honesty. Honesty is a big part of the foundation for any decent human-being. And yet it’s so easy to teach our kids the exact opposite. But, we have to keep trying to show them the honesty, so that they can grow up being honest, good people.

So, let’s review the 3 types of lies:

1. Out right Lie- When asked a question, you lie

2. Made up Lie- You create a lie, without question

3. Silent Lie- You lie by action or omission

It’s a long, tough, hard road parents. And largely in part to the fact that it means WE have to change! (lol) But, I think we can do it!

Join me MONDAY, as we continue our “Walk on the Wild Side“… a closer look at being a better Mommy! We will pick up with #3- Stay true to YOU, where we will discuss how important it is to not lose sight of who you are, when becoming a Mommy!

Until Next time,

Wild Mommy MC