Everybody has a past that includes things they aren't proud of, and this doesn't change just because a person becomes a parent. However, when you become a parent these past mistakes can become an issue. Many parents struggle to hide this side of themselves from their children for fear of pushing them down the wrong path. The things these parents are ashamed of could range from anger problems to substance abuse, or even mental health issues. Regardless, these are not aspects of themselves that any parents want their children to see. So, the question for many parents becomes, how should I address these parts of may past with my children or should I keep them completely hidden?
Encouraging Your Kids To Make Better Choices
One advantage about being open about the mistakes you've made is that it gives you the chance to have important conversations with your children about the choices they will face. For example, many parents talk to their children about the dangers of using drugs, but this usually just consists of a vanilla speech about how it will endanger their future. A parent who actually used drugs could be frank about this part of their life and bring up real examples of how it harmed them. These concrete examples will make any warnings have a much larger impact and could really get the attention of a teen who might have disregarded the generic anti-drug talk. Keep in mind also that it isn't just drugs that this could apply to. The same could be said about discussing issues like school performance, anger, promiscuity, or many other things with teens. You can't change the choices you made in the past, but in this situation you can at least use them to help your child live a better life.
Staying Genuine With Your Children
Though it can be useful to employ examples from your own life when warning your children about avoiding mistakes, this isn't the right answer from some parents. You may feel that your son or daughter just isn't ready to hear these things about one of their parents. This is fine, as every situation is different and best assessed by the parents. However, it is still important to remain genuine with your child, even if you choose not to bring up certain parts of your life. Ultimately, it is incredibly important to make the decision to be straightforward and honest with your child. This will help you maintain a close relationship with your child and allow you to continue to guide them away from potential mistakes.
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