Tell The Truth to Children

Gavin McCormack posted an interesting article on telling the truth to children whenever possible. He says we often shield our children from the painful realities of the world. When we do this, we are usually trying to prevent the children from feelings such as sadness, disappointment and rejection.
However, parents will soon come to understand that no matter how hard they try to protect children from the truth, they will find out. Children are astute and perceptive, and when parents pretend ‘everything is fine’ when the reality is quite the opposite, children will spot this charade and this leads to a deep sense of confusion from what the child perceives to be real and what is communicated.
To avoid this sense of confusion, and within some limits, of course, parents must disclose the real happenings of the world, be it war, natural disasters, or a death in the family. Essentially, difficult conversations develop a deep sense of resilience as children grow into an unpredictable world.
What’s important is the delivery, the management, and the care and nurture that follows news that may create uncomfortable emotions.
A psychologist I worked with at my school told me once that she hoped her daughter would experience a lot of difficult situations as a child so that she would learn great coping mechanisms for her adulthood. Of course, such experiences need nurturing and coaching that helps the children learn to become resilient and successful at problem solving and dealing with negative experiences.

Leave a Reply