Everyday I share what i write across public platforms. Every once in a while after my wife reminds me, I’ll consider that my (and a lot of your) kids are reading this and my initial reaction is, “I hope to F they are.” My kids and yours need to know the truth about what life is about. No matter how uncomfortable. And really, if you think a couple of profanities or honest discussions about what being a so called grown up is going to be like will be too much for them, well then you’ve got bigger problems.
People will tell you before you have kids that “it changes everything.” Lucky for me, I changed everything a year and a half or so before my daughter Paige was born. So while there was for sure a shift, I didn’t think there was that much of a change. Could also be that I opened a restaurant 8 days after she was born and I was a touch preoccupied. Whatever.
Regardless, I never sat down and decided to parent a certain way or try and shelter my kids too much. I’ve always tried to treat them like adults (which can come across harsh I am sure) and for the most part, not tell them who they’re supposed to be. I mean it’s not lawless 1840’s Wild West over here, but I’m also not riding their asses about what they should be doing every second.
Besides sometimes being more sarcastic than me (how’d that happen) they are great kids. They are funny, relatively adjusted humans and i love them dearly.
One of the biggest things I have learned through mine (and your kids) is this. No matter how exact the situation is that a child goes through to one that you have experienced, and no matter how I frame it, telling them that I too have had the heartaches and stresses that they have (and that they continue to have), will alleviate the need for them to figure it out on their own. I know and you know that things always get better and that even when we are down, that there’s always a light, but telling a kid this doesn’t change how they work through it. This too shall pass.
So yeah. I still have bouts of depression and I’m still figuring life out. But that’s fucking life. Sugar coating it for my kids isn’t going to teach them a thing.
Maybe, just maybe, a little honesty will.