Tell your kids the truth!
From infancy to adulthood, this following post applies. Think back to your childhood and decide what is best for you and your family in reference to this. Do what is the right thing, not the easiest. The rewards will flow.
Telling your children the truth from day one is the first step to creating a lasting bond of love in your family.
Telling the truth to your kids will help them learn to trust you, in the most trying of times.
Telling them what is real is going to help them learn to decifer what is real and what is not in the world as they experience it.
And, the biggest surprise is, they already know what's true and real. So when you tell them otherwise, they learn to distrust you. They learn to ignore their own knowledge and override their intuition. They learn to lie.
Here's a great example, one that most of us will experience at least once with our kids: Injury. When your child is hurt, do you say "shh... Don't cry... It's okay... it's not a big owie... you're allright....?"
Now, tell me, when you're hurt, does it help you when someone tells you not to cry, that it's not a big deal, that you aren't in fact hurt? I doubt it very much, because you're being lied to, being told to ignore your own body, and told not to feel the feeling that comes with injury.
What if, instead, someone said "Ouch! That really hurts, doesn't it? It's okay to cry, that helps, doesn't it. I'm sorry you got hurt, I don't like it when you get hurt. I feel sad when you are hurting. I also felt scared! I feel scared when you get hurt because I love you so much and want you to stay safe."
We can help our children through pain and injury in this way. We don't have to lie, or minimize what they're feeling or experiencing. And I'll tell you, when we acknowledge the injury for what it is, and no more and no less, the pain goes away faster. The frantic scare of the owie goes away faster. We start to heal sooner. And your kids may even want to tell you how it happened, and what they're going to do next time.
Do this, too, when your children are about to experience an owie, say, like getting a vaccination. Tell them that yes, it hurts. That yes, it's important to you, and that you feel it's for their greatest health. Tell them that you're sorry it has to hurt, and that you'll stay with them and help them as much as you can.
Life in this human body of ours is complicated enough without being told to ignore what we know to be true. Support your children, and yourself, by being honest about what is happening, and how you feel. This will create an atmosphere of trust and love, and teach your children emotional intelligence.
Now that's love.