Over the last few months, I’ve really been stumped with this whole “protecting your kids” online kind of vibe. It’s so scary to think there’s all of these sad, sick people out there that prey on innocent little people. I hate that I can’t just “take a pic” of my kids and freely share it with the world without thinking about how much of their body are they showing and who is in the pic with them (so that no one can photoshop themselves into or out of the pic).That’s honestly why I’ve started trying to animate more of our situations and make sure that their lives are still theirs and they’re given some sort of safety.
But, this isn’t what my post is about.
Another thing I have been trying to practice and really take the time to make sure I honour – is protecting my kids ‘right’ to their stories. I was so blown away recently by a friend, who has grown children, who stopped his wife from talking about their daughter’s childhood decisions. He gently touched her arm and said, “Dear, I really want to respect our daughter and rather have her present if you are going to talk about her like this – I want to treat her as the adult that she is”.
Now, I was first like – but she’s telling the story from her perspective as the mother and what she’s learned from it. But then after stepping back and actually thinking about what he said – I was completely blown away by the amazing respect and honour he was showing her by doing that. The wife didn’t mind him doing it and she changed how she told me the story, which was also wonderful.
After really thinking about this and taking notes from him, for our children, I’ve looked at my blog in a whole different light and have come to realise that – as much as this may be my platform to share what I’m learning as a parent – I really need to honour and respect my children as if they were adults themselves, with regards to their life story.
So for the past few posts where I’ve spoken about my kids and what has happened to them and with us involved, I have purposefully
- Asked their permission to share that specific story in their lives. Then if I am granted the chance to do so.
- Ask their opinion on the post, if there is anything they would like me to include or exclude from that story.
- Let them read it before I post about them and let them approve any pics, or drawings I’ve done to represent them.
Obviously with Jude, he’s only going to be able to give me feedback a little later (probably around the age of 5) so I’m trying to think what he’d find embarrassing or be ok with, but the girls read and check everything before I post it.
I’m coming to slowly realize, that in order to gain their respect and honour in some form – we need to show it to them in as many ways as we possibly can. Whether or not this is going to benefit them in the future, I think that it still comes down to teaching them the principle of seeing another human being for who they are in all forums. On this bridge, that we’re taking our first steps onto, called adolescence – I’m really seeing the need to make more calls like this to plough their heart soil for the future. Where better to start than here at home and through our blog.
Now, I honestly do not have this right in all spheres of my own life – but by starting to work on it with them and looking at them this way, has helped me also look around at family, friends, children, people and organizations in a completely different way. I can’t just say something about them without their heads up first – so why should my children have any less of a standard. They have a voice and they will ultimately share their stories one day too.
Maybe I should get them to actually write a post one day and see what it must be like through the actual eyes of an 8 or 10 year old little girl. This, instead of me trying to project my thoughts and perspectives out there, according what I think or what I think they should be feeling or learning.
So here’s to many more posts “with” my kids and not “about” them.
There is so much to learn and I am so grateful for all that they are teaching me through this journey called parenting.