Post #5 Transparent Honesty
Each time an interesting thought comes into my head, usually at 6.30am in the shower, I try and remember it (hard when your brain is a sieve) and write it down in my notes, to discuss with myself and friends.
The following thought was one of my first since starting the blog, but as many of you may know, putting your thoughts out there for the world, on social media, to see is daunting and you need guts. So I am not sure how long these blogs will last, but here goes: I’ve just finished watching 13 reasons why. If you haven’t watched it, as a mother, please do. I don’t have teenage children yet and hopefully I will never have to go through what the parents depicted in the show did, but all teenagers and pre-teens, as we all know, go through all kinds of emotional trauma of one kind or another. How can we as parents ask our children to talk to us when we as teenagers didn’t talk to our own parents? Or, what did our parents teach us, instil in us, to give us the strength or confidence to get through those teenage years. I think one of the most important things we can teach ourselves and our children is self-honesty, positive and negative. If I am to be honest, I am very blessed. I have a caring husband, loving parents who will travel across the world for me, a wonderful sister, who will (usually) do any thing I ask. I am a spoilt. I can be judgemental, with myself and those I care about. I cannot complain or moan about anything of significance. That is what being positively honest does. I am constantly telling my children to be honest and grateful. If we can be honest about our flaws and grateful for what we have, life gets a little bit easier. When the kids argue, generally it is because Simi has wound Anny up, who subsequently cannot hold her feelings in any longer and lashes out at “poor, little Simran”. Who then falls on the floor screaming because her sister has hit her. Sound familiar? Usually I just let them figure it out. On this occasion I decided to test out my theory. “What happened?” Simran is a great story-teller. She definitely knows how to use superlatives and adjectives. I tell her that I too am a little sister, and I know all the tricks of the trade. “Be honest” I said. She is more stubborn than me and refuses to admit that she may have done something wrong. Ananya has a much more accommodating personality than Simi. I ask her what happened. She told me what I already knew and then said, “Mummy, I just couldn’t hold my temper anymore”. She was honest about her feelings. I was so proud. This morning we were playing with those addictive Ikea bead things, Ananya decided to make me an iPhone cover (no easy task!). Simran wanted to help her big sister -Ananya said no. Simran decided to ask again and again. I asked Simran to help me with my beads - she said no. I asked again and again (I told you I am great at being a little sister). Anyway, Ananya finally looked up at Simran and said, “I don’t want you to help me because every time you do, we end up arguing and then I loose my temper” Simi had no where to go and nothing to say. The honesty, transparency was all there. Anny was honest about her flaws, she was transparent about the fact that she was still trying to control them, and she was brave enough to vocalise them. Obviously Simran started crying, because she didn’t get her way, but Ananya felt better about herself. If we as adults could do the same, we would be much more forgiving of each other’s flaws, because admission of our own flaws is hard. Somebody might make you angry, but maybe we need to control your anger. Somebody might not understand you, but maybe we need to communicate better, or learn their language. Somebody might always be late, but maybe....okay, there’s no excuse for tardiness. We tell our kids to admit when they are wrong and be honest, but why do we, as adults, find it so hard to do the same? Discuss.