I believe parents should always be honest with their children. My parents
always tried to shelter me from the hurtful, damaging, and negative things in life. It was like they were trying to keep me from seeing the real world for what it is worth. I cannot blame them for this, but to this day I still tend to let fear, anxiety, and uncertainty overpower my life. Now as a mother I catch myself protecting my son the very same way my parents tried to protect me.
All of this became devastatingly clear the day my mother was admitted to Hospice. My mother was near the end of her fight with end-stage pancreatic cancer. That day felt like I was trapped inside a tornado with everything around me spinning uncontrollably. I felt as if my world was falling down in front of me and I could not do anything about it. My family and I knew it would be soon that she would no longer be here with us on earth.
I was sitting in the family room, my son who was 6 years old at the time said, “Mommy is Grandma going to be okay?” My heart dropped and I could barely breathe. I was struggling with the option to act as if everything was going to be okay or tell him the truth. He just looked at me and walked off, so I went to grab his hand and I sat him down. I explained to him that Grandma is very sick and she is not going to be here very long and that God was ready for her to join Him in Heaven, she will be in Heaven looking down on him and will look after him like his own very angel. I told him that it is okay to feel mad, sad, happy, and cry at anytime. I said that he will feel all sorts of emotions he has never felt before and that it is absolutely okay to feel those feelings. I also, told him that I would be there every step of the way for him. My son cried in my arms, and after the crying he told me that he knew she was going to heaven.
As I was telling my son the bad news, I began to find myself battling the tears that were so desperately wanting to come out. I had to be strong for my son at that very moment. There really was not a good time to tell him, but I felt in my heart I owed that to him. My son deserved to know the truth. After telling my son the bad news, I knew that he would be able to cope with her loss in his own special way. Even a child at his age knows more then what we think they do.
As adults we want to shelter our children by keeping them from the painful truth. I know now it is better to be honest with children and let them make their own choices. Every child deserves that learning experience; it only makes them stronger. I believe it is wrong to just push things under the rug. What is wrong with being honest with children?
In the long run will it really matter? I know for a fact it does matter and your children will thank you for that. No matter what life brings us, we have each other and that is what really matters.