I had more thoughts about my previous post “Hearts At Home-The Makeover” but didn’t want to keep re-writing. I mentioned that one of the reasons I never said anything to my family about the abuse was that I didn’t realize it was a problem or that it was even wrong. Even though something didn’t seem quite right, I didn’t feel like I could talk about it with my parents. The attitude in our family was “don’t be such a baby” and “you better not tell mom and dad”(I was the baby of the family and conned into many a typical childhood scheme). I’m sure that was in response to me complaining about one thing or the other and my flair for the dramatic. So, anytime I was in an uncomfortable or hurtful situation, I thought “don’t be such a baby” and “if I say something I will hurt their[the offender’s] feelings or make somebody mad”.
All this to say, please create an environment where your children can feel ok being uncomfortable. Does that make any sense? Where they are confident that anything they bring to you will not be blown off or judged or belittled. I see this in my own daughter who, like her mother, has a flair for the dramatic. Often, the “whoa is me” is for show. But I don’t want her to stop coming to me in case its something I need to handle for her. We’re trying to teach her not to cry wolf. But you know what? At five years old, I don’t know if its her job to discern that. So please, please, please, take a deep breath and for the 100th time ask them “are you ok?” so they know that you’re concerned and safe to talk to. I don’t want to hear in 20 years “I would have said something but I didn’t think you wanted to hear it”.