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How do you be authentic to your children?

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A month ago I wrote about how children of today need authenticity to function properly ( https://www.nieuwetijdskind.com/kinderen-van-nu-en-authenticiteit/ ). Now only for many, after years of hiding themselves, it is difficult to show themselves. It’s a process of relearning yourself. A difficult process, but with a big gift at the end. Who doesn’t feel better when they don’t have to hide anymore?

Being yourself towards children isn’t always easy either. People are used to showing the beauty of themselves. Especially for children, “nice weather” is played quickly. When my father passed away a few years ago, I could have pretended nothing was there to my children. I didn’t. I showed them what I felt, I cried in front of them, and I explained why I was sad. I also explained to them my view of death, because that too was reflected in how I felt and expressed.

When I’m angry, I don’t hide that anger either, they do feel that I’m angry. Not that I’m proud when I’m angry, but if I can be angry (within acceptable limits, of course) and then apologize and explain why I reacted that way, my boys also learn that they can express their feelings. Too many men have learned to hoard everything, with all the consequences that details.

Of course I also show my love and my joy. We’re cuddling up here in the house! As a result, my children learn that they too can show their love and joy, and they do that frequently.

The above is not meant as an example of how well I do it, because I often find that it could be better, but as an example of how you can be authentic in your parenting, which makes it easier for your children.

Perhaps the most difficult part of this process is that it requires you to be really honest with yourself. What do you really feel? Can you feel that about yourself? Do you think you’re okay, just the way you are? Acknowledging your feeling and allowing it to be there, allowing it to be there, is difficult.

It takes courage to really look at yourself, to listen to what your heart is telling you. But only if you dare to do this, you can really be yourself and show your children who you really are, a human being, with mistakes, with real feelings and with a pure, warm beating heart.

You can also show yourself in education or in the guidance of children and young people. Of course you don’t have to show everything, but it’s best to say it if you have a bad day. Children and young people often find this easier to accept than a teacher or counselor wearing a mask; another adult they can’t figure out.

So don’t be afraid to show your feelings bit by bit, especially to children and young people. They will understand you so much better and therefore become more balanced themselves. And, perhaps most importantly, if we lead by example, a generation may eventually follow that dares to be itself! Wouldn’t that be a nice prospect?

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