open and honest

Can Your Kids Be Open and Honest With You?

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One thing we never want as dads is to have our kids afraid to talk to us. They need to know it’s safe for them to be open and honest with us. Their behavior may disappoint us and we will need to impose consequences when they disobey. But if our kids are afraid to come to us, then—at best—we will be disconnected from them and, at worst, they may end up in dangerous situations.

But there are a few things we can do to make sure our kids feel safe.

1. Control how you react.

If you blow up when your kids make mistakes, then they will do their best to hide their mistakes from you.

If you blow up when your kids make mistakes, then they will do their best to hide their mistakes from you. So you have to control how you react. The situation may call for you to be firm and perhaps stern, but always be thoughtful about your reactions and what they will do to your children.

2. Don’t pile shame on them.

We want our kids to feel convicted when they mess up so they’ll improve. Speak honestly so they understand the consequences of what they’ve done. But don’t belabor the point with harsh condemnation. Teach them and move on; don’t hold it over their heads longer than necessary.

3. Make sure your kids see you as a helper.

Communicate to your child that you are going to do everything in your power to help them make the situation better. Even when you have to give them a consequence, it’s for their benefit. Tell them your motivation and how the things you are doing, including the consequence, will help make it better.

Earn some points: Are you married? Share this iMOM article with your wife: 3 Ways to Show Your Kids They Can Talk to You About Anything.

Sound off: How do you make your kids feel safe to be open and honest?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “In what ways have I made it easy for you to be honest with me about anything? In what ways have I made it more difficult?”