As you work to build your relationship with your special needs child, or any child, take time to consider the value of honesty. If you consistently choose to demonstrate candor in your communications, your youngster will be motivated to follow your example and be frank with you.
There should be some limits to your veracity, however. Don’t use honesty as an excuse to destroy self-esteem and keep adult business between the parents.
Brutal honesty can brutalize your relationship. Try giving criticism in what I call a “praise sandwich”. For example, if your child did poorly on a school assignment, thank him for being honest about his grades. Then, explain how his performance did not meet your family standard. Finally, recognize something else he has done well in school. This way, the understanding is that the actions were unacceptable, but your son is still loved.
There are some things that should not be shared with children. They don’t need to worry about financial matters. How much you despise your ex-spouse is another piece of information you need to keep to yourself. Find a friend or trusted relative for these types of communications. Let the kids be kids.
Kelly P. Crossing is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas who also does online therapy. She stated, “Dishonesty destroys trust between two people. Without trust there is no connection.” Using appropriate straightforwardness with your offspring will bring you closer together for a lifetime.
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