5 Things You Need to Let Kids See

We were all tired, so our family grabbed fast food and decided to watch TV while we ate. The one show we can all agree on these days is LEGO Masters. It’s one of those reality competition shows, in case you haven’t seen it. At the end of each episode, a team of two is always eliminated. “Are you crying?” my daughter said to her mom. I looked over and saw my wife tearing up. A team she really liked had just been eliminated. Not one to hide her emotions, she owned it immediately: “Yes! It’s sad.” My daughter turned and said, “I don’t think I’ve seen Dad cry ever.” I was shocked. It’s not like I walk around crying all the time, but I do cry quite a bit. As I thought about it, I realized I’d been hiding it. It wasn’t intentional—it was more of a natural reaction, shielding myself when I felt vulnerable.

The problem is that my kids need to see my vulnerability. It’s good for them. There are several things we either consciously or subconsciously shield our kids from seeing, but doing so is a disservice. There are things to teach your child that are best for kids to observe. Here are 5 things you need to let your kids see.

1. Your Emotions

If you’re anything like me, the one emotion you show easily is anger. However, sadness, hurt, and grief—and your tears—are all things our kids need to see. We should be in control of our emotions, but we shouldn’t hide them. When our kids see our vulnerability, it communicates that vulnerability is not weakness. Ultimately, it is a key ingredient for intimacy.

2. Opposing Worldviews and Lifestyles

Are you afraid your kids will see validity in a view you are opposed to or take on a lifestyle you disagree with or maybe find immoral? Join the club. I think most parents would put that as a top concern. It’s wise to protect your kids from concepts, ideas, and images they may not be mature enough to handle. But shielding your kids from opposing worldviews and lifestyles can give those views more credibility, or at least make your own point of view look shakier. This is especially true when you present a strawman version of an opposing worldview. Your kids will see right through you, eventually. If you’re living fully in truth, hope, and love, then there’s nothing to fear. Present the honest versions of all.

3. World News

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