I could understand why it would seem difficult to be completely honest with your kid about your past. We want our children to look up to us, respect us, love us and believe that we will always have the correct answer to any one of their many questions. We want to be "perfect" for our children, and (unfortunately) many parents think that parental perfection means never divulging mistakes or a dark past or any and all embarrassing situations in between. But the truth is, one of the best things you can do for your child is to be 100% open and honest about your past, who you were, what you did, and how your mistakes and blunders have shaped you into the person you are today.
I vividly remember the first time I realized that my mother wasn't an omnipotent, flawless human being. A very personal, very private, and somewhat painful part of her past was shared with me (by her) and her willingness to be raw and real and honest, made me realize that I could go to her with anything, at any time, and she would understand. She was better than some god-like being who never made a mistake; she was human and she was my human and I knew that this human would never judge me for any mistake I made, misstep I took, or thought that seeped into my mind. What a powerful and important new level of trust to have between a parent and child.
We, as parents, do not have to be perfect for our children. Mostly because, well, that's impossible, but also because our children won't be perfect either. There's no reason to impose an impossible set of standards on our children; unspoken or otherwise. So, with that in mind, here are 11 reasons why you should be completely honest with your kids about your past. Because the best thing you can be for your kid is unapologetically yourself.
Pro tip: Be very honest with your kid about your mistakes...in the past. Like, the distant past. Like, before they were born. Maaaaybe you don't need to let them know how you forgot to pay the electric bill last month (hey, you did eventually!) because adulting is hard. That way, you get all the benefits of being revelatory and human with your kid without their faith in your ability to steer the family ship being shaken. Let them think you're a rock-solid hero now, but used to be a hella relatable hot mess.