As a blogger my inspiration comes from everywhere. My own life, lessons I’ve learned in life, things I see or hear, social media, wherever something may strike my inspiration. I’ve even been inspired by something on TV. What I write is never meant to be one sided, but rather my opinion or take on things. Please don’t ever take it the wrong way. That being said, today’s inspiration comes from social media because it had me questioning why.
While scrolling through social media a few weeks back I saw this post. The poster was talking about having a breakdown in front of your kids. Talking about that kind of thing should be saved for your friend, therapist, etc. That it’s not your kids job to help you process your feelings (pain, grief, fear, etc.) and help you through a hard time. It was very intriguing and left me wondering why. Why can’t you have a breakdown in front of your kids?
I get what they are saying. You shouldn’t breakdown in front of your kids because they are not responsible for picking up the pieces and putting you back together again no matter what age they are. Your problems and troubles are not theirs and should never be. Your problems should be instead confided in a friend, family member, therapist, etc, and never your kids. Although I understand the point they are trying to make and what they are saying, I disagree to an extent.
I agree that you shouldn’t have certain breakdowns in front of your kids because they are right, your problems are not their problems. I agree you should confide in someone other than your kids. I however disagree that you should never have a breakdown in front of your kids. I feel like certain situations can actually be beneficial for your kids to see you breakdown. For them to see you are human. For them to see that emotional responses such as pain, grief, fear, etc are completely normal and acceptable responses. For them to know that it’s okay to not be strong all the time.
The post left me wondering if having a breakdown in front of your kids is a bad thing. How is it bad? Does it affect their mental health? What happens when you have a breakdown in front of your kids? Is it beneficial to them? How is it beneficial to them? It left me feeling like I may have set my kids up for failure because I have broken down in front of them many times before. I had so many questions, so I decided to do some digging. A lot of the information I found leaned more towards it being okay (if that’s what you want to call it), but not all of it. Here’s what I found out.
No having a breakdown in front of your kids isn’t a bad thing., but certain breakdowns can be such as violent ones. When you break down in front of your kids you are showing them you have natural human emotions. You should always assure them that you’re okay because it can frightening for your kids to see you like that and because they feel guilty you are feeling this way. They want to help you and they don’t know how. It’s natural to want to shield your kids from the bad part of life, but they take comfort in knowing their rock can break down too. It’s not about the bad moments in life, it’s about how we handle them.
Yes it is beneficial for your kids to see you break down. During or after a breakdown you should give your kids enough information to help them understand they shouldn’t be scared or confused and let them know it’s okay to talk about things that are uncomfortable. Crying in certain situations can be beneficial to kids because it allows them to see it’s okay to express your emotions. Letting kids witness you grieve helps them realize they aren’t alone and let’s them know their feelings are appropriate and helps them cope better. When kids experience something for the first time they question if what they are feeling is normal and why they are affected like they are. Seeing you feeling the same helps them understand and validates their feelings. Talk about your own feelings and how you learned to cope. This teaches them a valuable life skill and gives them permission to talk about their own feelings.
Listen I understand what they were trying to do with their post. Take things like that with a grain of salt. We all know how social media can make us doubt ourselves and how the seemingly perfect lives of others can make us feel less than. As parents we have enough going against us. We have enough we aren’t doing ‘right.’ We have enough things people are going to criticize us for, breaking down shouldn’t be one of them. We are all human. We have human emotions, human reactions to things in life. All we can do is our best. Some days your best will be a complete breakdown. Life is unpredictable. Use it as a learning moment and pick yourself back up. You are only human and you are doing a phenomenal job.