“Remember when…” Sometimes those stories bring great laughter, yet maybe some bring tears from hurt. Either way, there is great benefit in boosting our kids’ understanding of what they’re going through when we share these stories. Read on for the “how” and “why”.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We all have things we went through growing up we would like to forget: getting cut from that team you had dreamed of being on, the painful break-up, and the words that cut so deep. We have all been through experiences we would really rather forget.
I can still remember the first time a girl in my 5th grade class made fun of my freckles and said they were ugly. I could hardly hold back the tears, and by the time I got in the car that afternoon, the floodgates opened. My mom listened and began to share about her childhood struggle with hurtful words.
As I sat in the car that day and listened to my mom, I was encouraged that she had walked through a very similar situation. Many times throughout my high school years, my mom and I would share several more conversations about similar struggles we had, which were very helpful to me.
Let’s take a look at how parents can be vulnerable with their kids about their own struggles from growing up.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about your own struggle or painful experience. Be honest with your child about what you went through, using discretion according to their age and understanding. Talk about how hard it was for you. Try and remember what made this experience or struggle difficult for you and explain to your child what you were feeling at the time. Likely, they are feeling many of those same emotions. By sharing about your own difficult experiences or struggles, your child will feel more connected to talk with you and affirmed in the emotions they might be wrestling. There is a good possibility this will open the door for more great conversation with your child.
- Point back to Christ. What did God teach you through your situation? What did you learn as you struggled? How did you get through it? What were some helpful things during this difficult time? God desires to use our stories and experiences (as difficult as they may be) for His glory. By sharing your own struggles and what God did, you are giving God the glory and helping your child see the bigger picture.
Sometimes it can be tough to revisit a painful experience or a struggle of our childhood, but God can use these difficulties to show His power, healing, and strength. Be vulnerable with your kids and give them an opportunity to learn from you.
Take a look at 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (the verses at the top of the page.) How does God use the tough things we are going through to show us He is strong? Why is it helpful to know other people struggle with the same things we do?