What happens when my kids find out I’m a fraud?

At the moment my children are at an age where I can comfort them, fix their problems and provide them answers … but what happens when this is no longer the case?

What happens when their problems can no longer be fixed with a tissue and a milkshake? What happens when they grow up and find out that I’m not perfect, I don’t know everything and I still don’t have life figured out?

Will they be disappointed? Or will they understand that parents, just like other people, are imperfect beings who make mistakes?

And what about the lies? Are we setting our kids up for reality or are we just setting them up to be disappointed?

When little Johnny says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, what are we supposed to tell him? Do we encourage him and tell him he can be whatever he likes as long as he puts his mind to it or do we smile sweetly and reply “That’s nice darling, but you’re just not smart enough to be a doctor.”

By telling our children that participation is more important than winning and trying hard is more important than results, are we just setting them up to fail? What happens when they head off to embrace the big wide world on their own and they realise that society favours winners and rewards results – and as hard as they try, they may still not get what they want!

As a parent you are confronted with such conflicting ideas and advise on a daily basis and often wonder how to navigate your way through this minefield called parenting.

You want your child to never be sad or disappointed but you also know they need to develop resilience and learn strategies of how to cope in this world full of ups and downs.

It has been said that the generation I belong to (Generation X) are now finding themselves depressed and disappointed as we were told we could be anything, have everything and the world would be our oyster as long as we put in the effort. Then we grew up only to find out that this is not always the case and reality can look quite different altogether.

So, did our parents raise us wrong? Should they have told us some home truths at the age of eight and expect us to understand? Should they have told us we were ‘losers’ when we didn’t come first in a competition or win a race at school?

What is the right answer here? I, for one, am somewhat baffled and as usual don’t have the magic solution.

However, I know that, whether right or wrong, I want my children to be able to stay children for as long as possible. So, to this end, I will continue to encourage them to try hard, think big and if they grow up and life doesn’t meet their expectations I will comfort them and try to explain that I am only human and every decision I made and advise I imparted on them was always with their best interests at heart.

I hope they understand that although I may be a fraud and even a liar, I love them unconditionally and hope that their childhood will provide them with a foundation on which to grow into happy and healthy adults.

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13 thoughts on “What happens when my kids find out I’m a fraud?

  1. sheridanr90 says:

    This post completely resonated with me!!!! I agree whole heartedly and struggle constantly between making sure my stepkids are nurtured and loved and also preparing them for society.
    They will understand!! Probably more so when they are adults or have their own children xox

  2. It is sooo hard to figure out ‘what’s best’. My kids are still 3 and 1 and my 3 year old struggles with the concept that I can’t answer every question he has and gets angry as he seems to think I’m withholding information from him! I’m sure he’ll figure out pretty soon that I really don’t know everything:-)

  3. If you are honest but not brutally honest, loving but not stifling, encourage and praise when they are deserving and offer constructive criticism when appropriate, they will be fine, and you will be forgiven any parenting mistakes which you will make. Most of all, follow your instincts, nobody knows your children and what they need as well as you do.

  4. What a great post. Like Rebecca mentioned, my 3 year old thinks I withhold information, I have to google very quickly for an answer sometimes lol. Having a bub with a hearing loss and other medical conditions makes it so much harder, I’m dreading the ‘why me’ questions as he grows up and am constantly questioning whether I am doing the right thing for him. Only time will tell I guess. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Kira. Don’t you just love google – such an essential parenting tool lol!
      Having a little one with hearing problems etc must be very hard indeed.
      Thanks for your comments, now I’m on my way over to check out your site. Keep smiling, Kat πŸ™‚

  5. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy says:

    Totally agree with the cranky old man’s advice and I believe it’s all about being honest. Unless we can predict the future, we can never tell if our child will be dedicated or smart enough to be a doctor but we can equip them with skills and values to give them the best shot at it.

    • Thanks Eva. Sounds like good advice to me. Honesty and equipping our children with skills and values to give anything a shot πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your thoughts πŸ™‚

  6. I agree, it’s tough to find that middle ground. Maybe I’m naΓ―ve but I really do believe they can do whatever they want when they get older as long as it is what they love above all else. i.e. if they want to become a doctor it needs to be because they love prescribing antibiotics and giving needles, rather than the pay packet or prestige that goes with it. I really think if you are pursuing what you love, you will get there eventually – even if it takes a long time. But clearly your kids (and mine) have that solid foundation of a safe, secure place in the family home and the love of their parents, which is a great start. Thanks for the post – it really made me think (a tough ask on a Saturday morning!). Linking up from #FYBF

    • Thanks Carolyn. I’m glad I make you think LOL! Yes, I think passion and determination definitely go a long way as does a happy, loving home environment πŸ™‚

  7. See maybe my parents were on to it by not being OVERLY zealous in their praise for me after all, don’t get me wrong they were supportive but I surely wasn’t told I could own the world. I often tell my kids that I make mistakes and that it doesn’t matter. I actually can’t wait to gently guide them through life in a honest way. Thought provoking post – Emily via Grace’s FYBF

    • Thanks for your comments Emily. Yes, I too think it’s important for your kids to realise that us Mums make mistakes and that we’re only human. Honestly definitely seems to be the best policy in this case πŸ™‚

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