A few years ago I heard a speaker talking about creating healthy family culture he said, “every time a child hears information on a new topic they use that as a benchmark that they measure all other information on that subject against.” That day I decided I would be sure to set my children’s benchmark on everything that I could. Setting the benchmark means we have a lot of conversations, we do a lot of pressing in, breaking down and talking through all of the topics.
A typical family dinner or car ride is filled with promptings that allow my kiddos to ask questions and share their thoughts about things. I don’t shy away from the hard or awkward. At times, I will tell a child that they and I will talk about certain things later when the other kiddos aren’t around or when they get a little bit older. I do my best to let them talk and ask questions instead of me just dumping information at them and on them. This practice has stretched me and I often learn from my children, having my own views challenged.
My crew’s abuse stole from them the child-like freedom of naivety. We have spent these last several years digging out too much information and replacing it with age appropriate information. Innocence is something I can not give them back, there is no refund policy, once it’s gone you are forever changed.
We fight hard to restore some sense of normalcy, removing the element of shame. We fight hard to rewrite their narrative on parenting, sexuality, alcohol, smoking, trust, safety and physical boundaries. We have had to create certain rules in our home or avoided certain things to ensure that we can dwell in a place of healthy thinking.
I am so proud of my crew, they have come so far. My mama heart delights when my babies come to me with something they heard at school, bringing it to the table asking me what I know. We have been working together fighting for their innocence, seeking to bring healing to the depths of their little souls. I desire to equip them with the confidence and information they need to make choices that are life giving and soul healing. Creating for them a safe haven, a home that is built of truth, not shame.
These days as I hear for the 1,000th time, “right, Mama?” May I slow down and listen so that I may set the benchmark. May I pause for a moment before I answering knowing the power of my words. As a single parent I sometimes feel the pressure of raising my children, I am bestowing on them my thoughts, preferences and beliefs. I am creating for them new neural pathways and benchmarks, the very foundations they will build their character on. May I pause long enough to ensure that I give them information that teaches them be strong, kind, loving, brave, teachable and confident.