Radical Honesty (Part 2)

by Scott Noelle

After reading Part 1, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to be radically honest with your child, too.

For example, suppose you’re angry about something your child did. Should you tell your child how you feel?

Children can feel your anger whether or not you talk about it, so there’s no point in hiding it. But being honest about your anger doesn’t mean expressing it at your child.

Instead of yelling, “I’m really mad at you for doing that!” you can process the anger separately. If it feels emotionally honest to curse and stomp, you can do so without “pointing” the negative energy at your child. Turn away and don’t make eye contact until you’ve transformed the anger into determination to get what you want. Then you can say something like, “I really want you to find another way! I know we can work this out...” etc.

In other words, don’t use “honesty” as an excuse to dump on your child. Be honest with yourself and find a way to detoxify your truth before expressing it to your child.

Originally published on 2007-04-27
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