Last week my teenage daughter had a medical emergency in NY where she was living with her biological father. Within 48 hours I was driving up there to be with her and create a plan to get her the help she needs. While we were in the hospital discussing the possibility of my daughter moving back with me her father turned to me and said “She says you are fake.” I was so confused and embarrassed that my teenage daughter would be saying that about me to others.
Over the course of the next five days as we met with doctors and she was admitted to a new hospital the idea that I was fake kept coming up. I even brought up this comment to her and asked why… the answers weren’t pretty. It wasn’t until I came back home that the implications of this comment really set in. My 15 year old daughter thinks I pretend to be something I am not. Why would she think this? What kind of example am I setting? Getting the answers required a lot of self reflection.
HOw I Can Stop being fake
1) Instead of saying my family is a top priority I need to show them they are by being intentional about the time I spend with them.
2) Make sure the at home me and the online me are on the same page.
3) Don’t share everything on social media. Transparency is important but there needs to be boundaries.
4) Accept that my kids did not sign up to be public figures and respect their boundaries around that.
5) Be more open to the feedback of my children especially when it comes to me as a person or a parent.
This was a wake up call for me. It was painful to reflect on where my daughter’s perception might be right. During this reflection I saw where my public persona diverged from my private one. As a teenager who uses social media my daughter saw this too. It’s difficult to admit when someone might be right in criticism of you but in order to learn we must swallow our pride.
It was a blow to my ego to have a light shined on my inauthenticity. I want to be someone my children look up to and learn from. The only way to do that is to be more present with them and be sure I’m in alignment both publicly and privately. This will be a whole new experience because I didn’t even see this problem before it was pointed out to me.
I share this in hopes that you can learn from this mistake as well. There is never a time that we will be done learning and growing. Remember you are brave, you are bright, you are amazing, YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!