Communicate Honesty and Integrity

You don’t have to be perfect, but kids don’t want to follow the leadership of a hypocrite either. The parent who tries to come across as perfect is making a big mistake. Believe it or not, apologies improve communication. Let your children know you’re human. Admit your mistakes and take the perfection pressure off. Admitting your mistakes clears the channels for real communication and removes barriers that may be in the making. Admitting mistakes promotes sharing and oftentimes creates warmth and understanding.

Admitting failures also curbs unrestrained idealism. What I mean is that if your children go too long observing unreal parents who act as if they have no problems or flaws, the eventual shock of watching parents fail can end up being destructive. When you are honest about your imperfections with your children, you open up the way for a more mature type of problem solving. If your kids feel valued enough that you would share a struggle or a hurt, they will most often respond maturely. One caution is not to get in the habit of dumping all your problems or marriage issues on your children. They are your kids, not your counselors.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

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    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)