Yeah okay, before you choose to ignore this or delete it, hear me out. Intimacy is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “something of a personal or private nature.” The synonyms for intimacy are belonging, chumminess, closeness, inseparability, familiarity and nearness.
I find the definitions that are specified as being for kids, to be very interesting:
1. A state marked by emotional closeness.
2. A quality suggesting closeness or warmth.
3. Something that is very personal or private.
So when we hear a suggestion about being intimate with our children, many people’s first thought may be one of incest right? But based on the above definitions, I would say that having an intimate relationship with your child is not only appropriate, but one that should be encouraged and developed.
The ability to let someone “see into you” is what real intimacy is about. As parents we try to shut our children out to the emotional, personal and private aspects of our lives, but expect them to open up the emotional, personal and private aspects of their lives to us. We feel fear when it comes to allowing our children to “see into us”, but with a magnifying glass we try to look into the personal areas of their lives.
This position can be seen as very hypocritical by our children. As much as we believe that we are “hiding or keeping” things from our children, the truth of the matter is that our children “see” more into us than we realize. When our children see us as being unreal, stiff, unapproachable, and unauthentic, they are not open to opening up to us. For example, we are stressed, angry, disturbed about something that happened outside of our home or in our relationships, and we pretend around our children that everything is hunky dory. Instead of being honest about how we feel, we try to cover it up.
What are we teaching our children to do when we do this? When our children tell us nothing is wrong, we always sense that something is, right? Why are we naïve to believe that we are able to hide things from our children, and that they don’t “see into us” when we are able to see into them?
Establishing a relationship of closeness, or intimacy with anyone, children included, requires first and foremost honesty. In addition, it is very difficult to have an intimate relationship if we are not willing to be open and vulnerable.
When I was 16 years old I had an abortion and my mother knew about it. I made a choice when my children were fairly young, to share this experience with them. After sharing the experience, I told them the reason I shared this with them, is because I wanted them to know that when I told them certain things, I knew what I knew because I too had experienced things when I was younger. I also made it clear to them that with this information they had two choices… to either do as I did, or learn from my mistake and do better.
I’m grateful to be able to say that my children are 26, 24 and 20 and no babies or pregnancies have showed up yet (smile).
I practiced intimacy with my children, because I wanted them to practice intimacy with me. Besides, I wear every emotion on my sleeve, so I was never ignorant enough to believe that I was able to hide my feelings from my kids who were always with me… EVERYBODY could always tell what I was feeling. (hahaha)
So if you want your child to be open, honest and willing to share their intimate feelings with you, try giving them the same. Of course you will have to choose how you share your information depending upon the age of the child, but no matter the age of the child, your children will know when you are hiding and when you are being authentic.
BE Love, BE Power!
You can learn how to establish a Soulful Connection with your child by clicking here.
I am a lover of life and a lover of people. When we learn to connect in our heart space, love will be the driving force behind all we do. BE Love, BE Power!