Five Minute Friday – Open

by | Feb 19, 2015 | Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday.

It’s a party of words, of friends, of encouragement. Where a bunch of us free-write for five minutes on the same one-word prompt, and we gather together at Kate Motaung’s place to share, bless and build each other up. It’s beautiful.

Won’t you join us? Just let the words flow, either on your own blog or in my comments below. You’re always welcome. The door is always open here.

Oh wait. There’s this week’s word:

–OPEN–

Go.

 

openWhen I became a mother, I decided I would be open with my children.

When the hard personal questions came, I committed to answer them honestly.

“Mom, did you drink when you were a teenager?”

“Mom, did you wait for marriage before having sex?”

“Mom, what was the worst thing you ever did as a kid?”

If my children were bold enough to ask the question, they deserved my honest and open answer.

The answers were usually uncomfortable and often humbling, and were followed with a life lesson. I prayed they would learn from my mistakes.

The questions and conversations continue to arise. Even now, as my children are 20 and 17.

I struggled at the time if being so open was the right thing to do, but time and time again, I see the blessings of that decision.

Such as last night’s conversation with our son.

It was a mountaintop moment in parenting.

When he showed up in the doorway of our workout room, I knew he wanted to talk. I stopped my workout to listen.

He was questioning his plans for the weekend because of the potential for him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He didn’t want to be placed in a compromising situation. (Oh, what a different child he is, compared to what his mother was like at that age!)

If my heart could have smiled at that moment, I’m sure it would have.

I listened. I agreed with his decision to change his plans. And I praised God for the moment.

My son could be open with me, as I’ve been open with him.

Don’t get me wrong, I am far from being the perfect parent. I’ve messed up in that area more times than I care to admit. I do believe, however, being open with our children has been one of the best decisions we ever made.

Moms and dads, I encourage you to do the same.

 

Stop.

Keep up the good work, moms and dads. No one can parent your kids like you can!

Blessings!

Julie

 

 

 

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38 Comments

  1. Marisa

    Aww, it sounds like you did an awesome job. I try to be open with my kids too and my parents often give me dirty looks like I should hide that I did drugs etc but kids are far from stupid and in today’s day with social media etc who knows if they have already found the answer before they ask the question. I too, try to use my experiences to teach them to not walk the same path I did. I believe that the only way to prevent history from repeating itself is to teach it accurately to the next generations! (((hugs))) to you FMF friend!! Good job!!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      I love your words here, Marisa! Especially “I believe that the only way to prevent history from repeating itself is to teach it accurately to the next generations!” Amen! I’ve seen how my children have learned from my mistakes, and I pray they never make the same ones I did. Thank you for your encouraging words today! Blessings!

      Reply
  2. Donna

    I agree with you about being open with your kids. It’s the best way to build trust. Kids know when you are not being real.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Boy do they ever, Donna. They are pretty keen on seeing a smoke screen today. Thank you for stopping by and for your words. Bless you!

      Reply
  3. Shannon Bibby

    Julie, I am so glad to read this post. I too feel being open and honest with our children is very important. Praise God your son was able to talk to you honestly and decide to change his plans! Mine are still quite young yet (6 & 9) but we have had some conversations that required honesty. I have fought with myself (and others) about being so honest. I stand firm in my beliefs and it’s great to know I’m not the only one. As you said, I’m not perfect either and make mistakes. But, I’d rather be honest with them in hopes they will be honest with me when the time comes.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Amen, Shannon. I’ll never forget when my daughter asked me about the biggest mistake I ever made in high school. I had a string of them a mile long, and I couldn’t decide which one was the worst. I’m thankful to this day she has never made any of the mistakes I did. So thankful God uses all we go through for His glory. Thanks for your encouragement, sister!

      Reply
  4. Amanda

    Great advice. It makes so much sense that you being open would lead to your son being open with you, but I wouldn’t have really thought about it. Thanks for this mentoring moment.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Amanda. I’m thankful God has given me the relationship with my children as He has. So many opportunities we have to “train up a child in the way he should go.” Praying for you in those opportunities today!

      Reply
  5. Betsy

    Oh Julie, I love your open post! So glad to be visiting you from #FMF! I find it admirable that you’ve chosen to be open and humble with your kids, and that opens doors, I’m sure! How wonderful that your son approached you to talk. (We had a parenting moment last night too when our son realized he didn’t get accepted at UT Austin! We were shocked since his scores are higher than the average students’…A lesson in humility, and now he’s trusting God because he’ll either go to the school that was #3 on his list, or he’ll get accepted by his #1 choice, which is an impossible dream!)

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Betsy, it’s a joy to be walking through these years alongside of you as our kids are so close in age. I’ll be praying for God’s will for your son and which school God wants Him at. Keep me posted, dear friend. Thank you for sharing today. Bless you!

      Reply
  6. Verona

    It seems you are a great parent and good example for your son. How proud I bet you are of him…thank you for the encouraging post Julie!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you, Verona. I’ve messed up in parenting so many times. So many. I’m thankful our son made the choice that he did. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Blessings!

      Reply
  7. Jen Daugherty

    This is amazing! Your son has a good head on his shoulders, and clearly sees that the way you choose to live your life is something he wants to emulate. ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes all the crazy days worth it, right? Your openness allowed him to be open to you, and figure out things together. I definitely think everyone benefits when we’re a little bit more open and try not to hide allllllll our dirty laundry. ๐Ÿ™‚ Because real life is better than a perfect unreality.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Jen, I love your words. Especially your last sentence. Because real life is better than a perfect unreality. Amen! It does make all the crazy days worth it, and believe me, we’ve had plenty! Can’t wait to see you later today!!

      Reply
  8. Anita Ojeda

    Amen and Hallelujah! I’m so glad that your son is being open and honest with you. It’s so important to not lie to our children–if the most important people in their lives can’t be honest, who can they trust!?

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Good point, Anita. That hits home, “if the most important people in their lives can’t be honest who can they trust?” Another confirmation for me. Thank you, sweet friend. God bless you! Am looking forward to stopping over at your place to read your post soon! Happy Friday!

      Reply
  9. Amy P Boyd

    I, too decided to be honest with my kids when they were younger. It isn’t always easy to hear the things that they decide to share but it is always good to keep those communcation lines open.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Yes, Amy. Some of those are especially hard to hear. But I’d rather be the one hearing them than someone else. So glad we can walk this road together and encourage each other! Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  10. richelle @ our wright-ing pad

    authentic parenting is such a challenge – struggling to be open and honest with the kids yet at the same time, not glorifying or communicating that it is okay/expected to “sow those wild oats” and then come back to God when you’re ready to be serious.

    i’m thankful that my hubby and i can be open with out crew and don’t feel like we need to hide things because God often protected us from ourselves – we both have testimonies of being delivered from sin… not out of sin, if that makes sense…

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      What a tremendous gift of God protecting us from ourselves! As parents we have so many opportunities to train up our children in the way they should go. It’s an honor and a great responsibility. I’ll never be a perfect parent, but with God’s help I’m able to point them to Him. Thank you for stopping by and sharing today. It’s a joy to have you here!

      Reply
  11. Melinda

    This is such a balancing act for me. I want to be open, but I question how much is too much? I think I figured out that I have to be as open as their age will allow. (If that makes sense.) Your post shows me some of the benefits of that, and I thank you.

    Hugs,
    Melinda

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      I agree, Melinda. Be as open as age will allow to answer their questions. You’ll know what’s right. God will show you. Bless you and your parenting, friend! Keep up the great work.

      Reply
  12. Meredith Bernard

    Oh, what a PRAISE JESUS moment, Julie! And not at all how I responded at that age…but certainly how I would want my own children to respond. I appreciate your words here…and I hope I can be as open as I need to be for it to be so.

    Blessings friend!

    xo,
    mb

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      God’s got you and your parenting, Meredith. You’re a great mom from what I can tell. Keep up this precious work you are doing in raising your beautiful children. I’m thankful for PRAISE JESUS moments like these. Bless you, sweet friend!

      Reply
  13. Sabra Penley

    Rejoicing with you, Julie! Nothing makes a mother’s heart leap with joy like seeing her kids live according to God’s ways.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Amen, Sabra. Amen! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      Reply
  14. Tiffany

    So great, Julie! We’ve started that pattern with my 11 year old son – openly and honestly answering his questions and encouraging that open dialogue. The world is vying for our kids and I agree, it’s so important to set the precedent that home is a safe place to ask the tough questions. Blessings to you!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Amen, Tiffany! I couldn’t agree more! Home is the safest place to ask and answer the tough questions. Bless you in your parenting, friend. Keep up the great work!

      Reply
  15. Tara

    What a great witness to your children! I hope to be open with my someday children too. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you, Tara. I hope you can be open with your children too, when the time comes. God will equip you in His ways. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  16. Anne

    Hi Julie! It sounds like your openness with your children is paying off in a huge way. Way to go, and thanks for encouraging us to do the same. Blessings, Anne

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you, Anne. May God bless and equip us all in our parenting! Thankful we don’t do it alone. Blessings!

      Reply
  17. Kathryn Shirey

    So encouraging! I know these will be hard conversations. I’d rather say ‘do as I say, not as i did’ but I think the open conversation will be more productive.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      You can still say that, Kathryn. I have, and I pray my kids have learned from my mistakes. These conversations are hard, but are so worth it. God bless you and your parenting, friend!

      Reply
  18. Holly Barrett

    Julie, I’ve found this to be true with my kids too…always listen and never overreact. Not that I always do that, mind you! But when I do, they are so much more open with me. I pray always to maintain that open relationship with them.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      I pray this too, Holly! Glad we can share this perspective. Bless you, dear friend!

      Reply
  19. Liz

    Yes! Thank you for being an open parent, willing to answer truthfully the hard questions. Working with teens, so many of them desperately want to know their parents but more often than not, their questions are dismissed or left unanswered or altogether avoided. And then they come to me seeking a safe place. I’m glad I can provide it, but I wish their parents would willingly be a part of the discussion.

    So thank you for being an example!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Oh, Liz. My heart breaks in reading your words here. I’m sad to read there are some parents who aren’t willing to be a part of these discussions with their kids. But I’m rejoicing that the teens you mentor have you! What a gift you must be to them. I’m thanking God for you today. Keep up the great work, friend. Bless you and your ministry!

      Reply

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