This past weekend, we had a situation with the preteen. As the title eludes I debated with myself and her as to whether omission was a lie. You see, something happened, and mother I felt I should have known (I am a helicopter mom – I need to know everything!). She as you can imagine didn’t feel the same way, because she was afraid. So afraid of my reaction that, she requested that I not be told about it. It did come out by the grace of God, which I am very glad for. But man, I was hurt.

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More than a little at that. For me and many others I know – not telling someone something because you feel they would react in a way that wasn’t favourable (omission by definition)… Is lying. It means choosing to withhold facts, because it would be unfavourable for you. Unfortunately, I have been in a few relationships with a-holes previously where I have had the “omission debate”. From past experience, I am absolutely certain of my views on this. There are no two ways about it. Black or white. Right or wrong. Yes or no. So when my preteen said “I would have told you if you asked”, I was little taken aback.

Honestly? Was I going to have this debate again? Will I need to go through a list of possibilities everyday so as not to miss what may have happened? No, but I do need to create a space where the opportunity arises for her to be able to tell me something outside of the ordinary. Something that may or may not upset me. I need to find time in our routine where she can say, “Something happened today that made me sad.”

Related post: Am I teaching my child to lie to me?

We have addressed that our home is a safe space before, but I felt the need to reinforce this. Remind her that no matter what, she can always come home and tell me. It’s hard to carve out this time and space, but necessary.

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The first thing we started right off the bat, to try and create space for open dialogue is having a family meeting. Luchae from My Spreadsheet Brain chats a bit about what that entails over here. I want to create a space to share more, a space where everyone gets equal opportunity to speak and where all suggestions (within reason) are taken into account. (I sometimes feel like the parent child situation in our home gets a bit overwhelming.)

Low-lights and highlights have always been something I have wanted to do since seeing it in “The Story of Us” and just never got around to it. In case you didn’t see it, it’s a space at the supper table where each family members shares a highs and lows of the day. I hope that with more open communication, it becomes a little easier for all of us. Emilie and I are reading for 30minutes every night as part of her action plan for this term too. Although I cannot guarantee that any of these will work, it makes me feel better that we are trying.

In the Meantime – Do you have any traditions or little things you do to encourage open communication and eliminate omission in your home? Share with me in the comments.

6 Comments on Omission is a lie. Or is it?

  1. I can imagine this was heartbreaking, and at the same time I can imagine myself loosing it a bit. Kids say things, but sometimes they hit the nail on the head. I like the high and low lights at the table. Although most of my kids are maybe still to young for this, its never to early to start. I pray with my kids at night, individually, and hubby reads Bible with them. This is what we do, but as far as them talking and knowing that this is their safe place…. good question. I think I’m also scary. Much love xxx

    • It was! But I did realise consequently that obviously there are things they need to keep from us, it’s part of growing up sadly. I love the prayers and Bible reading this is actually something we don’t do aside from devotional time quickly in the morning. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Here we go again…*sniff*

    I told Addison when she was about 6 or 7…if you ever feel uncomfortable or you know something happened that mummy wouldn’t be happy with or you just feel I need to know….come tell me no matter how big or small it is. I won’t tell anybody, I won’t judge you (I will, but she doesn’t need to know that…lol). IF you don’t want anybody else to know, I won’t tell anybody else. It’s a bit dangerous, but for now all she comes to tell me is about friends dropping F-bombs or this or that…. stuff that her dad doesn’t really need to know. BUt it will become a problem for me to keep that promise….but perhaps I’d explain to her that I need to involve her dad. Will cross that bridge when I get there.

    Continue creating the safe space and enjoy that reading time together…..you’re doing the best job as her mother <3

    • I love that she tells you about the F-bombs… and that you have that relationship without dad – I think it is important even though you may need to involve dad later! Thanks friend! xx

  3. This tugs at my heart Strings as a Mama. We want (actually make that need) our kids to be able to tell us everything and it hurts when they β€œwithhold” important information for fear of our reaction. I am learning not to react negatively when things are less than stellar in the hope that my child know that she is safe to tell me any and every thing .. hugs Mama

    • Oh yes, its incredible how deeply it does hurt, and you are so right in holding back the negative reactions sometimes. I am soooo bad with that, hence the fear. But I am also trying to be open about my fears, and my own emotions of being hurt and why… I think it helps a little.. I hope anyway hugs mama! xxx

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