Time to Play: Vulnerability as a Parent

As a young man growing up, I was often taught that vulnerability equaled weakness. This common theme has played out in several different situations from academics, relationships, athletics, and now even into parenthood. Now you would think that this is a correct way of thinking. The less vulnerable you are, the safer you are. The safer you are, the more you’re able to protect your family. But after reading Dr. Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, I discovered that when it comes to parenting and wanting to connect with your children this theory is false!

To be honest, for life in general, this way of thinking is incorrect. I mean if you really think about it, to not be vulnerable means to put up a wall between you and your fear. For example, I came across a picture of a son and dad walking through Home Depot, and both of them had on superhero capes. This is a great example of capitalizing on vulnerability in order to connect with your child. Now this dad could have given in to his fears of looking silly or put up a wall by telling his son that he is too old for that. But he did the opposite and he created a memory that he and his son will always have. That moment of vulnerability for that dad created an opening for his son to truly look at him as a superhero. If we as parents could really tackle this vulnerability thing head on and embrace the power that it holds, then we could intentionally create more moments of bonding that would give a greater connection with our children.

So next time your child asks you to play ninja in the front yard or to dress up as a princess, don’t think about what other adults will say about you or how they will view you. Use these moments of vulnerability to create lasting memories with your children.

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