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What To Say When You Parent Series: “It’s not my story to tell”

"It's not my story to tell" That’s a line I say to my kids every once in a while when they notice something happening between me and their sibling. Like adults, kids will do things they’re not supposed to, have accidents, make mistakes. They may wet beds in the night before mastering potty training and another sibling will say ‘why are you washing so and so?’ Or a child might do something that you’ve asked them not do and then you see them doing it and so when you address it, when their sibling(s) goes past and sees the interaction they say ‘what happened, Mama?’ and they may even add ‘what did so-and-so do?’

And in this case, I feel my role is to be a ‘hijab’ for the other child. Their thing that they may perceive to be embarrassing is safe with me. Their beautiful ‘failing’ and learning is safe with me. I’ll remind them; we may have a chat based on what it is. I may even need to set or follow through on a limit, kindly and firmly.

But I’ll (imperfectly) honour you. And I honour our trust. And so I say “it’s not my story to tell, my love. You can ask your brother if he wants to share”. Sometimes one brother will share with the other because they’ve decided they’re okay with it. Other times, they won’t. They’ll even remind the other sibling if they ask me about it “don’t tell, Mama. It’s *my* story”. But they get that their narratives which they wish to keep private are theirs. Really, “it’s not my story to tell”.

And as always, remember as you parent, that it's not practice makes perfect, it's practice makes progress <3
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