You have to share your honest parental feelings with your children because there is simply no other meaningful alternative. Right?
I mean, what are you going to do, lie?
Of course you aren’t.
The benefit here is that sharing your feelings is leading by example.
First, you are showing that sharing how we feel is good to do (for you want your children to share their feelings with you too).
Second, you are exhibiting the proper way that feelings should be shown (with the same calm-kindness we all want).
This is all done with empathy. And, hopefully, with language that is age-appropriate.
My favorite line on this kindness is via Anne Lamott: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it, too.”
Children are entitled to hear their parents’ honest feelings. By describing what we feel, we can be genuine without being hurtful.
-Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)