The other night my 10 year old fussed at me for saying words that her Momma won’t allow her to say. She gave me a brief lecture on parenting and the importance of being consistent and then asked why it was OK for me to use those words and not her? I told her to be quiet and go back to watching TV.
Kids are annoying like that. Always expecting us to actually practice what we preach. Don’t they understand that parents have one set of standards for ourselves and another (entirely more strict) set of standards for kids? It’s not that we’re trying to be hypocritical. It’s just that we want our kids to be better than us.
That’s true isn’t it? The saying has roots in the fact that we don’t want our kids to act the way we do. We hope they make better decisions than that. We hope they have better morals and make better life choices. That’s why we give them different rules. Are we inconsistent in doing so? Probably. Are we going to keep doing it? You betcha.
We want what’s best for our kids so we set higher standards. Sometimes those include doing what we say rather than what we do (or did). That doesn’t excuse our behavior. It just says that our poor choices don’t give our kids the right to make the same poor choices. And that’s really what my 10 yr old was driving at the other night. If it’s OK for you to say it then it’s OK for me to say it. Nope. Sorry kid, it don’t work that way.
I know, I know. I should set a better example. We all should. When we obey our own rules our kids are much more likely to obey them as well. I get that and I’m not trying to explain away my inconsistent parenting. I’m just saying that sometimes using the old “do as I say” adage is necessary. Not saying it’s right or good, just necessary. We want to guide our kids down a better path and sometimes that includes helping them make different decisions than we did.