Monday, May 26, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

We've all heard it. We've all said it--at least in jest. It was a joke in my family when my Dad did or said something that contradicted with Our rules. We were good sports about it and just accepted that there were perks to being an adult.

Miss Rose is coming up on 4 1/2 and recently I've found myself employing the "do as I say, not as I do" tactic. I haven't said those exact words of course, but the idea is there. I have a bit of mental pain over it, but I guess it's one of the parental rites of passage, such as being spit up on, pooped on and told "I don't like you anymore."

Part of my mental anguish is that I don't want to have this "hidden" life from my child. Nor do I want to set a ton of examples that I wouldn't want her to follow. When I make long lasting decisions, I think about the example it will set for my kids in the future. Sure I'm an adult and can do as I please, and she will be one day too---but I feel strongly about living a life my kids can be poud of.

I kind of feel bad telling Miss Rose--this is okay for mama but not for you. But, I am an adult and she is a child. There are reasons why things are okay for me, but not for her, right??

Here are some recent scenarios.

Drinking soda...this has been going on for probably a year already. We are soda drinkers. I wish we weren't--as it's a bad habit of putting chemicals, artificial sweeteners and sodium in our bodies--but obviously it doesn't bother us enough to stop. Well, it doesn't bother Bean at all! Just me. Miss Rose often asks for drinks of my soda and the majority of the time the answer is no. For special occasions or sometimes when eating out, she gets to drink sprite or sprite and lemonade. My parents were huge soda drinkers too--and we couldn't drink it until we were in high school. I remember a short time my dad decided to charge us a quarter for every soda we drank at home. There was a bowl of quarters in the refridgerator!

Two-piece bathing suit. Ah, this is a sticky one. It's a personal thing for me, that I really don't want my daughters in 2 piece bathing suits until they are much older. Maybe 33. I'm sure at some point in junior high or high school I'll give in, but for now--one pieces. I want them to see bathing suits as functional, not as a fashion item. Little girls in bikinis are super cute, don't get me wrong, but just not my girls. Miss Rose has asked recently for a bathing suit that just covers "this" (as she puts her hands over her chest). Nope. Sorry. Yes, mama will be wearing a 2-piece, but you won't.

Language. Words like stupid and hate are not good to use. Kids tend to use them in reference to other humans. I really try not to use those words around her. But sometimes I'll say something is stupid. And of course she always calls me on it. I do try to change my vocab. But, sometimes, the things I say are part of an adult conversation, and she tries to correct me--or other adults around. Not okay. So I've started telling her that there are certain things adults can say that kids can't--and regardless of what she thinks, correctly an adult is not an option for her.

I know there are more, and as my daughters grow, the list will grow also.

My desire is to set the best example for my children as I can. But sometimes, the example is one of learning boundaries and limitations. I can only hope that as Miss Rose and Gracie grow and mature, they will understand what was behind our rules. Not only is it my job to teach them to be good children, but also to be well-rounded adults. I hope when they are adults as they look at our lives, they will see just that.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing I really appreciate when people share stories of things they are going through with raising kids or marriage. Even though I am not yet parenting I like hearing the stories because it gives me so much more insight and perspective when I do have to cross that road. I can remember as a kid my mom would call them Daddy's soda's. We just knew he drank then and we did not. It wasn't hurtful to us and we didn't really care that much.

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