My wife and I are learning how much kids trust us as adults. Not only do they trust us, but they view everything we do as right and ok. My wife is very consistent with the rules she enforces and how she conducts herself with our kids. I on the other hand am a rule breaker. I am a hypocrite. Below are some examples…
1. I am not supposed to swing the golf club in the house…I do it all the time.
2. When my kids fart in my presence I get really mad…I laugh at mine.
3. Kids are not allowed to use words like “stupid” or “shutup”…sigh…I say those words all the time.
4. Kids are not allowed to eat food in the living room…I eat while watching tv all the time.
5. Kids are not allowed to complain…I complain all the time.
6. Soda is not allowed…I drink Diet Coke everyday with every meal.
So what’s my point…Recently I used the word “stupid” in sentence and #4 said, “Ooooh. Daddy said a bad word. But its ok because daddy is an adult.” For some reason my daughter can’t process my indiscretions and inconsistencies as mistakes or flaws. The only way she can make sense of my sin is to say and think that it is okay when adults do them because mommy and daddy are always right and always good.
This sentiment is both endearing and scary. The place we have in their hearts…this makes me really step back and think about the need to be consistent and gracious. I realized that one of the reasons kids think we are perfect is that we never get in trouble. Kids associate “bad” with “trouble”. They don’t see parents getting in trouble so they must not be bad.
My wife and I realize that #4’s comment means I have to be more consistent in my conduct and rule making. But more importantly I need to teach my kids that adults need forgiveness and adults can make mistakes. While my younger kids will think this way, I know it doesn’t last. #1 and #2 see the inconsistencies and it makes them mad at the injustice. We are learning that kids aren’t the only ones that need to grow up.