I grew up in the “Anti-Victorian” generation of the 60s and 70s. Of all sins and crimes, hypocrisy was the worst, the ultimate of evil. A parent saying “Do as I say, not as I do” was mocked and derided. What a hypocrite! What an idiot!
So, once I became a mom, I tried to be understanding with the children when their fault was a fault I also have. I tried to be more lenient, not to punish them as much. Etc. And when I did discipline them for something I might also have done (such as losing my temper) I felt bad, guilty. I’m sure it affected the discipline.
Well, last week I woke up.
Why should I damn my children to lives filled with the same faults and vices I have?
Suddenly, “do as I say, not as I do” seemed not hypocritical but wise! Who knows better than I the price one must pay for the faults I bear? If I wish my children to have happy lives, should I not do everything I can to shield them from the very difficulties I must endure?
The first step, I realized, was to be able to require them to live up to the proper behavior without a sense of guilt on my part. This is going to be hard, but I can see some improvements already.
PS. I don’t usually post pictures of my kids, but I could not resist.