I know that I don’t have to do a whole lot right now for my daughter to think that I’m cool, so I don’t have a lot of pressure to bend that way.
Sometimes, I worry that I’m to laissez-faire. I’m afraid that I let little things slide that shouldn’t. Like making her bed. Like putting stuff in its proper place. I was always lousy at it and part of me feels hypocritical, but I also don’t want her growing up like me.
Then, I remember how much of parenting is, on its face, hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is usually only called out by hypocrites who are afraid that they will be called on not eating their own dog food.
I get to be a hypocrite as a parent for the same reason that I no longer train new people at work. At work, I have been at my job longer than just about anyone. It’s not that I don’t have to follow the rules, but I no longer need the manual to do 95% of my job. If I taught the new people to do it that way, it would be chaos and then no one would be doing the job right.
If I taught my 5 year old to be a human they way that I am a human right now, I would be doing her a great disservice. Therein is the hypocrisy. I need to teach her the trade of being human before she can learn the tricks of the trade. I don’t want to raise her to trace shadows. I want her to understand form and shape and light and anatomy.
I have said that those who worry about whether or not they are doing a good job as parents are the ones that shouldn’t worry. If I wasn’t worried, then there would be something wrong (The one notable exception). The ones who don’t worry about that are the ones that usually need to worry.
I suppose I should apply the same logic to myself and keep working on it. It’s all I can do.
I really hate that Jimmy Kimmel “Ate your candy” thing.
First, if your child doesn’t trust you, you have no authority. The parent/child relationship is based on trust and it should not be abused so you can get on a third tier late night tv show. It’s exploitative and demeaning. So really, it fits right into the Personality/Reality TV show thing we have going for us now.
Am I overreacting? Maybe. Probably. I would never EVER exploit my daughter’s trust in me for any reason. I’m not just one person. I represent Authority to her. I represent Men to her. I represent Adult Behavior to her. She will learn about the faults of all of these groups on her own. When she learns about them, I want her to know that however common they may be, they are faults and should not simply be glossed over and ignored. They should not be accepted because “my dad was like that”.
If you don’t have kids, fine. Think what you want.
Ask someone who grew up not being able to trust their parents what they have had to overcome. Go ahead.
Sometimes my daughter says something in her little five year old voice that is completely mundane, but so utterly perfect that I smile my face off for the next hour. Like on Saturday when she saw a double helix ladder on the playground and said, “Look, mama! DNA!!” or when she says things like the moon is probably farther away than Texas.
Anyway, I love this kid.