I came across this article on Babble.com about tattoos on moms just as my husband re-discovered NY Ink on TV (I think it used to be called LA Ink, but the grouped move shop to New York or something like that). I talk about it because it is one of the many “hypothetical discussions” we have on what we would allow or not allow our kids to do (At least until they are 40 and can live on their own, he says. I know he’s kidding, but I half think he’s serious! 😉 ). We have a lot of these little conversations, from mundane and supposedly harmless things like sleepovers, money matters and clothes, all the way down to the controversial heavier topics of boyfriends (Now I know why they say it’s harder for Dads to have girls than boys!), smoking, drugs, marriage, etc.
It’s always easier to throw words at them about “shouldn’t do this…” and “not allowed to do that…“, but then again how credible will you be if you don’t follow your own advice, or make yourself an exception when you feel that it suits you?
So our general guiding principle is that you only get a “say” as a parent if you don’t do it yourself. Talk the talk, then walk the walk. It’s probably the most honest one can be with their kids, without setting a double-standard (Why can’t I do it buy my mom or dad can?)
It is HARD, if you think about it. And I’m not saying I’ve mastered this at all! We are in fact quite far from it, but are learning through the small everyday things, like saying no one gets cookies before dinner (just as my husband wide-eyed, is caught with his had in the cookie tupperware). Even in disciplining, we don’t do unto them what we don’t want them to do onto others… as much as possible.
So it may be easier now, but then what happens down the road when it comes to the bigger, more controversial things that one may have done before? (I will leave it there and not use my past as an example as I know my mom and my mother-in-law read this blog! Don’t worry moms – I was a good kid… most of the time! ;))
What about “mistakes” you’ve done in the past that they ask you about? I’ve to think about that one. Maybe, if asked or confronted, then I will admit to making the mistake in the hopes that they will avoid it in their future. I feel though that if I can find a nice honest yet highly evasive answer then I may just take that route in the end!
Thinking about it all makes this age of innocence so much simpler and fun. How I wish it could last forever!