Setting a good example…or not

She says:Goody Goody

Hello. My name is Courtney and I am a goody-goody. And proud to be one, thank you very much. I have always preached to my children that life comes down to the choices we make and the consequences that follow: good choices bring good consequences (even if it’s just a sense of gratification in having done right) and bad choices bring bad consequences. I had thought about that concept a long time and put it to the test before saying it at every available opportunity to the kids. It’s true though, just think about it.

In my effort to walk the walk and talk the talk and be an all around good parent, I’ve become a goody-goody. The way I see it, I had to do this out of parenting necessity. One of the annoying things about parenting is that I can do 100 things right and the kids won’t seem to notice it but do one little, tiny thing wrong like let a swear word slip when the 28-ounce can of tomatoes falls on my bare toe and you’d think I was a heathen! They never let me forget it! It’s maddening!!! What about all the good examples I set for you people, huh?!!!!

I wasn’t always a goody-goody though – an argument that wouldn’t work in my favor if I told the kids. I did my share of naughty, irreverent, dangerous and possibly even illegal stuff (which I’ll never admit to). But when I became a parent, I couldn’t keep slipping up like that. How could I tell my own children not to lie, swear, drive too fast, steal, etc. if I was doing those things?!

He says:

Disclaimer: My comments could be misused if not taken carefully. In no way are certain behaviors acceptable.

Being human is to be imperfect… and I am VERY human! I use my share of bad words, occasionally imbibe to excess, often burp and pass gas… In other words, exhibit imperfect behavior! Courtney and the kids rightfully call me on these mishaps.  As much as I wish to set a “Perfect Example” for the kids, this is unrealistic! Being Mr. Perfect would lead my kids to a skewed vision of life with unrealistic expectations of themselves and the world around them. As long as an honest discussion takes place after the heat of the moment, recognizing ways it could have been handled better… Is that not a truer, more realistic example of how life really works?

After all my imperfect parenting behaviors, I hope my children laugh and forgive me when they are adults! Forgiving a parent’s imperfections – is that too much to ask of children? Is this not a good lesson to learn in life? Will it not show them to accept their own imperfections – and those of others in their lives? By modeling imperfection, yet aspiring to be better, isn’t that not only realistic, but the most honest and rational parenting method? This being said… Making excuses, being lazy and settling into a comfortable rut of misbehavior would be so easy! Constantly making the same mistakes without acknowledgement and not showing improvement? This would not be a healthy example for my children. Although I am not yet, I aspire to be a great parent. Honestly, it takes hard work to ensure my kids learn more from what I do right, than what I do wrong!

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