I have no self-control when it comes to food, despite how much I pretend I do when I’m around my kids. I encourage them to eat healthy meals and don’t let them have a lot of soda or sugary things. However, yesterday, for dinner I ate an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs. That’s right—I’m a hypocrite AKA an adult. It’s not that I don’t teach my kids boundaries. There are items in our pantry that they know not to touch without permission, but if they know it’s there, they will be tempted to eat it. Hiding my stash is in their best interest. Right?
It’s interesting the things we hide from our kids about ourselves. I’m not just talking about the candy bars hidden in our sock drawers; I mean things about our childhood, experiences, and bad life choices.
Am I Wrong?
For example, my oldest kid hates school, and has since Kinder. I attend the meetings, and read the emails, and work with him on missing assignments, but what I don’t do is tell him it’s okay that he doesn’t like school; I tell him it’s a part of life, and to just try to do the best he can. I leave out how I can’t stand it either, and that I was a terrible student myself.
I’m going to leave out the part of the story about how I kept my head on my desk through most of junior year Chemistry. Should I tell him about how I had to re-take Algebra in freshman year because I refused to do any work? When I tell my mom any school news about Tyler, she always laughs and says it sounds familiar. I had a real problem with authority as a kid. I was fired from a volunteer job at the local ASPCA because my back talking got me in trouble with the program leader. I think about these kinds of experiences I had when I’m on the phone with the principal because Tyler was kicked out of class for arguing with his teacher.
I’m not saying I don’t tell my kids anything about my childhood; they will hear about when I hit a parked bus on my first driving lesson, that way they know to listen and be careful with how they handle the steering wheel. This also reminds me not to take them near any parked buses for their first lesson, but that’s not the point here.
The point is maybe I’m wrong. Should I tell my kids where their stubbornness came from? Should they know that I was a terrible student that bad mouthed my teachers? Nah…