2.21.2011

Parental Hypocrisy

My calendar notification reminded me that I'm going to the dentist this week.  This reminded me that I had not been brushing as often as I should, and so I have been trying to make up for 6 months or so of poor habits in a few weeks in an effort to keep the dentist from knowing I have been bad.  I'm sure everyone does it, and that it never fools them, but it doesn't change the behavior.

Since Lil' Bit has started drooling copious amounts and getting a little fussy, the question of whether she has begun teething has come up.  This got me to thinking about the need to teach her good brushing habits.  Indeed, as parents, we want our children to develop the best habits they can and we endeavor to teach those habits to them.  Whether it's not lying, eating vegetables, good personal hygiene, exercising, not watching too much television, reading, doing homework, doing chores/cleaning house, getting along with others, or myriad other things, we yearn for our children to "do the right thing."  Yet, it's difficult to teach them these lessons when we don't do these things ourselves.

With children, the requirement to "Do as I say, not as I do" rarely seems to work.  They are, by their very nature, imitators.  They do what they see.  They also recognize hypocrisy--even if they don't know that's what it's called.  As the child in my family who as obsessed with fairness, and would shout "n't fair" at the slightest hint of injustice, I have no doubt that Lil' Bit will recognize when I am asking her to do something I am not requiring of myself.  So, since I know I am not currently modeling good behaviors, I figure now is the time to try and get into a routine and do better with them before I have my parental hypocrisy pointed out to me.  And, since I clearly haven't been willing to make these changes for myself up to this point, perhaps I can do it for Lil' Bit.

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