Saturday, October 8, 2011

Parenting hypocrisy

John and I talk often about parenting philosophies and have decided that we want to have parenting principles that will apply across the board. For one thing, it's less confusing for children when you're consistent and for another it makes application of rules easier when there isn't as much grey area to deal with.

For instance, we don't want to lie to our kids (and most parents don't, right?). So, we aren't doing the Santa thing or the Easter bunny thing, because when it comes down to it, we'd be lying to them about the existence of these fantastical creatures. I know it's not a popular thing to do, but we feel like it's the right thing.

Anyway, another principle we've been trying to figure out how to apply is the "sharing" thing. See, when you go to a park and you get out snacks or toys, you're expected to share, right? So, when we've gone places and another kid wants the toy that Johnny is playing with, my first reaction is to tell him to share. Well, this bites me squarely in the butt when Johnny manages to grab something I don't particularly want him to have, like my phone or a kitchen knife (yes, he has grabbed a kitchen knife off the counter before). When I go to take it from him, he'll jerk it away from my and say, "Share?" That always made me stop. How can I expect my child to share his things with others when I won't share certain things with him? Quite the pickle.

Finally, John and I came to the conclusion that he doesn't have to share if he doesn't want to. The flip side of this is that the kid at the park with the cool truck doesn't have share either. I know this is going to be a difficult thing to enforce with a toddler (toddlers say, "What is yours is mine and what is mine is mine", right?), but at least it'll be consistent, which is worth it to me.


  1. I can't imagine a woman I would rather raise our boys with than you Kelly! I love you.

  2. I hate to rock the boat, but my very strong feeling about both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is that although fantastical characters they each represent the magical part of those seasons. To disavow the existence of these "characters" excludes your children from some of the most enjoyable parts of childhood. Besides that, you and your children will be VERY unpopular with the parents of your children's friends when they "spill the beans" to those friends in pre-school or before.

  3. Nevertheless...

    You can't be serious, Mr. Mitchell.

    Do you honestly assert that anyone - above all, PARENTS - ought to reject their beliefs and morals for the sake of social acceptance and ensuring 'enjoyable' parts of life?

    No wonder our world is full of promiscuity, divorce, infidelity, debt and materialism. I'm dumbfounded that you're actually proselytizing that carnal pleasure is a virtue and you're advising this couple to drop their noble convictions simply for the sake of joining in the fun.

    Shame on you.

    All too often we find excuses for immorality and call it no-big-deal and pride ourselves for being motivated by 'love'. Later, we wonder why our children break their word and leave their spouses to chase the same dream of an enjoyable life with some beautiful temptation with honey-laced words.

    Mr. Mitchell, you may as well walk around saying, 'To only have sex with your spouse is robbing yourself of one of the most exciting parts of being an adult - plus the cheaters wouldn't like you if went around informing your friends when they were being cheated on.'

    Your thinking is tragically warped and, sadly, I've seen it too many times in my 35 years from seemingly intelligent adults.

    Since this couple has an All-American appearance, I wonder - do you give this same warning of a bleak, Santa-less and unpopular childhood to Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu parents as well? Do you advise them to drop their moral convictions in the name of a good time, too?

    Mr. and Mrs. Durso, I realize this reply is being made nearly a year and a half after your post and Mr. Mitchell's comment. I also realize that you intend for this to be a lighthearted blog. I hope your spirits aren't dampened by this.

    Whatever your religious views may be, I hope you take the time, a few hours will suffice, to research the origins of Christmas, Easter and other 'holidays' to evaluate whether or not the associated practices and rituals we learned from our parents and are propagated by our friends are in line with your religion, worthy of being in your family and passed along through your parenting to your successive generations.

    I hope you chose to honestly examine your values and instill them, along with solid reasons, in your children.

    I also hope you warn them of the lure of 'feel-good' thinking and how foolish behavior can be haughtily excused by lust and emotion - and that love must sometimes forsake enjoyment to be loving at all.

    Lastly, I hope that you strengthen your children to uphold correctness regardless of what wicked things this world will say or do.

    If we refuse to consistently and rigidly show our children how much values, morals and character truly matter, how can we reasonably expect them to live a life in demonstration it?

    Thank you for reading.