Another Reason Why Parenting is tough
Why is it that kids are really, incredibly good at learning and imitating all of our negative characteristics?
Even if you are deliberate and thoughtful as a parent, they always seem to go low when we go high. There could be a good habit that you are trying to instill into them by daily being a good example, and all it takes is ONE slip for them to immediately and permanently take on whatever you're trying to stop them doing.
We've all had that moment where you've been trying to get your toddler to say something cute...and then they overhear you say "S*%t" under your breath when you stub your toe, and THAT is the word they decide to say on repeat.
Friggin' kids, man.
It's like when you're dieting consistently for months and end up losing 1kg...only immediately add 4 kg after eating a small bar of chocolate.
(The above was for illustration purposes, so don't come at me with dieting ideas all you health nuts.)
I've got a bunch of real world examples:
We want our boys to speak kindly and respectfully, which means a daily battle of not just being an good example of this kind of speech but also constant instruction and reminders. This is forgotten instantly, but let me swear just once at a dangerous driver...and they can bring that to memory years later.
I want to be an active and engaged dad, who gets down to my boys' level and plays with them doing what they want to do. I do this a LOT...but of course the time I was too tired to play with them is what they'll be talking to their therapist about.
We want our children to feel comfortable to talk to us about anything, especially when it comes to questions about the awkward, tough and confusing things in life. But that does not include a 1 hour dissertation on the different biomes and worlds you get in Minecraft (a conversation which we've had already, btw). So I'm just waiting for the day when they're teenagers who get into a spot of trouble and don't tell me because "Dad never listens to us".
The reality is that we are never going to get parenting 100% right all the time. We aren't perfect, and so our kids aren't going to be perfect either. And maybe that's the ultimate parent challenge - showing our kids how to be imperfect people who can both love themselves AND keep working to improve.
I guess that starts with letting the occasional "F*&K!" every now and again...