When it Comes to Parenting, Does Hypocrisy Rule the Little Things?

Parenting Tips

I hear myself saying things to my rambunctious children like, “Don’t leave your shoes in the middle of the floor,” and “Pick up your messes,” and often notice, I don’t do these things myself. It makes me wonder, are all parents hypocrites? When it comes to the little things, are we walking contradictions?

My hubby and I are good about the big stuff we preach to our kids, like no cussing. Once in a while we accidentally let an expletive fly in front of the kids, but it’s rare. When we tell them not to hit, scratch, bite, push or shove each other, we’re on track. We never handle situations in a physical nature. Well, I may have thrown a brush at my hubby 10 years ago, but we weren’t even engaged and certainly didn’t have children way back then. Plus, he may have deserved it. I wasn’t aiming right at him. I digress.

It’s the small things that make me think I’m a hypocrite:

Pick up your mess! – I’m always trying to get my children to put away their toys and pick up the little explosions of stuff around the house. Then I find myself walking through the door with my own ‘mess’ of stuff and it all lands on the kitchen counter. And it piles up higher and higher. No, I’m not great about putting my messy things away.

Don’t leave your shoes in the floor! – I can’t stand seeing shoes scattered all over the place. Then again, I’ll leave multiple pairs of my own shoes all over the house. They rarely make it upstairs into my closet either!

Don’t eat in front of the TV! – I encourage my kids to eat their meals at the table. But sometimes I want to relax and watch TV, so I’ll eat a sandwich or a meal on the sofa like a true-blooded couch potato.

Wear a coat! – In this ridiculously cold weather, my hubby and I are always nagging the kids to put on heavy winter coats. Then, he and I only wear sweaters and walk out without coats ourselves. Sorry, I can’t stand being too hot. Besides, I know I won’t freeze.

Try new foods? Oh yeah, this is a good one. We’re always trying to encourage my kids to discover new foods. I’ve even resorting to bribing them with dessert if they at least taste  a new dish. Uhm, I’m as stubborn as a mule when it comes to trying new foods. But I’m old, I’ve had my whole life to know exactly what foods I might like and which ones I can live without. Doesn’t wisdom make me less of a hypocrite?

What do you think? Are we all hypocrites when it comes to our day-to-day parenting ways? Is it okay to be a walking contradiction as long as our intentions are good? Do tell….

Image: NatalieDee.com

Liar! Liar! Are Your Pants On Fire?


Just like healthy eating and good manners, lying begins at home. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a new study suggests parents lie all of the time. Hey, at least we’re consistent.

Out of 127 parents, the “vast majority” says they lie to their kids, yet emphasize the importance of honesty. Although parents might have many different reasons for lying to their kids, the study focused on two motivations: to influence their behavior and to make the child feel better about something. We’re not talking about promoting fantasies like the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. These are lies we tell our kids to make them act how we want. Like telling them they need to eat vegetables or a monster will grab them. I personally hate it when parents do stuff like that. It seems rather mean to scare a child into eating a carrot.

Not only are we liars, but we are also total hypocrites. Here’s why:

“At the same time that many parents tell lies to their children, they also try to drive home the message that lying is wrong. In fact, the study found, parents who were the most punitive about lying also were more likely to lie to their children.”

How much do we lie on a day-to-day basis? Is the truth really that difficult to tell? Are we rationalizing the act of lying to make our lives easier or to make the reality of our child’s world seem less scary? If a relative dies, is it really wrong to tell your child that person is now a star in heaven? What do you think?