Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that ALL of their ideas are good ones. In fact, many are silly, impossible or end up setting a bad precedent. Donuts and chocolate cake for breakfast? Drawing with permanent markers while sitting on your new couch? Of course not. However, many of the things they complain about when it comes to their parents are right on the money.
Have you ever heard your kid complain that you dress too young for your age? Or that you’re inappropriately exposed? No one says you have to give up the entirety of your personality when you have children, but there is a time and a place to express the silly or sexual side of yourself that limits your child’s exposure to too much too soon. If you’re wondering if this means that you should put away your short shorts and extra low cut tops, the answer is “Yes!” We are our children’s role models and must live as an example. “Do as I say, not as I do” is an antiquated methodology that does nothing but create resentment for your children because they don’t understand the double standard (nor should they). Because children don’t always have the language to express this resentment, it often manifests in “acting out behaviors” that set off a chain of actions and events for which no one is prepared. If you don’t want your children dressing provocatively, model what is appropriate.
Ever heard groans and gagging sounds for being too physical with your mate in front of your children? It’s all about balance here. It’s healthy and recommended for children to see their parents being affectionate. Hugs, kisses, cuddling and holding hands show children that relationships can be loving and romantic, even after several years together. What children don’t need to see or hear are gropes, loud noises from the bedroom and sexualized conversation. While there’s little we can do to control what goes on outside our homes while children are in school or with their friends, there is quite a bit we can do inside the home to set a standard and avoid putting ideas in their heads before their time.