Ok so I promised myself that this site will never become political, and I will do my best to keep it that way. However, I read something in the news that I think can teach all of us an important parenting lesson. That lesson is (drum roll) that in life, you can’t have it both ways.
I read that Mr. Pence, the VPOTUS, said that he won’t dine with a woman alone because it may compromise the sanctity of his marriage. Ok fine, a different life than most people live. What surprised me was that he was vilified for staunchly adhering to the beliefs that have allowed him to remain faithful to his wife.
Mr. Pence is well aware that business relationships can easily (and often do) turn into romantic ones. The Vice President has an unwavering commitment to his marriage and therefore sets boundaries for himself so that he will never find himself in a compromised situation. Fair enough?
Can’t have it both ways
In our society we used to vilify those men and women who choose to be unfaithful to their spouses. Now we have made a three hundred and sixty about face and are vilifying those that go out of their way to remain faithful? I am sure that Mrs. Pence is proud of her husband and feels very secure in her relationship.
And the point here is that you can’t have it both ways… You can’t vilify a person who cheats on their spouse and then turn around and vilify one who is being faithful. If you choose to act differently – well that’s your prerogative, but if that’s what Mr. Pence feels that he needs to do to maintain the security and trust in his marriage, he should be praised and not ostracized.
Our kids are watching
And here lies the parenting lesson; kids want to see that we stick to our values even when it may not be comfortable to do so. Kids, as we have mentioned before, are super sensitive to the standards that are set in the home. When we compromise those standards, our kids will pick up on this right away. The questions that our kids ask or a look on their faces will often alert us to the fact that we have compromised something along the way.
Let’s say that you don’t allow your child to walk across a major street that runs between your home and his friend’s house. All of his cajoling will not cause you to waver on your stance, because you do not feel that he is old enough to navigate a busy street.
But let’s say one day your child’s friend is over your house and his mother calls to say that she can’t pick up her child because her car is not starting, and you should just send him to walk home. It’s an extremely inconvenient time for you, the baby is crying, you’ve just started dinner and your husband will be home in a half an hour. What will you do? Your child’s antennae are up and watching your every move.
And these situations play out every day of our lives.
Don’t worry! We all compromise our values to some extent at different times, but the decisions that we make and the way that we frame our daily challenges have a major impact on how our children see life, values, and the necessity to adhere to them.
Yes it’s an important subject, but the main thing is that it pays to take some time, decide what your values are and then make a plan to evaluate what your kids are seeing on a daily basis. You’ll be glad that you did!