This past weekend my wife and I were discussing swimsuits. We were talking about getting our 5-year-old daughter Hanah a new swimsuit soon because summer is on the way and we've got a vacation to California planned at the beginning of June.
Apparently Hanah told my wife she wanted a 2-piece swimsuit this year and my wife's immediate response was "no." Hanah countered with this question, "Why do you get to wear one?"
Ever been in that spot?
I think Katie (my wife) changed the subject or something because that's all I heard about the story, but it was enough to start a conversation between Katie and I about why we have certain standards for the kids, but not necessarily for us.
The most fair solution to this dilemma would be for Katie to get a one-piece swimsuit or to allow Hanah to wear a 2-piece, but it's not really that simple, is it?
With our kids getting older and becoming more and more independent, we are going to have to figure out what our standards are going to be and stick with it, even if it means adjusting how we behave/act/dress/eat/treat others.
I've been thinking about these things a lot lately and came to the realization that I've got a pretty clear picture of how I want my kids to turn out when they're grown up, and I know it doesn't really look much like me. That's a hard thing to deal with.
This is the perspective I've been seeing things from lately: Would I want my son/daughter doing what I'm about to do?
It's kind of the "What Would Jesus Do?" or "If Jesus was sitting right beside you ..." mentality, but from a parents' point of view.
Kids are the ultimate copycats, right? If you have kids or have spent much time around kids you know they will do exactly what you do because they look up to you. So, I'm starting to realize that I have to walk the talk with my children. They don't care what I tell them to do if I don't do it myself.
I know this is no new revelation, but for me it is going to require a major change in perspective. I want it to affect every decision I make, every word I say, every step I take.