Good news, though. People's opinions are just that. Those who do work on themselves see clearly who they are, where they've been and where they're going. While you can love someone you also need to let their view of you be just that. Theirs. Continue to parent the way "you" feel is right. That's "your" job. No one can take it from you.
Sad, I know you know it's not just non-remorseful waywards that get hit. We get lumped quite often. Luckily I believe only half I hear and next to nothing I read. Hell, more than just a few times, especially when reading consistent thought processes on display I think to myself, wonder when that poster's "WS" will have their d day.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
Most people that read my posts know that I usually will apply my own personal experience to attempt to get my point across. It's similar with the kids. I try to apply the knowledge I have and present it in a way that we can somewhat relate to each other. My kids understand that I am a flawed human being. They know that I have made poor decisions in my life. They also know that those decisions have hurt other people. Whenever I have a sit down with either one of them I explain that my hopes are that they can learn these valuable life lessons early rather than wait until their 30's or 40's like I have. My eldest daughter had even commented that is spooky that I can get inside her head the way I do.
I also truly believe that all the work that HT and I have done, all the talks we have had, all the openness we now share, he has become much more understanding of our girl's behavior. Now that doesn't mean that it doesn't drive either one of us bat shit crazy from time to time, but I feel he can see where it is coming from. He has often times said (in humor...sort of ) I wonder where she gets that from?
If it was considered hypocrisy to teach the lessons you have learned from poor decisions in your life, organizations such as AA or NA would not exist. Quite frankly, this site would look very different. I know when someone gives me advice I want to know that they have some sort of understanding of my situation. That they aren't just pulling shit from a hat at random. I want to know that they have some sort experience to offer to the table. So I take parenting with the same approach. I have experience and knowledge on the subject to offer. On important matters I want them to know why I say what I do.
So we can either claim hypocrisy and sit idly watching the cycle continue with our children, or we can be proactive and hope that something we say or show our children sticks with them and they have a better chance of becoming better human beings for it.
It would be difficult if not impossible for me to respect the active drug user who is telling me "don't do drugs". I would likely view them more as a cautionary tale, rather than a reliable resource.
I also think the tendency for a BS to hammer a FORMER WS on hypocrisy is probably born more out of anger than of reasoning. It's a very emotional response.
I can only speak for myself here, but when my FWS was having these discussions with our kids, I felt strongly that it he be the one to do it. I am not unique or special, so I doubt that I am alone in this.
I feel pretty good about the fact that my FWS is modeling a path to fixing what may be broken. He is showing our children that you may make bad decisions, though you strive to do your best, you might not. It's not at all the same as permission to do wrong and then fix it and all is happily ever after. It's the idea that you can find redemption and hope when all feels lost. He is showing them you must first own it and that it will be hard....for a very long time it will be painful. But with consistency, introspection, patience and a little self love, one can turn the ship around and make better decisions today, that will lead to better decisions in the future. I'm modeling the other side of the coin. I can't be sure exactly how they will process it all, I can only hope that they will dump out the stuff that's not helpful and keep the lessons that will be of benefit. But they probably have their own poor choices to make somewhere along the way.
A FWS is very well equipped to show/tell why lying, cheating leads to some negative consequences. I would think that once a person enters the category of "former" anything they have a valuable insight on a particular topic that someone without that experience lacks.
I still think that "showing" the path will make the greatest impact. I suppose that isn't the issue here, but I mention it, as I think most of FWS's have had to find a way to make their words match their actions.
We advise BS's here to watch actions, because we have learned that words are often misleading. I see this as pertinent because kids have an uncanny ability to call us out on the "inconsistencies" of what we say and what we do. If we are to teach them anything at all....we need to make sure that our own words and deeds "match". It is only hypocrisy when a parent is acting virtuous, but behaving in the opposite manner.... and most children, while they may not be able to put a name to it, are able to detect it.
[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 12:54 PM, September 14th (Saturday)]
I will just do what I've always done - teach them what I think is right. Take what works, leave the rest.
However that said I think it is especially relevant to teach someone not to go down a path one has gone down. My ex's daughter stole from a store when caught she was crushed by her own behavior and the consequences. My ex having been a liar, a cheat and a thief consoled her and talked about her own journey down that path and why it is one not to take. I think there can be redemption in that. A way to show someone that all is not lost but there are consequences that aren't worth it.
[This message edited by Syzy at 4:35 PM, September 14th (Saturday)]
A way to show someone that all is not lost but there are consequences that aren't worth it.
Wow, syzy! This is beautiful!!!
I don't plan on telling my kids about my A.
I hope you didn't misinterpret my post. My kids don't know about my A. When I talk to them about issues it stays on their level. My sharing about decisions I've made remains vague, however the lessons learned are clear. I just try to come at it from the angle of empathy and understanding. I don't want to be a super hero to them. I want to be someone that they feel they can come to with a problem and I will listen to them. I want to be someone that they trust can help them with that problem because I too have had struggles and I can understand where they may be coming from, but in the same token let them know what my expectations are.
I see no benefit in telling my girls about my A. But I do see benefit in letting them know that Mom (or Dad) are real human beings that make mistakes and actually live through it. That when we make decisions there can be consequences or rewards. That it is on only ourselves and not others when we choose.
My girls fight a lot. They want me to pick sides. I refuse to do it. My question to them is always "what is your part?" They hate it but I think they are starting to get my point. I want them to be responsible for their own actions. No blame shifting allowed! Doesn't always work, but it is a work in progress.
Why is it hypocrisy for a WS to teach children not to cheat?
The hypocrisy would only lie in a claim of not being guilty of the same. Not really semantics, depending on how the lesson is taught.
I've seen many posts of BS's quite upset their spouse has the balls to talk to their kids or get upset at their kids about lying, cheating (even on tests) where the WS is not in current behavior. Some of these have turned into pages.
PAGES. Right, cuz more is better.
I think the one person who has made the ultimate mistake is going to be more stand fast to the dont lie dont cheat.
I think when it comes to kids, if we believe what we are teaching in our hearts they will feel it.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot