There’s no escaping a child’s watchful discernment when it comes to being observed by them as a parent. Although finding her own way through the changes of a ten year old, when it comes to me, my inconsistencies and my shortcomings, my daughter on the ball. She doesn’t miss a trick.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt In the years raising Frankie with my wife it’s that as a parent I am constantly teetering on the edge of hypocrisy. Partly because of old behaviours, usually justified with ‘I’m the grown up’. Which is incredibly childish in itself.
For example. I used to swear, lots. Every other word out of my mouth was a cuss. Not intentionally, probably more to do with where I came from in the point in my life that I met My wife.
Frankie didn’t like me saying naughty words. At first I brushed it off, partly because it was a hard habit to get out of, but I would also find myself making excuses for my self. For my ignorance in a way. My daughter had asked me to stop doing something that made her uncomfortable. I realised i had to respect her. Wether she’s a child or not. It took me a while and a vigilance in my own awareness to pull it back but I did. I had an example to set to her.
Sure as a parent she needs to respect me. But I would lose that respect fast if she saw continually inconsistent behaviours in me and constant excuses for why I’m allowed them. She’d grow up thinking the difference between children and grown ups is that grown ups are allowed to excuse make and do what they want at the expense of others. It’s the conclusion I reached as a child. Respect is a two way street.
Frankie pulls me up a lot. She knows when I haven’t been meditating properly and my awareness slips. She points it out because it affects her, she knows by my moods. I don’t mind her doing it either because what she sees is important. Her moral sense of right and wrong needs to stay in tact so she makes the right choices further down the line. Especially heading towards teenage years.
So I am judged, a lot by my daughter. And she has every right to speak up when she sees something that isn’t right. The same as I do with her. And If there’s one thing I know, it’s that nothing can sting your pride more at times than an honest child.