I realized recently how often I inadvertently use the "do as I say and not as I do" on my children without speaking a word.
Take for instance, the abundance of Halloween candy in my house. It took up two large plastic seasonal bowls with ghosts and pumpkins while anything inedible went into a small basket.
My kids kept trying to sneak candy off the counter. The 2 year old even went as far as to use her talking grill (which is THE most annoying toy we have had since her talking vacuum was escorted from our house after Emmy started using his phrases to critique my cleaning skills) to stand on to try to reach the candy bowls.
Then, it was put away into the pantry but not forgotten by my children who are like little pitbulls. They were allowed one piece a day (two if you count the pretzels or fruit snacks that I let them have for a morning snack).
Of course, my husband and I were like dogs with bones, digging for the best pieces. I scored Peppermint Patties and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups while he would take the Skittles and Mike and Ikes. We had more than one or two-triple or quadruple what we allowed the kids before dinner. My hour at the gym three times a week probably didn't even make up for the calories I've consumed.
And then I got busted by my oldest who wanted to know why Mommy was eating a piece of candy when she couldn't as a morning snack (it was 11 am and right before lunch). Here I thought I was being stealthy. Then, she asked if it was like soda where only mommies and daddies could have it. I just nodded my head. Yes, it is just like that.
Then the mommy guilt set in as I realized I wasn't living up the example I wanted to set.
Finally, the candy had to go. Not only was the guilt eating at me since I have no self control and was foolish to think I would but I was getting sick of the candy. We made up bags for family and friends' children who didn't get to go trick-or-treating because of the snowstorm that disrupted Halloween plans or because of sickness.
The rest of the hard candy in addition to the two bags of candy that I had picked up for 50% off (just because it was on sale) after Halloween went to Operation Gratitude. A friend graciously collected everyone's candy and dropped it off at a local dentist who planned to send it to the troops. She collected over 8 1/2 pounds of candy-probably from parents who were feeling like I was.
So while I taught my children all about the "do as I say not as I do" or the "when you're older and a mommy or daddy you can do it to", I also taught them about sharing and not just with mommy and daddy (or that's what I'm telling myself). It's called the glass half full philosphy of parenting.
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