Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm pretty damn sick of "I don't want to be a hypocrite!" being the excuse

parents use for not laying down rules for their kids and saying 'NO' when called for.
So here we are, the feminist and postfeminist and postpill generation. We somehow survived our own teen and college years (except for those who didn't), and now, with the exception of some Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, scads of us don't know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily. We're embarrassed, and we don't want to be, God forbid, hypocrites.
Jennifer Moses, you have a definition problem: if you were telling your daughter not to dress like a hooker and sleep around while you were doing it, THAT would be hypocritical; for you to say "I and people I know made the mistake you're making, and I'm not going to help you make it now" means "I grew up, I learned what a damned mistake that was; so I'm telling you "No, you will NOT go out dressed that way" ."

Few years back I heard one of the periodic "I don't want to be a hypocrite" whines from someone who found out their kid was doing drugs and didn't want to come down on them because they'd used drugs when they were a teenager; they'd realized it was a bad idea, they didn't want to watch their kid screw up the same way but they had the same definition problem. And the current lack of guts that prevents so many parents from laying down the law.

1 comment:

Phelps said...

Two things:

One, hypocrisy is not the abdication of a moral code. It is the upholding of a moral code. Which is better -- to hold a moral code that you sometimes fail to meet, or to have no morals at all?

Second, kids are going to rebel. They need to learn how to do it properly, and they need to rebel against the right things. Give them a moral code to rebel against, make mistakes against, and learn the value of.