Has your teenager ever accused you of being a hypocrite? Let me tell you something, they can detect it a mile away and they will usually be the first ones to point it out.
If we were to get real, most of us would likely have to admit that we have been a hypocrite. Maybe it’s telling your teenager that they shouldn’t do something because it’s not good for them, but then we do it.
You might have told your teen it’s wrong to lie. Yet two seconds later they hear you on the telephone telling a whopper. Or you are teaching your teen how to drive and explaining the importance of going the speed limit, when your motto is Sammy Hagar’s song, “I Can’t Drive 55.”
Get what I’m saying?
It isn’t until you consider some of these examples when you realize how often we can be hypocrites as parents. So what do we do with this?
First, I think it’s very important that we own up to our mistakes. Getting defensive or making excuses doesn’t change anything. But when we can be honest and admit that we don’t always get it right, it makes us more relatable.
Second, we also need to seriously consider changing some of those things that we are hypocritical about. Don’t want your teen to smoke? Try to quit. Don’t want your teen to speed? Drive the speed limit.
Granted, some of these changes might be easier than others. But your teen will at least recognize when efforts are being made.
Teens have a lot more respect for those who can admit their mistakes and failures. It also provides opportunities for learning.