There are two groups of people we are completely disappointed in when we discover they are not perfect: our parents and our children. For some reason we give ourselves the luxury of imperfection, know more.
I told my six year old daughter our New Year’s resolution was going to be “Self-Improvement”. The inspiration came when we were at the second of the three Christmases this year. Yes three! One with my family in Columbus, OH, the second in Warren, OH with my wife’s family and a third at our house on Christmas morning. I worry about spoiling the kids and it was during the second Christmas when I heard my daughter become demanding. I want them to know how to work for things themselves! Growing up I dug ditches for money, I worked two jobs in college!
I noticed her asking where more gifts were, not picking up after herself, asking for more food when the food in front of her was not finished and I caught her at the very instant she was giving Pop Pop an order. I heard the beginning, recognized the tone in her voice and jumped in as she was finishing up so my father in law would not have to react. I told her that’s not how we treat people and made her apologize. This is when I told her we were going to work on self-improvement this year.
How stupidly righteous I was. Let’s face it, I am the one anymore who fries up pepperoni with the eggs when we are out of bacon.
When we arrived back at our house in Columbus I started putting things away and cleaning up for Christmas number three, I came across some unsettling remnants of 2012. I found an unfinished solar race car I was working on with my son. I found the Amazon.com gift card I was supposed to use to order Easy Bake oven recipes on line for my daughter and I also found two model boats which we never sailed, along with other unfinished projects. The kids had asked me about these things, but I always jumped to the next project. If the kids were going to use me as their guide, the bar for self-improvement was set pretty low these days.
If I am going to expect the kids to improve I will have to lead by example and improve myself