Nobody wants to be called or thought of as a hypocrite. When people describe themselves you won’t hear them say “I have a good sense of humor and am a hypocrite.” It is also not a trait you look for in a friend or mate. I have never met anyone who considers it a desirable quality and you try your best not to be hypocritical.
However, the one great thing about being a parent is not only can you get away with being hypocritical, you wouldn’t be doing your job if you were not. I think I have made it clear that I wasn’t the best student growing up and didn’t get good grades. The parental hypocrite in me makes it unacceptable for my girls not to get good grades. They have to study hard and make sure they get their homework done, all things I never did.
My room was always a mess, clothes thrown everywhere with comic books and toys strewn on the floor. Yet I scream, yell and give my girls a hard time for not keeping their rooms cleaned. I require Julia to do her own laundry even though I know I was much older before I did my own laundry. In my defense this has more to do with the fact is I refuse to do her laundry since now she wears bras, I am really having trouble with that.
As my girls get older my hypocriticalness (yes I know it isn’t a word) will increase. Underage drinking? They better not. Smoking weed, Hell no….underage sex…..I don’t even want to think about it. Honestly I wish I had a lot more underage sex when I was younger but there just weren’t that many willing participants. All those things I will preach to my girls about avoiding and being responsible about, even though perhaps I was not.
My oldest brother David who has no kids likes to tell on me to my girls. That of course is what people without children like to do and say things like “when you were younger you didn’t keep your room clean” and telling me I am being hypocritical. He doesn’t realize that as a parent it is my right, nay, my duty to be a hypocrite when it comes to my daughters.
I have to amend my first statement; nobody wants to be a hypocrite unless you are a parent. Hypocriticalness (I am trying to make it a thing, like Fetch) is a powerful, effective and necessary tool in the parental toolbox. We don’t want our children to make the same mistakes we did and want to use our experience to help them make better choices and be better people. We want to set an example for them, we just don’t want that example to be of us when we were their age.