If Your Kids Really Knew You, They’d Love You More
By Yasmine Abbasakoor
PHOTO © Anna Bizoń/123RF
Feb 12, 2018
I’m a fake. I don’t want to take part in name calling, but I bet you are too. Most of us parents are a bunch of phonies and it’s time to own up to our hypocrisy, for the sanity of our children and ourselves. Please, let me explain.
Since I’ve stopped pretending, parenting is a bit easier.
I took up a nasty habit last summer — playing Candy Crush. I tried to hide it from my children and they caught me. They begged to watch me play and I admitted to them I was embarrassed. My son said to me, “Mum! We love you more because you play Candy Crush." Of course they do, because video games are fun! Why have I been pretending otherwise?
That’s when I realized how much I’ve been hiding from them in an attempt to be a good role model. I’ve been a fake role model all along pretending fun things are boring and tasty things are gross and fingers aren’t for eating with, and I’m not helping anyone!
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Here are just a few of the things I used to hide from my children: my love of fancy dresses, makeup and "cool" hair, my fear of snakes and deep water, my love of TV, junk food and staying up so, so, so late and my inappropriate sense of humour. Instead, I’ve pretended to be a fearless lover of everything “healthy” (yeah, I’m putting healthy in quotes). What a boring person to hang out with. Besides the fun factor, there’s also the fact that I’m not modeling having an opinion. I don’t want children like that. I want children with a point of view and if their role model is a neutral mannequin (in jogging pants) how will they take a stance?
I’ve been a fake role model all along pretending fun things are boring and tasty things are gross
It’s time we stop pretending things that are fun and tasty are not fun and tasty. Kids are not stupid and eventually they’ll find out the truth. Things we love can be good and bad. Let’s assume our children, like ourselves, can handle contradicting ideas.
We are capable of binge watching television and also loving literary fiction. Women can love clothes and the periodic table. I often elevate my potato chips with a classy, homemade Greek yogurt dip (DM me for the recipe) — I am a complex human!
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Since I’ve stopped pretending, parenting is a bit easier. Now we can scream together at terrifying YouTube videos of snakes opening doors (no one is safe). We all cozy up in front of a mirror before a fancy event and when it’s time for them to go to a job interview, hopefully they’ll know how to handle some hot rollers. They might even grow up to be people who finish their big salads while saying, “I shouldn’t keep chocolate in the house, but I do anyway,” and no one will hate them for it.
Life is always simpler when you’re true to yourself. We’ve read enough biographies of important historical figures (read: seen enough episodes of Saved by the Bell) to know that. I’m not faking it anymore. Why don’t you download Candy Crush and join me?