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Why Is It Hypocrisy To Have Different Rules For Adults Than Children??

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
This may sound old-fashioned, and I hope not, b/c I don't think I am in most ways, but when I see posts that say this, I usually think, "what's so hypocritical?"

For example....this is something I have a bit of guilt about, but once in a while I have some McDonald's French Fries (guilty indulgence). Someone said to me once, "Oh, *YOU* have them, but you don't allow your son (he is not yet 2) to have them. How hypocritical of you!"

I felt, "No, he is a child, and I am an adult. If I choose to put crappy processed food w/ 0 nutrients in my body, then that's my choice. Meanwhile, he is thriving on his organic apples, veggie burgers, etc..." (By the way, I don't eat the french fries in front of him).

Also, he doesn't drink coffee or wine. I do. He doesn't get to watch violent movies. I just saw The Departed.

kwim??? I just don't feel that different rules for an adult automatically = hypocrisy.
post #2 of 125
IMO the examples you laid out are not hypocritical. i can cross the street without holding someone's hand just fine, and have been able to do so for many years now. but my 3 year old doesn't have the same attention span i do and it's not as safe for her. i don't find that (or coffee, or french fries, etc.) to be hypocrisy.

on the other hand, i have issues with people who lie to their children and expect their children to be honest with them. "bending" rules of ethical conduct, IMO, can be hypocritical. but just doing things you don't permit your kids to do? not necessarily.
post #3 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marnie View Post
IMO the examples you laid out are not hypocritical. i can cross the street without holding someone's hand just fine, and have been able to do so for many years now. but my 3 year old doesn't have the same attention span i do and it's not as safe for her. i don't find that (or coffee, or french fries, etc.) to be hypocrisy.

on the other hand, i have issues with people who lie to their children and expect their children to be honest with them. "bending" rules of ethical conduct, IMO, can be hypocritical. but just doing things you don't permit your kids to do? not necessarily.
Marnie, I agree with you. But I have seen some people take this to the extremes.
post #4 of 125
The holding hands across the street example is perfect.

Eating french fries and feding your child healthy food is not hypocritical. As an adult, you can make your own food choices (and suffer the consequences, if you make too many poor ones). As a parent, it is your job to help your child learn to make healthy food choices.

In our household, we try to have as many rules as possible apply to both grownups and adults. No one hits in our family. We all sit at the table until everyone is finished eating - no matter how badly I want to clear the table and clean up the kitchen, so I can go do something else. Everyone wears a seat belt and a bike helmet. No one uses profanity. We all knock on a door (and are granted admission) before entering someone's room. We all speak to each other politely.

If there are two sets of rules in the house - a strict one for kids and a lax one for parents - THAT would be hypocritical. A philosophy of "do as I say, not as I do" is hypocritical.

An occasional french fry when your child isn't even around? No way.
post #5 of 125
Not sharing french fries is not nice. Just do without them if your child is dining with you. You should set a healthy example for your child anyway.
post #6 of 125
Quote:
(By the way, I don't eat the french fries in front of him).
In the original post.
post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
The holding hands across the street example is perfect.

Eating french fries and feding your child healthy food is not hypocritical. As an adult, you can make your own food choices (and suffer the consequences, if you make too many poor ones). As a parent, it is your job to help your child learn to make healthy food choices.

In our household, we try to have as many rules as possible apply to both grownups and adults. No one hits in our family. We all sit at the table until everyone is finished eating - no matter how badly I want to clear the table and clean up the kitchen, so I can go do something else. Everyone wears a seat belt and a bike helmet. No one uses profanity. We all knock on a door (and are granted admission) before entering someone's room. We all speak to each other politely.

If there are two sets of rules in the house - a strict one for kids and a lax one for parents - THAT would be hypocritical. A philosophy of "do as I say, not as I do" is hypocritical.

An occasional french fry when your child isn't even around? No way.
: We all have to be respectful to each other, big or small. However, we do not all have the same privileges (or the same responsibilities) and sometimes the answer to why you need to do something just is because I said so. Not often, but sometimes. I am the parent; it is my job to lead and guide sometimes.
post #8 of 125
I don't think that it's necessarily hypocritical, but I do believe that a parent's job is to guide a child to make good and healthy decisons early on. I'm going through this with my 3 year old nephew now. I don't believe my sister should do things that she does not permit my nephew to do, pretty much just because I think it's unfair. My sister doesn't allow her child to watch tv or eat junk food, however I think all things in moderation are ok. But then she watches tv herself, and she still eats junk food... among other things that I've seen my nephew not permitted to do. When I have my own children If I say they can't do something I belive the whole family should not be permitted to do it. Just my 2 cents.
post #9 of 125
well. we have house rules. that sometimes get bent. if I'M going to bend them, i tell my kids why (i.e. we can eat in the living room tonite b/c i am exhausted and want to lay ont eh couch, we can make it a movie nite)....but i don't just arbitrarily do things in front of them that i tell them they can't do, b/c IMO that's a bit rude. hate to use this example (esp as a pagan ) but to me it's a matter of "don't lead them into temptation"--why dangle pretties in front of the kiddos then tell them "noooo not for YOU just me"??

and i totally see that you're not doing that

i eat my frenchfries too, but if I choose to do it in front of the kiddos, then I think it'd be kinda mean to not let them have ANY. so i eat them alone, or i get a small amount and we share. to me, keeping unhealthy foods out of them isn't as important as modeling politeness and sharing. and of course while we're eating, i will probably mention how none of us should really eat this stuff cause it's not good for us! and fwiw my kids pretty much hate french fries. they're 7 and 4.

just a sort-of-related story: once i was at a friend's house (very busy party-type thing goin on), and my kids were thirsty, so she told me to just get them something. WELL. my kids don't drink cow's milk, and there was only soda and cow's milk in the fridge. it never occurred to me that she would have 3 diff kinds of soda in her fridge and only allow her kids milk and water she was appalled that I gave my kids soda at all, let alone allowed her kids to see mine drinking what hers weren't allowed. we had a fair-sized blowup about it, and I felt really bad! but, do you think you'd relate more to me or to her in that situation??
post #10 of 125
I don't know if this is hypocritical or not but I think that what kids don't see won't hurt them. In our house we don't use foul language around our children. We expect them to have clean mouths. But when we are away from our kids or they are in bed we might have an occasion more colorful language is more appropriate. So fries that your child doesn't see isn't a problem for me. And since you mentioned your child's young age- I think that under 2, I not sure I would have shared even if we were together...

And I like the post about drinking wine... another excellent example I think of age appropriate behavior.
post #11 of 125
I agree with the pp's~ but i would be careful about the food thing. My best friend has done the same thing (except with meat) ...she raises her kids vegetarian and her dh is a veg too. she has *meat* when not with them. her dh knows but not the kids. as they got older a relative (who was not fond of her) outed her to her kids and her oldest had a meltdown about it and felt very betrayed by her. her daughter is a very strict vegetarian and cried when she found out her mother had been doing this, all these years. So I'd be careful on that. would you be ok if your children found out you were eating the very food you had been telling them all along was bad? In other words the other things you do as an adult -they know about,mostly (not in all situations but will eventually when they grow up and will be ok with) `Hypocrisy aside,there is a trust issue there, that I think you may be overlooking. Gently, Chandi
post #12 of 125
I think its hypocritical (and yes, occasionally I am a hypocrite).

Why shouldn't a three year old have the choice to put something crappy in their body? I don't think they "should" but I don't think I "should" either. I believe talking to your children about what is healthy and why, asking them how junk food makes them feel (both in the moment and afterwards) is more likely to produce a thinking, rational, questioning and self-reflective human being than not letting them make choices. How can they learn to make choices (between healthy and not) if all they are ever shown is what is healthy? Yes, they may develop a taste and preference for healthy food (which I would very much want to encourage) but that isn't learning to make a choice.

As for wine - lots of places children are given wine - very watered down or small amounts. Its only in North America where we consider wine to be only an adult thing (and look at all the binge drinking teenagers).

Some things - like the crossing the road, or other potentially immediately life threatening things - are not so negotiable - but I still think children should have a say. Maybe they don't want to cross the road right there. Maybe they should be offered the opportunity to run wild in a safe place.
post #13 of 125
i was just coming to say the exact same thing as the previous poster. Sure sometimes it is hypocritical. welcome to being my child (although for big things that i absolutely put my foot down, if it is a rule for them it is a rule for and I just have to change if I am not there already). They are free to call me on it when I am being a hypocrite. i am very open with them that i have bad habits and while I may not be able to kick them I am certainly not going to make it easy for them to adopt them. When they can afford to buy pop (for example) and pay the ensuing medical bills (when they can truly own all the consequences) they will be free to drink as much pop as they want. or whatever.

as for certain privileges I truly believe privileges and freedoms are things people have to earn (or should have to earn). So crossing the street etc not at all hypocritical. when they can they may but until then i get to call the shots for everyones safety. and I get to be in charge because I have proved my ability to cross the street safely.
post #14 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Dragonfly View Post
I think its hypocritical (and yes, occasionally I am a hypocrite).

Why shouldn't a three year old have the choice to put something crappy in their body? I don't think they "should" but I don't think I "should" either. I believe talking to your children about what is healthy and why, asking them how junk food makes them feel (both in the moment and afterwards) is more likely to produce a thinking, rational, questioning and self-reflective human being than not letting them make choices. How can they learn to make choices (between healthy and not) if all they are ever shown is what is healthy? Yes, they may develop a taste and preference for healthy food (which I would very much want to encourage) but that isn't learning to make a choice.

As for wine - lots of places children are given wine - very watered down or small amounts. Its only in North America where we consider wine to be only an adult thing (and look at all the binge drinking teenagers).

Some things - like the crossing the road, or other potentially immediately life threatening things - are not so negotiable - but I still think children should have a say. Maybe they don't want to cross the road right there. Maybe they should be offered the opportunity to run wild in a safe place.
We are mostly this way too . . . certain issues of life and death are non negotiable, but the kids can choose how they talk, what they eat, what they wear, what they watch, etc.
post #15 of 125
If I had the same rules for my child as I do for adults, then if she ever hit me I would cut off our relationship and not allow her near me again. If she were whiny and demanding and refused to let me have five minutes to myself all day long, I'd have some sharp words with her and then physically separate us. If she woke me up in the middle of the night, night after night, without being in any particular kind of crisis, I'd explain to her that I really needed my sleep and that she'd have to find some other way of keeping herself entertained and happy at night.

But she doesn't have the same capacities, judgment, or ability to accept responsibility that adults have, so I *don't* have the same rules for her as I do for adults. I cut her a heck of a lot more slack.
post #16 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka5 View Post
But she doesn't have the same capacities, judgment, or ability to accept responsibility that adults have, so I *don't* have the same rules for her as I do for adults. I cut her a heck of a lot more slack.
:
post #17 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Dragonfly View Post
Why shouldn't a three year old have the choice to put something crappy in their body?
Because that 3 year old child does not have the frame of reference that you do about the choices he/she is making. Because their little brains are forming synapses and their little bodies need a completely different set of amino acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals than adults do to complete the building process. Because after a certain age (18 or so), we are simply trying to not let our bodies break down, while before that we are trying to build up our bodies. Because a 3 year old isn't rational enough to understand that what they put in their bodies can affect them the rest of their lives. Because we are their parents, and it's our job to gently guide them to make decisions based on OUR frame of reference, while respecting their opinons. And because if children are capable of making their own decisions, we, as parents, are no longer a necessary part of life.
post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Because that 3 year old child does not have the frame of reference that you do about the choices he/she is making. Because their little brains are forming synapses and their little bodies need a completely different set of amino acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals than adults do to complete the building process. Because after a certain age (18 or so), we are simply trying to not let our bodies break down, while before that we are trying to build up our bodies. Because a 3 year old isn't rational enough to understand that what they put in their bodies can affect them the rest of their lives. Because we are their parents, and it's our job to gently guide them to make decisions based on OUR frame of reference, while respecting their opinons. And because if children are capable of making their own decisions, we, as parents, are no longer a necessary part of life.
Yes, exactly.
post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Because that 3 year old child does not have the frame of reference that you do about the choices he/she is making. Because their little brains are forming synapses and their little bodies need a completely different set of amino acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals than adults do to complete the building process. Because after a certain age (18 or so), we are simply trying to not let our bodies break down, while before that we are trying to build up our bodies. Because a 3 year old isn't rational enough to understand that what they put in their bodies can affect them the rest of their lives. Because we are their parents, and it's our job to gently guide them to make decisions based on OUR frame of reference, while respecting their opinons. And because if children are capable of making their own decisions, we, as parents, are no longer a necessary part of life.
:
I would also like to point out that children are very much more "in the now" than adults are, and don't understand very well the idea of long-term consequences. All they know is, "does it feel/taste good NOW?" or does it NOT feel/taste good NOW? The larger concept of, "Yes, it may feel good now, but it'll make you fat in a month" is not something that they can conceptualize.

Heck, I remember clearly thinking, as a kid, that I would NEVER be 18, EVER, because 10 years was eternity. As for being 30, well.... that simply was an obvious unreality, because that was even further away than eternity!

So their cognizance of certain things is not sufficient to allow them to make truly informed decisions.
post #20 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Not sharing french fries is not nice. Just do without them if your child is dining with you. You should set a healthy example for your child anyway.
I'm really sorry here but are you effing serious? Sorry but I really disagree here. No, I don't allow my toddler to eat junk food and he eats 100 times better than I do, but if we're going out to eat, I'm going to order whatever I please and if it includes something that isn't kid-friendly then so be it. I am the adult, he is the child, and that is how life works. If I want a beer with my fries, I'll order it. But I'm not gonna give him alcohol out of fear of looking like a hypocrite. I really don't feel adults should have to give up mundane things like fries just to appear to be setting a better example for your children. Shooting heroin in front of your kids will mess them up- eating Mickey D's in front of them? Meh.
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