Town Square

How do parents explain their bad behavior?

Original post made by Donna, Menlo Park: other, on Nov 17, 2008

I've appreciated the great decline in the number of people driving while yakking on a hand-held cellphone since July. But driving to work this morning, I saw a woman with two kids in her car -- maybe in the 9 to 11 year old range -- on her hand-held phone while driving. She was grinning and very intent on her conversation, and her kids were passive and looking ahead.

I have resigned myself to the fact that some people will thumb their nose at the law and continue their bad behavior, but this sighting made me wonder how that woman explains herself to her kids, who are old enough to know that mom's breaking the law, and maybe aware enough to know that the reason her behavior is illegal is that it's been shown to be dangerous. What excuse does she give to her kids for breaking the law so flagrantly?


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Posted by Look out, Mama
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 17, 2008 at 10:55 am

Can't answer your question about how she explains herself to the kids, but I can predict a karma-cursed future for Mom. Those kids are heading into their teen years under the wing of a role model who teaches disrespect for the law. How does she think they'll respond when she counsels them about drinking, drugs and other illegal temptations of the young?

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Posted by Norma
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm

One of the hardest things about parenting is having to practice what you preach, but it's absolutely essential.