Part of being a good parent is teaching your children right from wrong.
In order to do that, they have to believe that you occupy the moral high ground, that you have the authority to judge what is right and what is wrong. You can do this in two ways: you can explain that you learned the difference over a lifetime of experimenting, testing boundaries, and making countless mistakes – which will backfire until your kid is at least 25 and finally understands enough about life that he gets it; or, you can lie.
Unfortunately, when you’re trying to be a role model for your kids, it’s not the fun kind of lying that works. It’s the lies of omission.
Parents have lives, and therefore parents have secrets.
The more your kids know about you, the harder your job will be. (Trust me. I’m a regular Don Draper at home; my son has no idea what my real name is, and I also smoke like a chimney.)
Here’s a list of some of the things that I keep from my son, and will continue to keep, until he’s old enough to laugh about them over a few beers.
Things I Don’t Want My Son to Know About Me Until He’s Much Older and Maybe Probably Never
- I can’t fix anything.
- I once got so drunk in college I painted my face blue and called myself “Blue Man” and I don’t remember any of it okay maybe I remember a little shut up
- I once got so drunk in college I made a fool of myself by dancing to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in front of an arena full of people and I don’t remember any of it and that’s true I was totally blacked out
- I once got so drunk
- I once [REDACTED]
- I got lucky with Mommy – NOT INNUENDO, I’m hitting well above my average here
- I also got very lucky with Mommy – TOTALLY INNUENDO
- I kind of like when you crawl into bed with us
- I used to hate pretty much every vegetable you hate so I understand why you don’t want to eat them but I also don’t care
- Actually, I still hate zucchini and squash and mushrooms and spinach and I don’t want to eat them and Grandma and Pop-pop still don’t care
- When it comes to raising you, I literally have NO IDEA what I’m doing
- No matter how many times I may threaten a spanking I’ll never do it
- I love to swear and I swear a lot
- I never wore a helmet when I rode my bike and thought kids who did were nerds BUT PUT YOURS ON RIGHT NOW OR WE’RE GOING BACK INSIDE!
- I lie to you ALL THE TIME
- We don’t really go to bed when you do
- I’m Santa
- I REALLY DON’T WANT TO WATCH FROZEN ANYMORE
- I don’t know everything
- For some reason I find The Devil Wears Prada to be incredibly watchable
- I don’t necessarily know best and neither does Mommy but she’s probably closer
- In the future, when I can’t help you with your homework, it’s probably because I can’t and not just because I want you to do it yourself
- I’ve gotten a lot of speeding tickets
- I hate yelling at you more than you hate being yelled at
- I’m nowhere near as good at most things as you think I am
- I watch too much TV too, and I LOVE it
- I’m more scared than I am mad
- I’ve accidentally pissed my pants more recently than I’d care to admit
- I don’t really have anything lined up for when I finish counting to three
- I have no idea what I’d do without you
(There are still some things I’m gonna keep under my hat.)
That’s by no means a comprehensive list of secrets that I keep from my son, but it’s a start. I haven’t decided if I’m going to tell him about my coconut-scented-hair-product fetish. (I am THISCLOSE to drinking a bottle of shampoo!)
Care to share some of the things you strategically keep from your kids? Chime in below!