In my house there are a lot of double standards, too many to mention here. But there are a few that are a reoccurring theme or just stick out like a sore thumb, to me anyway. I can’t seem to get the rest of my family to see them though, let alone want to do anything differently to eliminate them or at least minimize them.
I can’t even count the number of times one of the kids has gone into another sibling’s room when the sibling is not looking to “borrow” a book without asking because they know the sibling is going to say no, but then when they discover one of their siblings has done the same thing to them, they are furious and confrontational. The first thing I say is that they can’t have it both ways, so they need to make up their minds. Either don’t “borrow” anyone else’s book, or don’t be upset when someone “borrows” yours.
The same thing applies to reading books at the dinner table. My kids love to read (and believe me, I love that, but they like to read so much that it’s hard to get them to put a book down at times when they shouldn’t be reading). There have been occasions where their dad has scolded them for reading a book at the dinner table only to open a magazine a few minutes later that came in the mail that day that he starts reading during dinner, or he’ll pull out his phone and read an email. You can’t have it both ways. Make up your mind.
Another example that happens on a regular basis has to do with self-initiative. Everyone in my family seems to be annoyed if they get reminded to do something that needs to get done or are asked to pick up their belongings and put them away, but they don’t have the self-initiative to do these things on their own. It seems like I am always pointing out that they either need to take care of these things on their own or the first time they are asked or not have a negative reaction to a reminder. Make up your mind.
House projects are another double standard. If I try to have some input on a house project that my husband is primarily going to be working on or even just have a conversation asking him how he is going to get it done, I get “Why don’t you wait until I am done before you criticize me?” as a response. (The fact that I am not actually criticizing him is whole other topic.) If I wait until he is done and then comment on anything that he did, I get “Why didn’t you say something earlier because now I have to go back and redo everything?” In this case, I think he has already made up his mind that he doesn’t want me to have any input whatsoever on house projects.
Lying is another big one. Don’t clearly lie to me in front of the kids and then when you catch them in a lie not too long afterwards, lay into them they just committed the biggest sin ever. And don’t get all irritated when someone inconveniences you when you don’t think twice about inconveniencing others. It’s not a good idea to snap at me and be all defensive on a regular basis, yet lecture the kids about how they shouldn’t do that. Make up your mind.
Actions definitely speak louder than words. We all need to think about that and make the connection between the decisions we make vs. how we react to the decisions others make. We cannot have different expectations for others than we do of ourselves, and we cannot be upset at anyone who treats us in the same negative manner in which we treat them. We need to decide what is acceptable behavior for everyone and then act and react accordingly.
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