Why do people want candy after crying?


Well, let's go, I'm late. I am about to rinse my toothbrush under the tap when I look in the mirror into the face of my five-year-old daughter. She's right next to me. The humming of her electric toothbrush always stops briefly when she places the device in her mouth. Her big brown eyes fix me. Your look is serious. Shit, how long are we cleaning now? I think. Definitely not three minutes, as we always tell children. She knows that very well. Three minutes ... I keep cleaning, now deliberately up and down and front and back. I start to hum and smile at my daughter as if brushing my teeth were my greatest joy. Your view remains unchanged. As if she wanted to say: "You can't fool me, papa."

In the afternoon my children ask: “Can we have something sweet?” “No, you already had an ice cream. Also, there were gummy bears in your breakfast cans, that's enough. I can make you a fruit plate. "

In the evening my wife asks me: "Tell me, do you secretly hamster sweets in the cellar?" Caught. I had hidden the liquorice bag so well between pasta, flour and tins. Although I am consistently and responsibly trying to feed our offspring, the truth is that I have no scruples. Immediately after arranging the fruit plate, I snuck into the cellar, tore open a bag of liquorice and stuffed half of it into me within minutes. The fact that my wife asserts that she initially suspected the children and was relieved that they did not lie and actually did not nibble secretly in the basement does not make it any better. As a seemingly strict father who secretly feeds liquorice in the cellar, I'm already in a moral dilemma. To be caught doing the crime is really embarrassing.

Whether we like it or not, we parents are our children's role models. It's like this twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We are under observation. Whether we're secretly snacking, staring at the cell phone for hours, picking our noses, leaving the laundry or not clearing our plates: the children register everything. We can't get out of the number. We are role models, both in situations in which we want to convey our values ​​and in our weak moments when we do something that good role models should not do.

These weaknesses also overtake us in unforeseen situations. My younger brother got a Playstation in the nineties. For nights we played the soccer simulation game FIFA. At some point I pounded the waitress into the corner. Since then I have avoided game consoles, Gameboys and the like. Then came Christmas 2019. Despite great concerns, we gave our son a Playstation. However, we set him a daily time limit, which he complies with without much grumbling. The only one who didn't stick to such a limit and played with the thing several times until late at night was me.

If you think about it long enough, you will likely find dozen of moments in which you have failed as a role model. Perhaps it is a consolation that it doesn't always work the other way around, either. Anyone who tries to set a good example is not automatically on the road to success, no matter how convinced they are that they are doing exactly the right thing. Almost two years ago I had to learn that when I took my son to school: There was more hustle and bustle in the hallway in front of the classroom. Children shouted excitedly: “Have you heard? We have a new one! ”“ His name is Lennox. ”“ Really? Awesome! ”Suddenly there was a bloodcurdling shouting from the class:“ I don't want to stay here! ”The muffled voice of a mother could be heard. She tried in vain to calm her child down. I entered the room determined. Finally, as the parenting representative, I felt that my help was needed. At the front of the teacher's desk stood a tearful boy clinging to his helpless mother. The annoyed teacher was standing next to it. I spoke to the mother because I recognized her. "Hello! Man, we saw each other on the playground at the weekend. Then her son is with us now. ”She looked at me but said nothing. I smiled at the boy: "Tell me, do you already know Theo, my son?"

The boy stopped crying and frowned at me. "I'll get it," I said and turned to my child who was rummaging in his satchel. "Theo, come here and say hello to your new classmate." The addressee shrugged his shoulders and started moving. But he didn't go in our direction, but to a blond boy who was sitting quietly at his table and watching what was happening. "No, over here, Theo!" The child's shoulders shrugged again. He then shuffled over to the boy who was still clinging to his mother and said, "Hello Lukas." "Hello Theo," sniffed the other. I turned to the teacher and whispered: "Isn't that the new guy?" "No," he replied in a normal volume, "Lennox is sitting in front." I turned to the blonde who was still quiet and peaceful sat in his place. I said goodbye to my mother, stroked my son's head, patted the teacher on the shoulder, avoiding eye contact and stole out of the room. Then you better nibble on licorice in secret.

I've now resigned myself to not being the perfect role model. I made my peace with myself. I am just not perfect. That is why I face my own transgressions with serenity and in different ways. Humor helps, but also very specific measures. The Playstation has been in the guest room in the basement for a few months. Since then I haven't touched it and our son only plays very irregularly. I noticed the other day that he was stealing candy from the closet. Instead of scolding - which wouldn't have been possible without a stomach ache - I asked him if he had taken any sweets and then calmly explained to him that we wouldn't buy any new ones if there weren't any in the closet. Then he wouldn't have anything sweet for the break box either. I think it worked.

Tags: parenting, parent spokesman, good example, idol, Playstation, failure, sweets, role model, role models, brushing teeth
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Nobody secretly eats sweets here

From Matthias Heinrich

Whether we like it or not: Parents are role models for their children in every situation. Because nobody is perfect, we have to make the best of it - and somehow hide the rest.

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