Let the late night monologue jokes begin.
A report has surfaced that Jon Gosselin, of "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" fame, is in the beginning stages of writing a book about parenting. I desperately want to be gracious here, but I'm trying to guess how much of this is driven by "strike while the iron is hot" economic motives and how much is driven by a sincere desire to help other parents.
While he's still not sure of what his "hook" will be, a source close to Gosselin says this: “Jon is still deciding what exactly the book will be about, but knows he wants to focus on his parenting skills.” I honestly cannot wait to read what he has to say. Perhaps he has learned some unique lessons about parenting through his unique circumstances. Perhaps.
But in my experience, there is one element of parenthood I have learned is critical: consistency.
When they were young, my kids needed consistency in rules and discipline. This helped them feel safe and secure.
As they have grown into teenagers, my kids have needed consistency between what I say and what I do. Nothing has illustrated this more than teaching a few kids to drive. I cannot roll through stop signs and yet expect them to stop completely when they are behind the wheel. When my children are watching my life, the need to "practice what I preach" becomes paramount.
Any message about character development or the need to be committed to Christ will fail to penetrate the hearts of our kids if our lives do not have the integrity to back it up. That is, perhaps, the lesson that our friend Jon may need to learn before he writes his book. He may be an attentive dad when he's around them, but the older his kids get, the more they will pick up on the apparent inconsistencies in his personal life.
So how are you doing in the consistency department? Are you making behavioral or moral demands of your kids that you are not modeling in your life? What needs to change to keep the integrity of your parental leadership intact?