Yes, I'm the grown-up, and I have life experiences and coping techniques that make it easier to navigate the difficult times. But that doesn't mean that I'm perfect and that I respond as needed each and every time. In fact, there are times when I expect just as much of my children as I do of my husband! And I'm still learning how to balance those expectations with reality.
I think it's important to have high standards, because we might live up to those expectations set for us. However, there's also a fine line between high standards and unrealistic expectations. I want my older children to speak to me in a voice that is respectful to the situation and to my feelings. That makes me feel good, and it makes me want to meet their wants more than when my children are whining and yelling and "snippy". However, I'm aware of my own limitations in how I respond to others when I'm tired, frustrated, hurt or otherwise unable to respond in a voice that communicates love and respect. And I simply can't imagine having someone bigger and older than me constantly correcting what I'm saying and how I'm saying it and then telling me no!
I'm still learning how to parent and model behaviors that I think are positive and loving and kind to others. I do okay a lot of the time, but there is plenty of room for improvement. I realize that the behavior I'm modeling is often the behavior I see from my children. Am I short in patience or quick to correct behaviors I don't like? Then it's pretty certain you'll hear my son yelling at his sister about not moving out of his way quick enough or you'll witness my daughter talking sternly to her brother about what he can and can't do at the dinner table.
I'm still learning how to respond to questions about puberty and sex, issues between friends and problems in our community and world. And I remind myself that it's okay to admit, "I don't know," or share that I'm still figuring it out myself. I often times add, "but not everyone feels the way I do," knowing that our world is full of differing opinions. I want my children to know that it's okay to admit that we're all just doing what we can and that we're all still learning.