Family Tips from Advice Guru Liz Pryor: Honor and Protect Our Children

Advice Guru: Liz
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In the last few years, it feels as if we have become more and more exposed to the deceptions, stories of infidelity, and ultimate implosion of some high-profile marriages in this country.

How, I have to wonder, are we really expected to respond to the details we take on, as they inevitably surface in a way that feels like we're watching the sordid pieces of somebody's private life-puzzle come together to create a heinous black storm?

These kinds of stories make all of us at least bristle, if not feel a bit nauseated.

Is there room here to wonder if the exposure of all of these experiences could have a negative effect? Grouped together, the personal disclosure of deception from the latest athletes and politicians are enough to make even the most over-the-top believer in family living and marriage take pause.

The stars of these stories are the people we see as role models for our children. At the least of it, our faith is being tested. Our faith in the moral barometer, to which all of us, to some degree, want to believe in.

Part of me can't help but take note at how these events are affecting and forming ideas in the heads of the children of this country.

I don't know who started it, or who is right or wrong about how much we should know, and when or how we are exposed, but the fact is… We are all exposed at all times.

As I think of what kids are saying about these events, and hear how they interpret what they know, it is impossible not to feel for the children in the lives of the people actually going through the implosions. It's impossible, as a mother, not to imagine what this must be like for them.

My suggestion is to remember carefully that people, at the end of the day, are just people. And children are just children.

Clearly, the system can lead us to believe that is not so, but it is. The next time we choose to talk about the private, unfortunate events in the private lives of certain high-profile families, we should consider that a child, and their privacy, may be in the crossfire.

Children's ability to make it through this stuff is debilitated gravely by our interest in it. They do not choose to be in high-profile families, but that is just where they are. Sometimes it is great, but often it is tough. As much as it comes with its privileges, it also comes with an unfathomable lack of privacy.

Imagine navigating through difficult waters as just a pedestrian, and now imagine doing it with every single person in the country watching you.

I recommend that we show a new kind of respect. We can call upon ourselves to use the best judgment we can possibly muster by not perpetuating an already paralyzing situation for the children in these families. Treat these kids in the way you would want others to treat your children if you suddenly found your child in the crossfire because of your own lack of judgment and character.

It's difficult to imagine the gravity of what the adults in these families must now face, as they lose the love and trust they once knew from the people who mean the most to them in the world, can bring a kind of suffering that surpasses description.

If we are to learn anything from the abundance of thoughtless indulgence shown in these stories, we should at least be reminded of our duty to the people we bring into this world. Yes, our duty to our children, which is to sacrifice, honor and pave a road of example filled with character and integrity.

There is nothing more valuable in life than the love of our family and children. As imperfect as we all may be, if, in the very end, we can look our kids in the eyes and take pride in our efforts, that is what it is all about.

So, remember, every moment we spend judging the private affairs of others is one less moment we spend doing something meaningful, productive or perhaps engaged with our own families.