In 2021, in the midst of a terrible storm that not only killed hundreds of Texans but left millions without power, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz fled the state for the warmer weather of Mexico. It was, of course, a shameful abdication of leadership and responsibility that surprised absolutely no one who knows anything about Ted Cruz, especially members of his own party.
If that wasn’t enough, Cruz would then break another cardinal rule of parenting: He threw his kids under the bus, trying to make the whole thing sound like it was his young daughters’ idea (in fact, he and his wife had been planning it with neighbors on a text thread). And he did this in the national media to try to protect himself from the heat he was (very rightfully) taking!
Of course, what parent hasn’t used their kid as an excuse before? Sorry we can’t come next weekend, Suzy has a soccer game. I think it’s time we head out, the kids are getting tired. Gotta go boss, I need to pick my son up. If you don’t use your kids as a way of getting out of things, you’re doing parenting wrong. Besides, most of the time you’re only doing it to get out of something you don’t like in order to do more of something you love—spending time with your family.
But what is and remains permanently off limits is ever letting your kids take the fall for something you did. Especially in public. You are the adult. Your job is to protect your kids…not use them as a shield. The weight you gained is your fault…not from them. The reason you’ve been snippy with your spouse is your fault…not the kids’ fault. The reason you’re late is because you didn’t get up early enough…not that your daughter didn’t want to eat her breakfast. If anything, you take the hit for them, taking criticism or paying the bills for the mistakes that they made.
Only a coward and an asshole would have it any other way.