Years ago, while walking through a curio shop in Wickford, Rhode Island, Steve Hirsch came across a platter with the following parenting adage, supposedly written by film and television actor Ricardo Mantalban. Although simplistic, its message is serious and sincere, filled with a simple directive. Steve has kept this for years, shared it with clients and read it to his children at times for the lesson it delivers. There is a lot of common sense to this quote:
As long as you live in this house you will follow the rules. When you have your own house, you can make your own rules. In this house we do not have a democracy. I did not campaign to be your parent. You did not vote for me. We are parent and child by the grace of God, and I accept that privilege and awesome responsibility.
In accepting it, I have an obligation to perform the role of parent. I am not your pal. Our ages are too different. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I am your parent. This is 100 times more than what a pal is. I am also your friend, but we are on entirely different levels. You will do in this house, as I say, and you cannot question me because whatever I ask you to do is motivated by love. This will be hard for you to understand until you have a child of your own. Until then, trust me.