Last week, one of my children made a really negative comment out of the blue.
It caught me off guard and I immediately got ready to launch into a dissertation on why we don’t say things like that. But right before I opened my mouth to give my big speech, I realized something: this child had heard a very similar comment from me recently.
No, it wasn’t a comment I made to them or even when I had realized they were listening, but nonetheless, I had said it and I’m pretty much positive that’s where this child picked it up from.
My children are watching. My children are listening. My children are observing.
It’s been wisely said that more is caught than taught. What are my children going to “catch” from me today? Enthusiasm for learning? Grace for difficult people? Grumbling about interruptions? Critical words toward others?
- If I want my children to have clean rooms, I need to do more than just tell them to keep their room clean. I need to set an example by keeping my room clean, too.
- If I want my children to be wise with money, I need to do more than just talk about the importance of financial freedom and stewardship. I need to set an example by practicing good money management skills in front of them.
- If I want my children to be respectful of other people — no matter who they are, I need to do more than just verbalize how imperative it is that we show respect. I need to set an example by constantly being respectful in my words and deeds for everyone I come in contact with.
- If I want my children to use their time wisely instead of squandering it, I need to do more than just remind them often to use their minutes well. I need to set an example of diligence and focus in my own time management.
I will never be a perfect parent. In fact, there is no such thing. I need God’s grace every moment of every day as a mother.
But in spite of my inadequacies, I want to do my best to give my children something great to imitate. Because at the end of the day, my children are going to learn more from the life I’m living before them than from the dissertations I give them.