If you have children, what are your thoughts about how they learn from you? So many of us think that children learn how to behave from our lectures and verbal teachings. That’s only part of the story, though. Our kids are always watching and listening, even when we have no idea that they are at all tuned in to what we’re doing!
If we want our children to be honest, kind, and respectful, it’s important that we’re honest, kind, and respectful — not just some of the time, to some of the people, but all of the time, to all of the people. No matter what we tell them about how they should act, the behavior they see from us is going to carry a much more lasting and meaningful message.
If we want our children to listen to us, without interrupting, and to speak to us with respect, it’s important that we honor them in the same way. Children learn what they live! Treat them the way you want them to treat you — to treat others, and the chance are good that you will see them begin to model this very behavior.
We can still set limits and provide guidance, but we can do it with fairness, empathy, and patience. Most kids want, and certainly need, us to be parents, not buddies. Let’s provide them with role models worthy of emulating. Let’s remember that we were once kids. Let’s live our lives with integrity, according to the values that we want our kids to incorporate into their lives. It’s the best way we can help them learn what we want them to learn.
Let’s do as we say!
Until next time,