If the fact that children learn by example freaks you out a little, join the club.
As a habitual yeller and freaker-outer in times of high stress, I’ve come to realize that I’m a little lazy in the “leading by example” department. Seeing my kids freak out over stupid crap just like their mama reminds me how far I have yet to go.
That’s not to say I suck entirely. Just the other day while driving, I pulled over for a screaming ambulance and said a prayer. When BooBoo asked who I was talking to, I told him I was asking God to protect the person who needed help. When he asked why, I told him it was just something I’ve always done. When someone, anyone needs help, I send a prayer; it’s my thing. My son loved the idea and has since been sending his own little prayers for people, animals, bugs – anyone who needs help. So while maybe my kid picked up ugly yelly habits from me, it’s comforting to know he’s also picking up the good stuff.
All this got me thinking about the positive things our kids pick up from us naturally. If we allow our kids catch us in the act of doing these simple things, we’re sure to make a lasting and positive impression. Now who’s with me?
1. Talk positively about them
We never know when little ears are listening. Let’s be sure to share all the wonderful things our kids are up to whenever possible. When we look on the bright side, the bright side shines brighter.
2. Fighting fair
It’s only natural for mom and dad to disagree sometimes. Let’s remember to keep cool and fight fair when an argument strikes. Our children are learning about love, anger management, and conflict resolution from us. No pressure or anything.
3. Making up
It’s not unusual for parents to fight in front of the kids and make up behind closed doors. It serves our children well to witness apologies and G-rated make up sessions.
4. Being kind
Offering a smile, showing respect, and helping a stranger may seem like little things but they teach big lessons.
5. Building people up
Checking in on a friend, sending flowers, leaving an encouraging note, or offering a simple compliment show just how much we value the people we love. Beautiful gestures such as these won’t go unnoticed.
6. Telling the truth (even when it’s hard)
It’s so easy to spin a web of white lies under the watchful eye of our children. It’s a powerful lesson to allow them to see us struggle with telling the truth in spite of the consequences. Chances are, they’ll grow to do the same.
7. Advocating for a cause
We all have causes that are close to our hearts. Get involved and allow your passion for compassion to be contagious!
8. Showing affection
Hugs and laughter go a long way in every relationship. Let’s allow our children to learn healthy lessons of love at home.
9. Practicing gratitude
Appreciation for the little things can make a big impact. Let’s decide to make the practice of gratitude an everyday occurrence in our households. Focusing on the positive just plain feels good.
10. Choosing family
Whether our parents require care or not, allowing our children to see how much we love and care for our parents matters. Making family a priority in our lives builds a strong and lasting foundation for our children.
11. Spending wisely
Diligent spending teaches our children lessons in managing priorities and saving for a rainy day.
12. Asking for help
Pride should never stand in the way of asking for help when we need it. Our children deserve to know that help isn’t about being weak, but rather, being smart.
What else should our children catch us doing?