One of the great things about having kids is they make us better because if we’re being good parents we’re trying to model positive behavior for them. As every parent knows, they are watching you at all times and they will do as you do…for better or worse!
For example, a few years ago my wife and I were checking out homes and our oldest daughter Emme, 4 yrs old at the time, was behind us and she happened to fall down. As she did we both heard her drop a very clear “S-word”. My wife and I looked at each other, half in shock and half ready to crack up. We knew that wasn’t the right response though so we had a talk with her about bad words and how they aren’t appropriate.
When quizzed about where she learned that word she promptly blamed her 2 year old sister, her aunt and other various sources…but I’m pretty sure I was the source. I didn’t think I said any bad words around them but after that incident I caught myself a few times so I know it was me. (It’s under control now…just fyi) The best part was about a week later when Emme’s grandpa (“P-pop”) was driving her across town and from the back seat she matter of factly told him “P-pop….I’m not supposed to say “s#@t” any more.” He kept his cool but I’m sure he wanted to die laughing inside.
Anyway, I tell that little example cause it’s funny and I’m sure you have similar examples of when your kids mimicked you when you would rather they didn’t.
I thought about this today because I came across a blog post that discusses what we’re teaching our kids about possessions and money. When I read it I’m concerned because many of our kids, including mine, are growing up with much more materially than I did when I was a kid. I’m thankful we’re blessed in this community but there could be an expense our kids will pay for having so much. They might end up not appreciating or over-emphasizing material possessions in the future which will not lead them to fulfillment.
I also see their schedules so full with activities they can also lose their appreciation for how special some of these privileges are in their lives. Kids everywhere are not going to the pool, to soccer, to friends houses, to movies, to parties, etc all the time. (I must be getting old cause this sounds a lot like the “there are starving kids in Africa so eat your peas” from my childhood but oh well)
As always, when I write about parenting it’s not coming from a place of preaching, I think my family is as guilty as the next of over-indulging the kids and not setting a great example around possessions and their role in our lives. I just think I’m not alone in this struggle against overemphasis on material possessions and I hope you enjoy the blog post I link to below. If you have 3 more minutes to read it I think it will make you reflect on the example you are setting for your kids in the area of possessions. Like it or not, they are learning from you and your actions daily.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the post or even chat with you about what you’re doing in your life to be a good example for your kids in this area.