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Children Are a Reflection of Us

by Joe Lawrence | August 25th, 2010 | Elementary

We all want our children to grow up to be well adjusted adults in this crazy world.  I even have an image of the type of woman I want my daughter to be.  However, if I don’t model the person I’m hoping for, 18 years from now will I see me in the mirror or the image I have for my daughter?

As children are growing up, we strive to make sure they use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’  We even tell them to respect others and hold the door or say excuse me.  Many of us struggle to ensure we don’t use foul language or offensive phrases in the presence of our children.  This is all because we are molding them to be the person we want them to be.

When we say a swear word and then justify it by saying this is an adult word, we are really saying ‘When you are an adult, there are no rules.’  When I turned 18, I thought it was time to visit F-Bomb city.  I learned quickly there was a time and a place.  The same goes for holding the door as the elderly woman walks in to model respect and then cutting the same person off 10 minutes later on the highway.

As parents we are sending mixed messages.  Our children are picking up what we do and not what we say.  ‘Smoking is very bad for you,’ as we light up for a smoke.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse did a 2005 study showing parents who smoked were twice as likely to have children who become smokers.  I am willing to bet most of those kids saw their parents try to quit at least once and even were lectured on the dangers of this habit.  Yet, monkey see, monkey do.  I fell victim to this as did three out of four of my siblings.

I am already seeing my 10 month old daughter model our behaviors and personalities.  Usually she picks up on the bad stuff faster.  I am praying and hoping I can curb this and model to her the person I want her to become.

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