You remember when you were a kid and your parents lived by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do?” When we were younger, it made sense. You did what your parents told you – regardless of what they did.
However, as an adult, more so a parent, I now know that that crap doesn’t work. As parents, we are the de facto model they use to know how to do, act, be responsible, good human beings.
I know we’ve all had that “Ah ha!” moment, when your child is doing something wrong and you realize they modeled the behavior by watching you. For me, those “wrong” modeled behaviors are aplenty. From eating and exercise habits to temper and anger management.
My most recent “Ah ha!” moment was yesterday morning when the kid was tying his shoes, and couldn’t get them exactly like he wanted. Instead of calmly trying again, he began yelling at his shoes, “Come on! Why aren’t you working?!” Before I could scold him for yelling and being so angry, I got an image of myself yelling at my laptop, cell phone, etc., when it didn’t work like I wanted it to. It was at that moment I decided to approach frustrating times the same way I encourage him to – with patience.
While it would be easy for me to adopt the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality, I consciously try not to. I never want to hear him say, “Why can you do [INSERT BAD THING HERE] when I can’t?” And, I don’t want him making poor decisions because he perceived them as OK, because I he’s seen me make them – over and over again.
There’s a quote by an unknown author that goes, “Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it.”