We all would agree, a no-brainer really, that our job as parents is to train our kids. So we work really hard to get them to clean their room, use their manners and try their best in school (hopefully!). But have we ever considered that how we treat people is a form of training our children, too?
What is your current relationship status as a parent? Married? Single? Divorced or separated? Let’s first focus on that relationship. If you are blessed to be married and have a good relationship, fight for it! Treat your spouse well, especially in front of the kids. Talk them up! I have a personal thing that I won’t complain about my husband to those outside. Any issues we have, we deal with. I will only say kind things about him to others. Dads: you are training your sons into what kind of husbands they will be. Would you be ok if he were just like you??? Same thing with moms, we are training our daughters to be some kind of wife. What are you teaching her?
Those who are single or divorced, be careful with new relationships! You are modeling what is OK in the dating world to your kids!!! Set clear boundaries, get out of unhealthy relationships, and model what you would want to see from your kids!!!
See, we forget that little eyes are always watching and little ears are always hearing, until they repeat something they shouldn’t in front of someone else! It is a very hard aspect of parenting, always being observed. But what we do speaks VOLUMES more than what we say!
What if your relationship is strained? What if someone continually talks bad about you in front of the kids? We may feel justified to get back at them and do the same, but once again- is that what we want our kids to do? Taking the higher road is hard stuff. But years later, when you see your kid doing the same thing, you will be proud. I am argumentative sometimes, but what I have learned is that, no matter how right you think you are, an outsider listening probably thinks the whole fight is a waste of time! Of course, some fights are worth having, but there is a time and a place (away from your kids).
Also watch your relationship with your kids. My sincere hope that your “not now, honey”‘s aren’t said too often. And if you promise them “later”, that you come through. It is a sad thing when kids can’t trust a parent. Enough said.
We should continually watch our words, too! Obviously, bad language said by parents is taught to kids. But what else are you saying? I have this habit of saying “I don’t care”, when it doesn’t matter to me which option my kid does. But then I heard my son say it to my other son, and thought “Wow, I don’t want to convey a message that I don’t care about the little things in their lives!” So now, I try to find other ways of saying that- maybe, it is your choice. I want every thing I say to be supportive and loving. Kids are sensitive and will interpret what you say depending on what they are going through at that time.
I want to encourage you to really try to build up the people you love this week. Let them know they have your love and support! And watch what you say this week about people you don’t like or disagree with. We might not be able to change over night, but this is worth working on. I promise that I am working on this, too!