It would be so much easier if we could just teach our kids by telling instead of showing. The other day I got upset with my children about their shoes being on the living room floor. We have a basket where they are supposed to put their shoes. They know this. We’ve talked about this, many times. I mean, many, many times. As I was sternly reminding them of this I tripped over something. Now I was really annoyed. I looked down to see what else they had left on the floor, only to see my own shoes sitting there.
The old saying “do what I say and not what I do” doesn’t work in parenting. Kids will develop habits they see you modeling. So avoid bad habits you don’t want to pass on and pass on these 5 good habits to your children instead.
I know, some people are just more cheerful than others. No matter your natural disposition, you can choose to find joy in your life. Focus on what’s good in the world and say it out loud so your children can hear it. If they hear you moaning and groaning all of the time, they won’t be able to cultivate their own joyfulness very easily.
Do you blame everyone and everything for your troubles? Is the other person always wrong? Do you have an excuse for every mistake you make? Regroup and take a new approach. Let your children hear you saying things like, “You know, I did not get that payment in on time so it’s my fault I have a fine. Even though that was the week I got sick, I could’ve planned better.” If you equip your child with maturity, they will have a big head start on a good life.
No one is asking you to run a triathlon or switch to a macrobiotic diet, but if you’re downing sodas all day and bringing out the chips at night, you’re setting your kids up to follow your bad habits. And, sadly, they’ll pick up on it even if you’re giving them the healthy stuff. Same goes for exercise. If you’re a champion couch potato, your words of “go outside and play” will ring hollow.
It will make life worth living. Period. A faith-based life will help your children make sense of the world around them. Model faith for your kids. Pray. Attend worship services. Practice good deeds of kindness. Let them see you live your faith.
Stay a learner all of your life and let your kids see you do it. Read more than magazines. Learn how to do a new skill. Take an interest in the world around you and pass on that enthusiasm for learning to your children.
What habits are you hoping to pass on to your kids?