Not that long ago, I had a lighthearted conversation with a friend of mine. We were both joking about our daughters and their “overachiever” attitude toward school. I quickly passed this perfectionist behavior on to my husband, clarifying that even though I was a good student, I never was that intense when I was her age. My daughter clearly must take after my husband. So I thought. Well, it was what came out of my friend’s mouth next that inspired today’s blog. She said without hesitation, “You might not have been like that when you were in sixth grade, but you are certainly like that now.”
Wait . . . what?
This got me thinking. Kids see and copy the behavior their parents demonstrate now, not when they were younger. Although we are telling our children one thing, what are we actually showing them?
I am constantly telling my daughter that there is no such thing as perfect, that an A minus is an acceptable grade, and that she need not take things so seriously. And yet, my actions are telling her something completely different. In fact, after some reflection, I do suppose my six-page Christmas Excel spreadsheet and my vacation fungenda spreadsheet are a bit intense.
We often hear the phrase “children learn what they live.” I think most parents understand that their children are watching them. Christian parents are careful to live a life of high moral character. So we don’t cheat, lie, or curse. But, it’s the little things that also shape our children’s character.
Ladies, how do you react when you are frustrated? Do you head to your knees in prayer, or do you complain and carry on. How do you respond to failure? Do you blame it on everyone else or do you accept responsibility, learn from it, and try again?
What happens when someone criticizes you or offends you? When you mess up, do you apologize? Do you respect your husband? Or do you make jokes at his expense?
That conversation with my friend has truly opened my eyes to be more aware that my kids are watching me all the time. So, what do I want them to see?
I want them to see a woman who is deeply in love with Jesus. I want them to see a woman who makes mistakes and knows how to admit she is wrong. I want them to see me get frustrated and offended and still do the right thing. I want them to see a woman who clearly doesn’t have it all together, but relies entirely on her Savior. Because with Him, she can do anything!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6