Don’t do what I do, do what I say

It has been an interesting couple of weeks post-Christmas. We have been fortunate enough to have lots of family time and even an escape to a holiday house for a week on the beach. Just divine. I have had time to do more reading, pondering and open brilliant conversations with my hubbie. That means lots of blogs to come….

One of the many ideas that I have cemented this holiday season is how ridiculous it is for us to expect our children not to do as we do, but do as we say. As a parent, I think it becomes obvious that a large part of how children learn is through copying and flat out parroting – combined with repetition. To expect them to be able to discern which of our behaviour to copy and which is “not ok” is quite exceptional. I know that we all have ‘genius’ children, but this could be taking it a little far….

I have reflected on some of those moments, for example, when I use the word “frickin” because I am really angry, rather than the other f word, just to hear my six year old repeat it back (and my four year old laugh whole heartedly). Of course I explain to them it is wrong, but that isn’t really good enough, is it? So – I have stopped swearing, even pretend swearing like “froot loop”. Help me!

Taking this further I have explored many occasions when it is ok for me to do something but not ok for them and why this is the case.What I have discovered, is being a great role model is the best way for me to instill the values I want to see in my children, rather than demanding for no good reason (other than I said so) that they should ‘do’ differently to me. It also helps me to be a better person.  The joy of it all is that I hear my voice coming out of their mouths, my sense of humour, and my feelings about others. Who wouldn’t want this to be of the best quality that it can be?

4 Replies to “Don’t do what I do, do what I say”

  1. Good work Ros.

    Your observation applies to much broader social issues I’d argue as well. It isn’t just teenagers who have issues with binge drinking in Australia, it is the behaviour that is modelled to them by the adults during their developmental years.
    and so on…

  2. Thanks for the comments! Totally agree that the modelling of behaviour is a large influence in the early years. There is also what is acceptable within our culture. If we build open relationships with our children then we will be in a better place to give them a perspective on this as well.

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