Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Actions & Attitudes: Little Eyes are Watching

I am not a very good advice-taker. Ask my husband, he will nod emphatically (possibly while snorting). I don't like other people telling me what to do. It doesn't mean I can't learn from others, because I most certainly have a LOT to learn and often the advice I get is helpful. The thing is, sometimes I just don't want it. I know, I know, serious pride issue here. I am working on it. But as I work on it, I am finding out something about myself. As much as I don't like to hear advice from people I actually know, I really enjoy emulating those I admire. I might come home and vent to my husband about something annoying that happened to me, and I do N-O-T want him to give me advice on what I could have done differently or how I can "fix" the situation. (Can you feel me sisters?) I want him to listen. However, if on the other hand, I get the opportunity to watch him deal with a similar situation in a godly and loving way, I will see that as anexample and want to follow in his footsteps.
All this self-reflection got me to I somebody other people would want to emulate? Because like it or not, I am being watched by my little girl every day. On the days when I am kind and thoughtful and on the days when I snap at my husband, sigh loudly at the customer with eighteen-thousand coupons in front of me, and bend the truth while sharing a story with a friend. Each choice and action I make is being soaked in by my little one, for better or worse.

The old saying goes, "actions speak louder than words" and it is never more true than in the way we parent. How can our little ones develop a heart of gratefulness when we don't say thank you and complain about everything under the sun? How can they learn contentment when we strive for the next best thing--unhappy with what we have? The consequences go far beyond hearing that oh-my-gosh-how-could-he-say-that-in-church word. Our kids are being molded and shaped into the future molders and shapers of the world. What kind of example do we want them to be someday?
We will have days when our attitudes stink worse than the diaper that needs to be changed and our hearts are anything but grateful. We will fail at always being the best example. What can they learn from us when we do? They won't always listen to our words, but they will always be watching. And there is always an opportunity to teach.


  1. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I don't care if someone else is right and they are giving me the best advise. I just don't want to hear it...even if I agree with them! I guess both just rebels are heart. hehe

    It is so hard to be a good role model for young kids. Rachel will scream "no" at me and fight it as I might, I can feel my voice rising as I explain to her that she doesn't get to speak to me that way. How can I expect Rachel to keep her temper under control when I struggle with the same thing? I think the best thing we can do for our kids is apologize when we mess up. Then they can emulate how to be the best person they can be without being perfect.

    1. Agreed! We are all works in progress and I think when our kids see our humanity it goes a long way to helping them learn how to work through the hard stuff. And parents apologizing when they make a mistake can be a very powerful lesson to certainly was to me growing up!


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