do what you say

10 Ways Your Kids Are Watching You

Your kids are watching. As much as you might not want to admit it, they see how you treat their mother and when you do the opposite of what you say. They learn more by observing than by being told what to do because your actions speak louder than your words. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it beautifully when he said, “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear your words.”

It’s a bit of a wake-up call to have your children stop you mid-sentence because you’re talking with food in your mouth at the dinner table after you’ve told them that they shouldn’t. Our children have a funny way of calling us out when we do something that is inconsistent with what we are teaching them. It’s important to actually do what you say is the right thing to do.

Now comes the tough question: Are you a role model worth following? This is something that most parents don’t think about. Take a moment. What areas of your life do you wish your kids would do differently than you? Unless you change first, your children are less likely to do it differently. Changing your children starts with changing you. Here are 10 ways your kids are watching you:

1. Your language

So watch what you say. Whether you think they are listening or not, they hear you. Be careful not to call other people names or curse if you don’t want your kids doing the same things.

2. Your tone

How you talk to someone is just as important as the words that are used. Be careful to speak to your spouse and others with respect.

3. Your attitude

Negativity breeds more negativity. Have a can-do attitude for your child to be prepared to take on the world. Sometimes even the smallest attitude adjustment can go a long way.

4. Your manners

Are your elbows on the table? Do you hold doors for women when out in public? Your children will be little gentlemen and little ladies only if you model it yourself.

5. Your confidence

Exhibit confidence to your kids in doing what is good. Always do the right things for the right reasons.

6. Your work ethic

Life isn’t just about entertaining ourselves. Get your kids involved in the chores and teach them the importance of hard work.

7. Your discipline

Who likes a half-cleaned room? Stick with a task until it is complete and your kids will hopefully do the same.

8. Your forgiveness

We all make mistakes. Are you modeling the Father’s forgiveness for your children? And do you apologize when you are in the wrong?

9. Your shelter

Are you someone your kids know they can run to when they’re having a rainy day? Or, do you leave them out in the storm to fend for themselves?

10. Your love

The greatest gift that you can give your children is love. Be a model of love to your kids. Show and tell your children that they mean the world to you. They will learn to love the way that you do.

Sound Off

Which of these 10 things is hardest for you to model to your kids?

Mark W. Merrill

Mark is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it is important to finish what we start?”

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