Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our Kids Have A Front Row Seat to Us.

Periodically, I see tendencies in me that remind me of my parents. And while sometimes that's a positive, many times I just say, "Oh no!"  I've become one of them. I'd like to blame it all on genetics, but most of the time it's just modeling. I learned to do things their way, right or wrong.

That's a pretty important reality for us when we become parents ourselves. Because everyday our children have a front row seat to our marriage, our parenting, our spirituality and our way of handling challenges.  And of course while they can and should learn from our imperfections, it's vital that we model healthy thinking, attitudes and behaviors in front of them.  If not, they, too, will acquire parts of us that we wish they would have never gotten.

So let's start with this question:  What do you do in front of your kids that would be better not done at all or taken to another room? Here are a few things I would consider keeping separate from them for the most part:  bad language, personal information, other people's business, the crux of your husband and wife differences and arguing, discussions about the specifics of discipline, and other age-inappropriate issues.

Second, what subtle lessons are you or you and your spouse teaching them?  For example, are they learning that you really don't mean what you say because you don't show up when you say you will and you don't follow through with what you said would happen?  Or are they figuring out that they really can't say what they think about anything because all you tend to do is keep them quiet whenever they have an idea or suggestion?

What are they embracing about how husbands and wives treat each other?  Do they ever hear you say affirming words to your spouse or see you give appropriate affection around the house?  Do you exhibit good manners and act politely to them, your spouse and others?  How do they see you spend your money?  Do you give to others and to God?

Third, what do they learn is important in life from you?  Money, fame, success, activities and possessions or something far more important and longlasting.

It would be worth it for us to take inventory sometime of ourselves or our marriage, stepping back to imagine what our kids are learning from us as they sit in the front row seat of our home.  There's always time to change things but it will be getting shorter every day.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment