“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Did your parents ever say, “Do as I say, not as I do”? As an adult I can now see that they were telling us they might not always be the rest role models, so try to follow the ideas in the words.
You know that kids can spot inconsistency a mile away. They also tune out our words. It’s just more blah, blah, blah to them. It brings to mind the Peanuts cartoon where adult talk comes out as ‘wah, wah, wah.” But make no mistake, they are watching everything you do.
What values do you say you live by? How well do you live them? Kids are experts at knowing when what we say and what we do are out of sync. There are many expressions that speak to this – talk is cheap, walk the talk, lead by example, actions speak louder than words.
The next time you find yourself talking to your child about values and attitudes, ask yourself, “Where am I in my commitment to these values? Am I expecting a better attitude from my children than I do from myself?
If you are prepared to hear some honest feedback, you might ask your kids what they see. This could be a wonderful opportunity to learn about yourself. You will inspire your children as you work toward being the best parent and person you can be. If the truth is one of your priorities, this is indeed ‘walking the talk’.
Fern Weis is a Parent Coach and Family Recovery Life Coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern helps families with teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, from homework wars to addiction recovery, and all points in between. She works with parents to release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to reach their potential and be successful through life’s challenges. More information on parent coaching and workshops at www.fernweis.com