Expectations. Are we a model for what we would like to see or a model of the behaviours we are trying to break?
It's so easy to expect and even require or request of others, especially our littlest ones, yet forget that our actions are observed and our children more often than not, are mirror images of their environment. And while they are unique, in so many ways, they are also mini versions of us.
How we treat ourselves, our significant other, family, friends...plays a huge role in our children's behavior.
That old saying. "Do as I say, not as I do." I just can't. It's so wrong to expect something we aren't willing to do ourselves. I have actually heard this used very recently and I cringe because everything we learn, even as adults is observed, studied and practiced. When we are surrounded by something, in time it becomes a part of who we are in one way or another.
Are there exceptions? Yes, absolutely yes. I have worked with several families that have a child or children with behavior disorders or other predispositions that throw this whole idea of modeling out the window. There are always exceptions.
My focus is on the majority and how who we are, even what we think and say, molds our children.
Some things to consider
1. Are you patient with yourself, your spouse and others?
2. Do you model self respect?
3. Do you model failure and how you work through that or ask for forgiveness?
4. Do you apologize?
5. Do you persevere when something is hard or give up an move on?
6. Do you struggle and show how you work through the struggle?
7. Do you ask for help?
This list is never ending. A simple way to check in-listen to the expectations you have for your child and see if you're a model of those.
Reminder-We all have bad days, it's how we handle them and move forward that impacts our little ones.