What do we teach our kids? Speaking from experience, the age old adage "Do what I say and not what I do" springs to mind. This has never really been much of an issue for me before (after all, isn't it my prerogative as a mom to have my kids obey me no matter what?!), but lately, in the light of some of the questionable actions by those in positions of power in our country, the quick and lasting judgements we pass on them, and the scathing and disappointing opinions we form of them, I started to think about the message I was sending to my kids. And I squirmed.
Eat all your vegetables. An easy one, you might think, and one that is logically a sound instruction. Unless I don't eat all of mine. While spewing forth about the virtues of carrots making you see better in the dark, beans making your teeth squeak, and broccoli giving you bigger brains, I push my butternut around MY plate, and eat only what I like. Great message to my kids!!
You have to eat ALL your breakfast. Again - a good one. I can wax lyrical about the benefits of a good breakfast for as long as my kids stand still to listen, but if I do it while glugging back two cups of coffee and rushing out the house, the message seems hollow.
Early school nights and NO electronics in bed! Even as I write this I am blushing. The early nights I can certainly lead by example, but the no electronics in bed? I fail dismally! Thanks to my ipad (my third appendage), I am either pinterest'ing, facebook'ing, twitter'ing, blogging or reading from my kindle app. Until I fall asleep - never as early as it should be.
As Warren curses in a moment of losing his temper, or I curse at that highly irritating driver on the road (pick a lane and drive!!) I hear myself saying "and don't think you kids are allowed to use language like that." Mixed messages? Oh yes!
But its not all bad. My kids do learn from my positive behaviour as well (I just hope these lessons last as long!). They watch while we donate to charity, while we help out friends and family, while we give one hundred percent at whatever we do, be it work or sport, while we are supportive of each other, and they watch how we demonstrate our love. But is this enough?
I don't think so. And while it may be easier said than done, I am going to make a concerted effort to eat all of my vegetables (even the ones that make me gag!), eat breakfast properly, go to bed with no electronic diversions, and bite my tongue and grip the steering wheel when I feel the urge to unleash my road rage.
Franklin P. Jones said, "Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next." Bearing in mind the sponge like quality and unnervingly long memories my kids have, I will either have to pull up my socks, or be more creative with my inconsistencies!! I'm Just Saying...