Saturday, February 19, 2011

You're a Model for you Children

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:36 PM
As we instruct our children through discipline the importance of obedience, there are five main tools that we have as parents. First, our children are copy cats, and they mimic everything we do and say. Even though it may become less noticeable as they become teens, they still integrate what they see at home into who they are. Therefore we should model appropriate behavior and a right heart.

I remember from very early on my children beginning to mimic behavior. From waving bye-bye as a baby to trying to steal Daddy’s kisses to wanting to drive the car and playing house, my children have been a mirror for me. Sometimes what they said or did was just the cutest thing ever. At other times what they said or did brought something to my attention that I needed to change or improve on. For me it has been a great motivator to continue to grow and make positive changes in my actions and speech.

Often, however, parents will either correct the child, taking on the “do as I say and not as I do” mentality. This mentality is dangerous because it causes a child to see his/her parent as a hypocrite and decreased the child’s respect for the parent. Sometimes parents just choose to ignore the behavior in their child so that they can continue to ignore the behavior in themselves. This mentality most certainly doesn’t work to raise a child who is respectful of authority – the parent’s, others’, or God’s.

Modeling appropriate behavior shows a child how to do something. When mom gets caught in traffic and decides to use the time to converse with her child or sing some new songs, she teaches her child to be patient in circumstances out of their control. When mom gets hurt and verbalizes her pain without using obscene language, she teaches her child to express him/herself in difficult situations using appropriate words. When someone is rude or mean to mom and she responds with kindness, she teaches her child that we are to treat others as we wish to be treated, not as they treat us. When mom goes about her chores cheerfully, or at least not grumpily, she teaches her child that she can choose to be in a good mood even when she’s doing something she doesn’t like to do. When mom talks to dad with respectful tones and words, she teaches her child to respect both of her parents. When mom keeps a commitment even though she’d rather be doing something else, she teaches her child responsibility. There are countless opportunities we moms have to model appropriate behavior for our children.

If I haven’t convinced you yet of the importance of modeling a right heart and right actions for your children, let me take it to the next level. As we model a right heart and right actions for our children we are also helping them to form a right view of God. How our children see us is how they will see God. If they see us as harsh, critical, and demanding, that is how they will view God. If they see us as loving, forgiving, and just, that is how they will see God. The responsibility we have as parents really comes into focus and the importance of how we conduct ourselves with our children and in life becomes awesomely clear when we realize the effect we have on our children’s relationship with God.

0 comments on "You're a Model for you Children"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You're a Model for you Children

As we instruct our children through discipline the importance of obedience, there are five main tools that we have as parents. First, our children are copy cats, and they mimic everything we do and say. Even though it may become less noticeable as they become teens, they still integrate what they see at home into who they are. Therefore we should model appropriate behavior and a right heart.

I remember from very early on my children beginning to mimic behavior. From waving bye-bye as a baby to trying to steal Daddy’s kisses to wanting to drive the car and playing house, my children have been a mirror for me. Sometimes what they said or did was just the cutest thing ever. At other times what they said or did brought something to my attention that I needed to change or improve on. For me it has been a great motivator to continue to grow and make positive changes in my actions and speech.

Often, however, parents will either correct the child, taking on the “do as I say and not as I do” mentality. This mentality is dangerous because it causes a child to see his/her parent as a hypocrite and decreased the child’s respect for the parent. Sometimes parents just choose to ignore the behavior in their child so that they can continue to ignore the behavior in themselves. This mentality most certainly doesn’t work to raise a child who is respectful of authority – the parent’s, others’, or God’s.

Modeling appropriate behavior shows a child how to do something. When mom gets caught in traffic and decides to use the time to converse with her child or sing some new songs, she teaches her child to be patient in circumstances out of their control. When mom gets hurt and verbalizes her pain without using obscene language, she teaches her child to express him/herself in difficult situations using appropriate words. When someone is rude or mean to mom and she responds with kindness, she teaches her child that we are to treat others as we wish to be treated, not as they treat us. When mom goes about her chores cheerfully, or at least not grumpily, she teaches her child that she can choose to be in a good mood even when she’s doing something she doesn’t like to do. When mom talks to dad with respectful tones and words, she teaches her child to respect both of her parents. When mom keeps a commitment even though she’d rather be doing something else, she teaches her child responsibility. There are countless opportunities we moms have to model appropriate behavior for our children.

If I haven’t convinced you yet of the importance of modeling a right heart and right actions for your children, let me take it to the next level. As we model a right heart and right actions for our children we are also helping them to form a right view of God. How our children see us is how they will see God. If they see us as harsh, critical, and demanding, that is how they will view God. If they see us as loving, forgiving, and just, that is how they will see God. The responsibility we have as parents really comes into focus and the importance of how we conduct ourselves with our children and in life becomes awesomely clear when we realize the effect we have on our children’s relationship with God.

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