“Dad, can you wake me up when you wake up tomorrow?”
With the conversation that resulted from this seemingly simple question, my nine-year-old son, Drew, reminded me of an all-important truth that I too often forget:
Our kids are watching and listening us in virtually everything we do and say, good and bad, little and big. Whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not.
And they likely will repeat what we do and say, good and bad, little and big. Whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not.
Don’t believe me? Then you’re likely not a parent, or you’re not paying close enough attention. If you’re kids are anything like mine, then you know that they have Spiderman senses when you don’t want them to hear or see something, they tend to repeat your words in public that you least want them to repeat, and they tend to do things that remind you way too much of someone you know really well.
That’s just the way it works. So we need to choose our words more wisely and act only if we would be OK with our children repeating the conduct. Because they likely will.
Now you’re probably wondering how Drew’s question led to this little musing. Well, it’s because I get up at 4:30 a.m. and I couldn’t imagine why he’d want to get up with me. So I asked him “Why” he wanted to wake up so early, and his response made clear that he has been “watching” me. Incidentally, his response also brought great joy to my heart because I’ve had some “good” moments lately.
His response: “Because I want to have a quiet time like you do.”
I pray that I my words and actions result in more of these moments with my kids than some of the negative moments that I haven’t shared here. And I pray the same for you and your loved ones.
How do you know that your kids or others around you have been watching or listening to you? Share your thoughts and stories in a comment.