Have you ever noticed that every time you mess up as a parent, whether it’s saying a bad word or sneaking a candy bar after you told the kids no more candy, or that they should eat a healthy snack that your kids catch every second of it?
Children absorb and learn about the world by using their senses to see and hear going on around them. (That’s why the saying, “actions speak louder than words” is so true!)
Have you ever thought about what you want your kids to learn from you? Being intentional parents, we want our kids to be better than we are, to grow up having a better life than we do, and to live a full life of potential which means we need to be the best example for them!
Here are 3 things I want my kids to learn from me:
- To Pray!
Do you show your children that you pray, too? I didn’t grow up in a family where we prayed together except at church or meals. I think it’s important to show my kids that prayer isn’t only for Sunday church or meals. Prayers are for any time because they are just having a talk with God. Pray when things are hard. Give God the Glory when great things happen!
We talk about prayer a lot in our household. We say prayers for kids who had a tough day at school. We pray for family members who are struggling with a problem. We recently had one of our pets go missing for a week. The kids prayed every day that this pet was in a good place, with loving people, and if it was God’s will, that it would come home.
- Reading is fun (and important)!
I love to read! However, I don’t always find time to read in front of my kids! I read on the elliptical and before bed but those aren’t times my kids are seeing me with a book in hand.
I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life and she mentioned this great acronym DEAR that one of her daughter’s teachers had adopted in school. DEAR stands for “drop everything and read.”
I think this is an awesome idea and after talking about this with my husband, we adopted the DEAR philosophy not only to show the kids that reading is important but also to encourage them to read more each day for fun (and they’ve loved it)!
- Help others who are struggling!
There are so many people struggling in the world. It’s not hard to serve others. There are fun ways to serve other people! Many of them you can do as a family such as packing meals for Feed My Starving Children, taking kids to pick out toys or clothing for children in need during the holidays, packing backpacks for kids before a new school year, or making cookies for elderly neighbors.
In an ideal world, I’d love to do these type of activities at least once a month. However for many families that isn’t possible. We make a goal to do some type of service once a quarter. It’s fun to pick out 4 family service projects and invest time and energy into those projects. If that’s hard for your family try a bigger project in the summer. There are no rules to service, it is a win for all when you do it!
These are just 3 things I want my kids to learn from me. There are many, many more! What would you like your kids to learn from you?