Isn’t it amazing how much children absorb? Their minds are like sponges – soaking up all that surrounds them. Whether it’s good or bad, our children are watching and we are setting the example. I can easily forget this but I’m quickly reminded when I see myself in them.
My husband recently attended an appointment while the kids and I waited for him in the waiting room. After he was done, my eldest daughter said, “Dad, you did great! I am so proud of you! You were so brave.” Clearly these were words we’ve shared with her after she attended an appointment she was apprehensive about. It amazes me when you see just how much they’re absorbing.
It definitely makes for a practical parenting tip. Do you want your children to treat you with respect? Try treating them respectfully. Would you love well-mannered children? Speak to them using manners and they’ll likely pick them up too. I am happy to teach them their ABC’s, colours and 123’s but for me, watching their character develop surpasses any academic skill they will ever learn.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
To see their spiritual growth already taking place is priceless. My four-year-old is quick to pray for anyone in need – whether they’re hurt, scared or upset, she instantly offers to pray over them. As we have set that example for her, she is setting the example for her younger siblings. My twins have recently started praying for one another. This morning when F was scared of a noise outside, V asked if she wanted a hug and as they hugged, V prayed for her. It warms my heart to see them seeking God first and showing genuine love for one another. Don’t get me wrong, they can get into heated struggles but in times of need they are there for one another.
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.” (Titus 2:7)
Our children are listening. When we are on the phone, talking to our spouses or even the grocery store cashier – they are watching, learning and absorbing. We are setting the example for how we treat people, how we handle situations and essentially how we live life. We are planting those very seeds in our children and laying the foundation for the people they will become.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)