One night after my daughters were arguing, I asked one of them, “Emily, why can’t you and your sister just be nice to each other?” Her response? “Dad, haven’t you ever noticed that when you and Mom get along, we all get along?” Ouch! That hurts; but she’s right. When my wife and I are short, harsh, and argumentative, our kids are too. When my wife and I are treating each other with patience, kindness, and respect, our kids seem to get along much better. You’ve probably heard the expression “Children learn more from what’s caught than taught.”
What are you modeling to your children? When you get stuck in traffic, you have the opportunity to model self-restraint and not get angry. When you get too much change back at the grocery store, there’s your chance to model honesty. And when you wrongly accuse your son or daughter of something, that’s the perfect time to admit your mistake and teach them about humility. It all boils down to the fact that children may not always listen to what we say, but they almost always do what we do.
It’s true, children learn more from what’s caught, than taught. What are your children catching from you?