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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Copy Cat

(c)Tricia Goyer 9/2006

More than anything, kids are copy cats. They see how their parents relate to the world, and they follow.

I had a humorous example of this over the weekend.

Saturday I threw a baby shower for one of the moms I mentor. She also has four-year-old and two-year-old daughters. Her two year old is an adorable kid who's finally getting some words. (Mama, Dada, Nana--that's me!)

We were in the middle of cleaning up from the shower when suddenly we realized we didn't know where the two-year-old, Audrey, was.

"Where's Audrey?" I asked, then we went scouring the house.

When I came to the bathroom door I expected a mess awaited me inside. The light and fan were on and the door was locked closed. I knocked, "Audrey?"

As clear as could be she responded. "I going pee-pee."

Now, she's not potty trained, and the door was still locked, and I imagined all the things that could be floating in the toilet at this moment. Her pee-pee in the toilet wasn't one of them.

We got the door open, and there she was. Light on. Fan on. Diaper off. Audrey sat on the toilet and declared again, "I going pee-pee." Okay, the truth was, she was sitting backward on the toilet, but I give the kid an "A" for effort.

Later, when I was thinking about it, I realized how much Audrey had picked up even though her mom hadn't been actively teaching her. She even flipped on the fan for goodness sake!

I see the same things in my own kids. Often, I even hear my words in their mouths when they're talking to others--such as my son's words to his sister about her new job at a soda fountain.

"You know Leslie, it only makes sense the place actively seeks out homeschoolers to hire. It makes sense that if their parents are going to dedicate all that time to their child's education, they'll also spend time on their child's moral character, which makes a great employee."

(Wow, they do listen!)

Audrey's incident also got me thinking about who we, as parents model ourselves after. After all, we may have grown up (a little) but we're still copy cats too.

So, my friend, who do you follow?

It's okay to shout out the Sunday School answer, "Jesus!" It's a good answer after all. But I don't know about you, sometimes I just need flesh to watch for a while--like a friend or an acquaintance who models how I want to be.

During my life, my eyes have scoped out different people at different times. In fact, the reason I started homeschooling is because I saw a homeschooling family who had a great relationship between the parents and teens. Even though my kids were toddlers, I thought, I want that.

But I didn't stop there, in all areas of my life, I'm continually on the look for others who are a little bit ahead of me, succeeding in the areas I desire to excel in.

I'd love to hear about some of your life-models. Who do you choose to watch and follow? Why? Also, what is one thing you've learned?


Anonymous said...

I love these kinds of examples. You are so right.

Honestly, I don't know who I copy-cat. I think I more pick up on little tiny things that people do rather than looking at whole lives.

I don't have any church friends that we spend time with, no church friends at all, as a matter of fact.

I don't have any Christian mentors, elders, or whatever you call them in my life either.

It's pretty much just Phil and I making our way through on our own.

pandacanup said...

You know, I've thought about this a lot--why we imitate people we admire, spend time with, or are related to. I personally spent some time in my 20s with a couple who I knew I wanted to emulate someday in my parenting. There are others that I don't necessarily admire, but find myself imitating. I have to be careful who I spend time with and who I find myself looking to for advice; I have to remember that no matter what the appearances of someone's life are, only God knows the whole story. I really like advice--I like to sift through it and pick out the parts I think would be beneficial--but I like to find people with similar goals and hang out with them even more. Other believers are the best in my opinion, because while they can help me learn how to achieve my goals, they can also help me to balance those goals with the more important stuff and keep it all in line.
I think that if there is a specific area we know we struggle with, it's good to hang out with someone who exhibits the same thing in the strength category. Although it's nice to have someone to empathize with us on a personal level, sometimes we can become so involved with our own struggle that we can't see past it to what's ahead.
This blog ring is so great, because it has drawn believers together, and what could be better than that?!

Anonymous said...

Great post! In the past I have had people that I intentionally modeled my life after in terms of being a successful single person, a newly wed and a parent. I find myself needing a mentor to go to another level spiritually right now. Guess that is something I need to pray about. Thanks for the reminder.

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