(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?