As parents, we are role models for our children. Of course, you know that; you’ve probably heard it a million times. However, if we take the time to listen and pay attention, our children will become role models for us.
Once we accept that and open the dialog between parents and children to not only teach, but to also listen and learn, we can create a whole new conversation that can change the world.
We are Role Models for Our Children
Wyatt and I were playing together in his room, and he was cooking our dinner with his toy stove.
I asked, “What are you making for dinner?”
He was busy putting a large pan in the oven and had a small pot on the stove, and he replied, “Chicken, asparagus and broccoli.” No joke, that’s really what he said.
Astonished at the caliber of his play-date food choice, I started thinking about how our influence as parents – by following a Paleo lifestyle, selecting natural foods, and cooking meals at home – has influenced his understanding of selecting food and the desire to cook it.
Doing the right thing and setting a good example for our children is the most important thing we can do for them. At a young age, they look to us to develop their behavior, patterns and preferences.
Just by leading a healthy, loving, forgiving life, we can influence how they act, feel and lead their own lives. Establishing that at an early stage in life helps set a strong foundation for them to grow.
Our Children are Role Models for Us
If we open our minds and hearts to also learn from our children, they become positive role models in our lives as well.
Children are so pure, openhearted, loving and kind. Their demeanor is so innocent and genuine. They see the world with open, clear eyes without judgment. We can learn a lot from their unbiased view of the world and become better adults because of it.
One early morning, I was rushing to get Wyatt out of the house for school. I scrambled to finish getting him dressed, buckle his shoes, grab his school backpack and get into the truck. I locked the front door and was about to get into the truck, when I looked back and Wyatt was standing at the front door step just looking up at the sky.
“Hurry, Wyatt, we’re going to be late,” I said.
He just stood there, looking. I could feel my patients running thin.
I was getting frustrated and started worrying about traffic and what time I was going to be getting into work and a million other things.
Then it hit me…and I looked up.
It was beautiful! The moon and the stars were so bright on this clear morning. You could see the full moon in all its glory shining a silver-blue light across the sky. The stars were twinkling and bright, which is a rare occasion being so close to the city.
I took a deep, cleansing breath and soaked in nature’s beauty.
I smiled and gave Wyatt a big kiss and said, “Thank you for making me stop and be thankful for this day and this morning we get to spend together.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. As if that was his plan the whole time. Who knows, maybe it was. That’s the beauty of seeing the world through his eyes.
Our Children Teach Us
If we allow our children to teach us to appreciate these small wonders, they will grow up still appreciating them. They won’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of our society today. They won’t lose their innocence, and in the process, they will teach us to find ours again.
The world is a powerful place and we have the opportunity to drink in its goodness, its happiness and wonder. It’s our job to ensure the world is better for our children so they may become even better than we were.
We have the opportunity…right now…to teach our children what took us a lifetime to learn. With this knowledge base, just think of what our kids could learn in their lifetime and what a robust role they will play in changing the world.