We all know our kids have a knack of saying the weirdest things at the most inopportune times. Once, my son said to my mother in law, “You know, Mama calls other drivers stupid!” Thank goodness it was only stupid and not any of the other innovative adjectives I find in my head! Needless to say, I had a hard time explaining that one away. I’ve since reserved road rage related comments for times when I’m alone in the car.
Our kids emulate and learn everything from us
(I know, it’s a no-brainer now that I think about it). The thing is that we often tend to forget that it’s not only when we sit down to doing homework or having a life skills afternoon that kids pick up things from us. Most times they’re listening and watching when we are interacting with others around us. So it seems pertinent to always be a good role model to them. Teaching them to always be kind and giving and then totally ignoring or worse still, mumbling profanities under your breathe to the beggar at the window, is bound to be confusing. Or reminding them to always be courteous and greet people that you know and then pretending not to see your neighbour may make them think that you’re losing your eyesight. (The woman just talks too much!)
What we say and do daily has an impact on the little eyes and ears around us
They are waiting to sponge it all up. It may become difficult when we are put into situations that test our patience or raise our blood pressure, to keep it together and act in an orderly fashion. Who wouldn’t blow their tops when faced with bad service on a day when you were up half the night due to your toddlers’ inability to soothe himself after one of his “nightmares”. Or when you’re on hold for 45 minutes trying to sort your internet connection out for the umpteenth time while changing a nappy and packing a swimming lesson bag (there are way too few hours in the day).
All this said and done, I don’t think our kids are going to become ill-mannered individuals that walk the earth confused about what’s right and what’s wrong.
I do believe that we need to be consistent and aware
of how we treat them and others and what we allow them to hear from us. We all were saddened by the passing of our great leader Nelson Mandela. Maybe what we should take from him most was his way of always saying the right thing, always being positive, always being a good role model and always bringing good to those around him. And hope that what we’ve taught our kids will lead them to be great adults just as he was.
This article was originally written for Jozikids by Fatima Kazee in 2014.
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