You go first.

There are many times when we see our children do something that causes us to be proud.

For me, the first time this feeling came was when my daughter folded her arms and bowed her head for a prayer. I started thinking, why did she do that? We never asked her to? Then it hit…we did it first.

I am not going to be a parent who says, “do what I say, not what I do.” That will get my children no where in life. Instead, I would rather set the example and show my kids what I expect of them. Instead of leaving my dishes at the table after a meal, I can put them away in the sink, and then it becomes much easier to ask them to do the same. Instead of letting piles of stuff stay on the floor, I can keep my room clean and make my bed, making it easier to expect them to do the same.

The power of an example is huge.

 Again, these good things in my life came from good examples around me.

If there is something I do not like about my child’s behavior, I should ask, do I do anything that says that behavior is acceptable to her? What message are my actions sending?

For me, I gained my love of exercise from my father’s example of rising early each morning to go running. I remember eating cereal on Saturday mornings when my dad would come in the door in his sweaty running clothes looking energized and refreshed. It has never been a burden for me to exercise because I always saw my dad exercising. Now, my daughter is always asking to go outside to go running and we will take her running around the block a few times.

What are some things y’all learned from your parents, good and bad?


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