Being pregnant, you get a lot of parenting advice. Some of it you want and other stuff you just filter and go along your way. But I will say that I have received a lot of good advice from people in my life. I’m blessed that people care and want to share some of the stuff they wish they had known back when it would have been helpful to know it.
Among the best tips and tricks I’ve been told, the one thing that stands out to me as the bigger, more important advice is this: “You’re the model.”
More important than any method, strategy, technique or opinion is the reality that I will affect my kids more by what I actually do, than by what I attempt to teach them. If I want them to be kind to strangers, I need to be kind to strangers. If I want them to deal with their anger in appropriate ways, I need to deal with my anger in appropriate ways. If I want them to be generous, I need to display generosity. If I want them to seek God, well then I guess I’m going to need to keep seeking God in my life.
I think this is the best and also the most challenging advice I’ve received so far because it’s not just something I can embrace occasionally when I feel like it. I’ve been told from many people and witnessed myself, that kids are particularly good at observing. Somehow they see through smoke screens and facades and it seems that they are even better at mimicking bad parental behavior over the good.
So, this all means that I’m actually going to have to change and consistently model the kind of character I want my children to have. Thank goodness for grace, right? Because I KNOW I won’t do this perfectly and sometimes I’m sure I’ll do the opposite of what I should do. But… I am looking forward to raising my kids in a home where as a parent, I begin all this by modeling the art of asking for forgiveness when I majorly or even minorly screw up. That is a good place to start.