Have you ever heard the song by Rodney Atkins entitled Watching You? In the song the dad is driving with his son in the truck and his son spills his fries and orange drink and says sh**. The dad wonders where he learned this and figures out it is what he says.
Leadership starts at home. Your children learn from you by watching you. They learn a lot more by doing as you do than doing as you say.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Show signs of affection to your wife or husband in front of your children
Your children want to know that you love your spouse. They want to see that you care for each other. This gives them assurances that you love each other.
Men – Open doors for wife and let them go before you
Real Men do this. You can tell by the picture above that this has been going on for a long time. You don’t see it as frequently today. This is being respectful of your wife.
There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a couple in their 70’s or 80’s walking hand in hand. When you hold hands it shows your children you are together. You are bonded.
Do special things for your spouse that your kids are aware that you did
Buy something small for your spouse and give it to your spouse in front of your kids. Give your spouse a card that your kids see. Do an act of kindness for your spouse in the presence of your children.
Pray with your spouse and your kids
Like the song your kids will copy you. They will pray on their own and they will pray when they leave home.
Hug your kids and tell them you love them
Let your kids know you love them. Dads hug your boys too. Even the big boys like it.
Pay attention to who your children are spending their time with
It is said you are the average of the 5 people you are around the most. It is extremely important that you pay attention to who your kids friends are. One of the ways to do that is create an environment that kids want to hang out at your house. Have them invite their friends over to spend time at your house so you can see who they are spending time with.
Don’t yell or belittle your spouse in front of your children
This should be avoided. Belittling makes it ok for the kids to belittle mom or dad. If one of the kids is belittling their mom it should be stopped by dad right away. This only gets worse as kids turn in to teens if you let this go.
Don’t have a fight or argue in front of your kids
Take the argument behind closed doors. Kids feel insecure when their parents fight in front of them and feel that their parents don’t love each other. In todays world with the number of parents getting divorced the kids will think you are headed down that path.
Don’t use profanity in front of your children
If you have a favorite swear word or phrase your kids will copy it. There is nothing like a 4 year old letting a 4 letter word go at the wrong time. There are over 200,000 words in the dictionary. Choose a different word or phrase to say.
I have had the privilege with my wife of raising 4 children over the last 24 years. The do’s and don’ts above are things I have learned over the years. I have been fortunate enough to see some of the benefits of these.
We see our boys treating women with respect, holding doors, letting women go first and keeping their faith. We see our girls keeping their faith and knowing how a woman should be treated by a man. They also know how a wife should treat her husband and how they respect one another.
Remember your kids are watching what you do and what you say.