I often forget that my girls are always watching me. They are always watching…. And it’s usually the times when I’m driving, someone cuts me off and some language not suited for children under the age of 13 comes flying out of my mouth. Isn’t that always the case? They were content fighting with each other in the back seat of the minivan, but so conveniently tuned in to hear mommy utter those not so nice words.
They become who we are though because they are watching. They take in our biggest fears and own them as their own. Example: all my girls are terrified of bugs because they have seen mommy freak out one to many times about various bugs around the house, car or outside. My middle daughter becomes nearly paralyzed in fear when a bug is within her bubble. They learn manners because they see it. Children live what they learn and they learn from us, their parents.
My middle daughter is a prime example: she is a five year old version of me. She is moody and super emotional, she loves to sleep and literally has to be dragged out of bed like a teenager. She’s not a huge fan of jewelry and she loses things all the time. She cares too much, but also has a slight edge…. at age five I don’t know where she gets it from, but then I stop and think… “Oh yea, she’s me!”
That’s one of the greatest challenges in being a parent… Setting the ideal example. We have to rise above and strive to be the best we can because our little ones are watching. If we want them to be the best, we had better act like the best ourselves. How and who else will they learn from? It’s not always easy when it’s Monday morning, you’re running late already, then you turn around to find your daughter has dropped a box of cereal all over the kitchen floor. Note to self: on those days it’s ok to hide in the bathroom with that hidden box of cookies (It’s ok…I know you have one…I have a few), or have that second glass of wine once everyone is tucked away in bed.
Now, life is going to happen. We can’t always be the best versions of ourselves but, we can certainly try. That’s what matters most. Kids are smart. They know when you’re having bad day and when you’re not. All days can’t be sunshine and rainbows. It’s how we handle those bad days that will set us apart. That’s when you must remember the little monsters are taking notes in their brain to see just how mommy is going to react when they scream at the top of their lungs in Target because you passed the toy aisle.
They are a reflection of us. Be who you want them to be.