I often wonder if my children are ever listening when I try to impart my wisdom on them. You know: wash your hands after using the bathroom, look before you cross the street, be nice to your sister and maybe she’ll be nice to you, etc. etc.
Most of the time I feel like these tidbits of information are falling on deaf ears and just to drive this theory home they have taken to saying “Mommy you talk too much”…hmmm ineffective, indeed.
Then, just yesterday, I was witness to one of my proud Mommy moments. I dropped off my 9 year old in front of dance and waited to make sure she got inside. There was a woman with a stroller inside struggling to get the door open. I have to admit that my first thought was, ‘oh no, she’s going to open the door and try to squeeze past the stroller leaving the woman still struggling.’ In my defence, I often open the door for people or the elevator door opens and I have to remind the girls to step back and wait for people to come out before barreling in. So I was oh so pleasantly surprised when my daughter opened the door and politely waited while the Mom got her stroller out and then continued to patiently wait while a few more people exited as well. This may seem like a small victory to some, but for me it was huge! I went home and told my husband. “Our children are listening after all!”
It got me to thinking that maybe the key isn’t the lectures I give, but the actions that they can see. I rarely tell the girls to open doors for people, I just do it and apparently they have been paying attention. I realized right then and there that our children, all children, are watching us; What we do does matter. We emulate the people we want the future generation to be. This can be an overwhelming thought, but I’m going to look at it as a wonderful opportunity for teaching our younger generation.
I still struggle with the listening factor; I so badly want them to understand why it’s important to do these things. However, maybe I just need to ‘stop talking, Mommy’ and just be a role model. I remember years ago reading ‘How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. I may just pick up that book again for a refresher
With much Love and Kindness,