My Daughter’s Essay Was An Important Reminder
“Well, Daddy, I wrote about you.”
My oldest daughter and I were having a quick phone conversation right after school about how her day went. I asked her my usual questions, “How was your day? Anything special happen at school?”
She probably told me that not much exciting happened. Then, I probably asked her a few more questions about some specific subjects. These questions led us into a conversation about an essay she had to write in one of her classes. The assignment was to write about a person you know who has set goals and accomplished them.
She chose to write about me!
Actually, I was somewhat taken back when she said this. A tear showed up in the corner of one eye. We’ve never had any kind of “official” conversation about goals or goal-setting that I can recall. I’ve never shared with her any of my life goals.
I have been a goal-setter pretty much my entire life, though. Somehow, my daughter picked this up from me without words. Over the last 13 years, she’s been observing my actions.
She then went on to tell me my list of goals that I had accomplished from her viewpoint as my daughter. I was totally blown away.
At the same time, I was also reminded that what we do in front of our children has a bigger impact than we truly realize.
Actions Speak Louder
We’ve probably heard this statement a million times, “actions speak louder than words” or “more is caught than taught.” I am still amazed, though, at the number of parents who don’t seem to understand that what they do in front of their kids each day makes a HUGE impression on them, way more than words do.
Your words either support your actions, or they contradict them. Unfortunately, I suspect that many parents have words and actions that are complete polar opposites.
Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit. They listen to what we say, but more importantly, they watch everything we do.
Get Into Alignment
If you struggle in this area of right words but wrong actions in front of your children, then there is no better time to change this aspect of your parenting than today.
The best time to make any kind of parenting change is now; not tomorrow, or when the sun, moon, and stars line up.
Start with a change in just one area. Begin by making just one single positive action in front of your children. Then when that takes hold as a habit over a few weeks, then add another positive action and follow the pattern.
Small changes over time have a greater success rate than trying to change everything about your parenting all at once.
Be sure your actions support the words you speak to your kids. Actions really do speak louder than words.
Questions: Do you struggle in this area of alignment between your words and actions with your children? If so, what small change could you begin with today that would make a huge impact on their development over time?