Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Sponges. That’s what children are. From the time they recognize you, until they are grown, they watch everything you do, and do their best to mimic it. I remember a TV commercial from my childhood: there was a dad and his little boy. The dad was painting the side of a house; the son was painting the side of the house. The dad was driving his car. The little boy was driving his car. The little boy did everything his dad did. Like father, like son. The dad picked up a stone; the little boy picked up a stone. The dad threw the stone; the little boy threw the stone. This scenario continued until the last scene where the dad lit a cigarette. As the dad put down his cigarette pack, the little boy looked at his dad smoking, and picked up the cigarette pack. The commercial was an anti-smoking commercial and made the statement – "Like father like son – think about it". That son was a sponge, watching and soaking up everything his dad did.
Our children are like that too. Everything they see you do, everything they see on TV, at school, they absorb it just like a dry sponge. They take it all in, and they imitate. This is why it is so important what you let your children watch on TV, or what you expose them to. As moms, we want the best for our children. We want them to live healthy meaningful lives. I ask the question: what did you do or say today that you want your child to mimic? What did you do or so today that you do NOT want your child to repeat?
A young mom told me recently that she heard her 4 year old scold her 2 year old little sister using a curse word. She said her daughter did not use the word viciously but in a simple straight-forward manner. After she tried to contain her laughter, because it really was funny; she had to explain to her daughter that she could not use that word. Her daughter was confused because she knew she had heard her mom say the word. This mom told me she knew she was going to have to watch her language, and “clean up her act”, because she did not want her daughter going around cursing.
This does not just apply to young children. One of my grown sons teases me by telling me that he drives like me, but better (of course). When I ride with him, I realize he picked up a couple of my bad driving habits. My husband and I taught him how to drive; we taught him the rules of the road; however, how I drove spoke much louder to him, then what I taught.
What are some good things you want your children to absorb? Over the next few blogs we will discuss some good habits and traditions to model in front of your children.
Thought for today: Ephesians 5:1 (Message Bible): Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love.
I found the old “Like Father, Like Son” commercial on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmzDLzqQ-A0. Enjoy!