"My Behavior Is The Greatest Influence On My Child's Behavior"

>> Sunday, February 21, 2010

Excerpt below from "I'm a Good Mother: A Devotional Book for the Not-So-Perfect Mom"
by Gigi Schweikert


"My Behavior Is The Greatest Influence On My Child's Behavior."

I realize that my child is watching everything I do and say.  I've seen him imitate me when he pretends to talk on the phone or care for the baby.  Even before he could talk, my child shake his finger or put his hand on his hip just like I do.

I have many things to tell my child about the world.  I tell him not to cross the street unless the light is red - then I cross on green if no cars are coming.  I tell him not to lie, then say, "She's not here" to the person on the phone asking for me.

"Do as I say,  not as I do" won't work.  If I want my child to act a certain way, I'll have to act that way too.


I will remember that my child is watching me.  I will say please and thank you, and I'll treat friends, family, and strangers with kindness and respect.

Dear heavenly Father, my child looks to me for guidance.  Help me say the right things, but more importantly, help me to be like Christ.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ - 1 CORINTHIANS 11:1


No one was more surprised than me when I witnessed Nani driving around on her tricycle pretending to order a Starbucks just like I do.  Watching her play, I realized that she was imitating me to a "T" - and it worried me.

What other things is my little Mini-Me picking up along the way? Is she learning compassion as we drop off a meal to a friend who has been sick along with her daughter? Is she learning to care when we bring a coffee to friend who's been having a bad day? Is she learning to love and nurture as she sees me holding and cuddling and consoling a feverish Nudgie?  Is she exploring her love for animals as we take care of Mitzi's wounds and give her her medicine?

Or is she learning something else?

What was I doing or saying throughout the day that she would pick up on?  Did I say an unkind word to My Marine?  Did I yell at Nudgie?  Did I become impatient while waiting behind someone in the grocery line?  Did I use a curse word (or two) while driving?  Will she choose that precise moment in the checkout line at the Commissary to repeat my words or actions?

I know there are times when Nani doesn't say much.  And that's because she's watching everything like a hawk -- taking it all in and saving it until we get home so that she can process it a little further.

And it just makes me want to be all the more aware of what I say and do - and hope that I truly CAN teach by example.


Buckeroomama February 21, 2010 at 6:23 AM  

I love this post. It's scary and very humbling, isn't it, when we realize how much our children imitate us. I have to constantly remind myself that it's not enough to preach, but that I have to model the good behavior myself.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip February 21, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

Nice post!! Leading by example is the most important thing we do as parents. Just found your site on FFF at MBC. Love it. Following you now and looking forward to visitng often. Come by and see me sometime too at:


Mommie Daze February 21, 2010 at 7:08 PM  

So true. They watch everything. And take it all in. You never know what they're picking up. Stopping by from Friday Follow.

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