Yesterday I wrote a little about raising a moral child. The more I think about it the more aware I become that although we all want to raise our children to be incredible human beings, there are so many things we do every day that undermine that.
Some of the things I’ve seen and heard, and yes, I am guilty of some of these myself, that go directly against what we want our children to learn, and who we want them to be.
“Well, your teacher is dumb to give you homework on a holiday weekend.”
“Your father only thinks of himself.”
“You idiot! Where did you get your license, out of the cracker jack box?”
“My boss is such a jerk.”
“He’s retarded.” This is never said about a handicapped person but about someone who is behaving in a way you don’t like, but it teaches intolerance.
“We’ll tell them at the theater that you are three not four, okay?” This applies to the amusement park, the all you can eat buffet, among other things.
“Everyone does it, so it’s not a big deal.” This can be said about taking snacks into the movies or driving over the speed limit.
As parents we need to remember that every thing we say and do our children hear. If you are divorced and you really feel that your ex is a bad influence on the children then it is even more important that you set a better example.
As hard as it is to hold our children accountable when they make a mistake, we are not doing them any favors when we don’t. If you make excuses for your children and think you are helping them, remember, you are teaching them to lie. Little Johnny could have done his homework but you worked late, you were late picking him up, dinner was late, then a friend stopped over- it’s all one lie to cover your butt. Don’t do it. Hold yourself and your child accountable. It’s hard and sometimes embarrassing but it’s not the end of the world to admit you made a mistake, and it’s a wonderful lesson to learn.