Monday, January 10, 2011

Passing on the Good Things

Who can argue that living by example (good or bad!) is one of the ways we most influence our kids?  Whether we're aware of it or not, they're always listening (well, almost always) and always watching what we do.

Think of all we give up for our kids!  From day one, we sacrifice sleep, energy, and sometimes even meals so we don't miss out on a single moment of our precious new life.  Then we change our schedules and trade in our "fun car" for a "family car".  And still, the lack of sleep continues.  We re-budget to have money for new clothes because they grow out of them so fast, and oh, the diapers!  Then we try sleep-training and we stand next to the crib while they're crying for what seems like an eternity, and when they finally fall asleep we try to use our stealthiest moves to get out of the room without waking up baby, but of course we find that one squeaky board or trip over the loudest, noisiest toy and we have to start all over.  But when they do finally start going to sleep on their own and staying asleep...ahhhh, it was all worth it!

So back to passing things along...
Once our children are old enough to realize wants and vocalize those wants, it's hard to eat whatever we want whenever we want without hearing, "I want some!"  So we eat healthier foods to set a good example.  And we don't take the last bite of ice cream, (no matter how much we need it!) when those little eyes are looking up, just waiting for more.  That's exactly what Rachel has started doing for me.  She saves me the last bite of whatever treat she's eating and says, "Here, Mom!  I saved you the last bite, because I know there's no more and I know you like it!"  When her sister eats all of her m&ms (so much for eating healthy!) and wants more, she is happy to give some, and sometimes all, of what's left of her own.  She is learning that being selfish is not as fun as giving something good, especially to someone you love.

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