Your kids are watching you

I saw a quote on twitter this week that gave me a great reminder about something I think needs repeating (often):

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.  ~Robert Fulghum

OK, so I regularly question my kids’ hearing since I find I have to repeat myself a thousand times if I expect them to act on the things I say: “Turn off the DS. Wash your hands. Set the table.” Yeah. Apparently they don’t hear commands so well.

So they may not be listening to me, but I know for sure they’re watching me.

Here is some proof I know they’ve been keeping an eye on me:

  • My seven-year-old son offered to help my three-year-old daughter use the bathroom. (I resisted the urge to direct or monitor him, strong as it was.)
  • My daughter was overheard yelling at her dolls: “I’m sick of it! I can’t take it anymore!” (Not a terribly proud parenting moment for me.)
  • My six-year-old son was telling his brother that he wanted to be an entrepreneur when he grows up, so he could like his job. (Imagine my pride.)
  • I overheard my daughter “reading” one of my business cards to herself: “Mom Business Coach. Mommy is the best business coach.” (I had no idea she had a clue what was on those cards, nor that she had noticed them before, nor that she knew my job title. Not that she has any idea what that means, but it’s clear she has noticed the cards and watched enough of what I do to learn that they are related to my business.)

These are just a few of the examples that come to mind from this week. Clearly, some of what they pick up from watching me is positive, and some of what they learn from me is less so. I accept that I’m imperfect and do the best I can to model the things I most want them to learn.

What are your children learning from watching you?  Take a moment to reflect on this. Is there anything you see them doing that you can celebrate as a job well done? And what do you see that you want to model differently?

In my next post, I’ll share some of the values that I most want to model for my kids. I’d love to hear what you’re trying to teach yours!

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  1. While there admittedly some things I've seen my children role playing that make me hang my head in mommy shame, there are some great moments too!

    My 4 y.o. daughter regularly holds “meetings” on the phone, and conducts a matter of fact conversation with her “client”. I lose listening in to these meetings – I feel proud as a work at home mommy that my children are seeing first hand that solopreneurship is a viable career choice.

    Thanks Lara!

  2. That’s great, Crystal! I can just see her now, imitating your voice and style… And I really love that you OWN what you’re modeling for her. Therein lies the power! You are giving her a possibility she might never have otherwise. Thanks for sharing that!