How many times have you told your kids to change their clothes/brush their teeth/do their homework? For most of us, this is a normal part of life. We ask, and ask, and ask, and if we are lucky, our kids cooperate after the fourth request or after a loud scolding.
We complain our kids never listen to us. We shouldn’t worry they never listen to us. Instead we should worry that they are always watching us. While we are yelling at them; while we argue with our spouses; while we curse at drivers; and while we chat on the phone, they are watching. Kids watch very move, even when they don’t listen to a word.
When we yell at them to pick up a toy, we’ve taught them how to get someone to listen to us. When we kick toys out of the way, we are showing them how to display anger. It is impossible to handle every situation to teach kids lessons. We want our kids to learn they don’t have to yell to be heard. So, the next time you ask your son to do something, figure out a way to get him to hear you. Ask him to look at you. Do anything but yell or scream.
If we make an effort to remember children are watching us, it will keep us in check. We will mind our manners, we will speak more soothingly, and ultimately we will see that, by our kids watching us, we are beginning to behave the way we want them to behave. Then they will model themselves on us.
It’s a cycle that trains parents and their children towards better behavior and emotional restraint. In the end, everyone wins.