Monday, April 2, 2012

Behind Closed Doors

This morning I went for a long walk with my boys.  We journeyed the 2.9 miles between the public library downtown and our house on the south side of town.  As we ventured through the busy streets of our city, I was obliged to stop whenever that silly orange hand popped up in front of me.
 It was really kind of annoying, because there weren't always cars crossing in front of us when the hand encouraged us to stay safely on the sidewalk.  Honestly, if the boys weren't with me, watching my every step, I would have crossed while that silly hand was up.

This got me to thinking about habits.  I chose not to cross when the sign said to wait because I want my children to value obeying the laws.  (Laws of the land, the home, and especially God).  I know if I don't follow rules and then try and explain it away, they'll see through it - even at 2 and 3 years old.

Now, if I change my behavior only when the boys are watching, and continue to make choices I don't want them to observer when I don't think they'll know, I'm setting myself up for failure and disappointment.  If there is something I don't want them to see me do, I need to stop doing it!

If I don't want my boys to smoke, but after every meal, I slip away to the bathroom to "wash my teeth" or step outside for "a bit of fresh air", I shouldn't be shocked when they call me out for it, or begin the habit.

If I don't want my children to swear, so I only do it when they can't hear - I should expect that either I'll slip, or they'll overhear it when I think they're not paying attention.

Kids watch us all the time.  Not only do they watch us, but they mimic us.  Our kids want to be like the adults they love so dearly.  What I do behind closed doors really matters.

So now it's time for me to analyze.  What choices am I making that I don't want my children to know about?  How can I begin to change long ingrained habits?

What about you?  Have your children seen things you don't want them to notice?  How have you changed habits?


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