Kade is 15 months old and the new things it seems like he does everyday amaze me.
One day this week, he started slapping his knees and laughing because I had done it while talking to someone on the phone.
We do little hand gestures while we read his bedtime book and he has started doing them along with us.
He's had a runny nose for several weeks and has started trying to wipe his nose himself and in the last couple of days has even attempted to BLOW his nose!
He puts his hands together and squinches his eyes shut when we say, "Let's pray."
I mean, just crazy stuff! As his mother, of course, all these things fill me with pride and reassure me that I have the smartest, sweetest, cutest kid in the world.
I think all parents would admit that there are things they don't want their children to do. We monitor what they see and hear--especially from movies, TV, and even other people in our lives. We try to keep them from the wrong things and expose them to the right things (whatever your "wrong" and "right" is). Especially when they're little.
Sometimes, what we don't realize is that while they're young, WE are the biggest influences in their lives.
When I get aggravated, I growl. Not like a dog growl, but just a frustrated growl. You probably know what I mean.
Anyway, Kade a month or so ago, Kade started growling a lot.
I was confused, but Michael reminded me that I make the same sound when I'm frustrated. He was right.
See, I never thought about Kade picking up on things that I do wrong. I try to read him the right books and sing the right songs and pray the right prayers, but I didn't even consider that he would imitate my "bad" behavior.
We're worried about what our children see and hear from others, but sometimes not so worried about what they hear from us, their parents, in own own house. It's as if (and I'm speaking for myself here) we think we're immune to the standards we've set for our children to live by.
I've been trying to be more patient lately. I don't want Kade to see my outward frustration all the time--especially at the stupid things that don't really deserve any frustration. I want to teach him to be patient and to deal with annoying things in a healthy way. I want to model that in front of him--not just tell him how he should do it and then turn around and slam cupboard doors and bang pots and pans and kick furniture when I'm upset, myself.
The parenting series we're going through right now says that "Behavior is caught and not taught" and that rings so true with me. It's great to tell your children how to live, but walk that walk in front of them and they'll be 100 times more likely to be who you hope they'll be.