July 21, 2024

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Taking Time to Set A Good Example

Take the time and think about what kind of example you are setting.

Watch What You Say
A member in my congregation had a death in her family, and I volunteered to make a jello salad for the funeral dinner.  PJ, of course, wanted to eat some of the ingredients (like the Cool Whip).  I had to tell him that we couldn’t eat the ingredients because we were making food for somebody else.  I explained that a family was sad, and we were making food that would help them feel better.

We drove to the church and dropped off the salad.  As we were driving off, PJ said something that took me by surprise.  “Mom, the family will eat the food and feel better?”.  My explanation of what we were doing had made it sound like the family was going to feel better because of the food.  I tried to correct it by telling him giving the food showed we cared, and that is what would help them feel better.  Not the food, but learning someone cared.

The rest of the day, I kept thinking about what had happened.  Because I didn’t take the time to explain things very well, my son thought that someone was going to feel better because they had food.  I could see how this could easily lead to him thinking “If you’re feeling down or sad, you can feel better with food.”  I’ve since tried to correct that perception and hope that I am succeeding.

Watch What You Do
When I was little, we usually had sugary cereal for breakfast.  Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch, Trix – all of those were regular options for breakfast in our pantry.  I would see my older brother and sister snack on the cereal between meals, especially right after school.  Soon I was following  what I saw and eating cereal not just for breakfast, but grabbing handfuls for snacks anytime of the day.  I think this is when i really started packing on the weight.

My nutrition has greatly improved, but I’ve still found myself grabbing an occasional snack of cereal.  However, AJ found me sneaking a couple of Frosted Mini-Wheats the other day, and of course wanted some.  I stopped in my tracks and realized what kind of example I was setting for my kids.  If I didn’t want them eating cereal except at breakfast, why wasn’t I doing the same?  I put the cereal away without getting any for myself or AJ.

Take The Time
Both of these experiences have helped me realize what kind of example I need to set for my children.  My kids are hearing everything I say and watching everything I do.  I need to take the time to think about what I’m saying or how I’m explaining something to my children.  I also need to take the time to pay attention to what I’m doing when they are around.

Always remember that children are watching you.  It could be your own, a niece or nephew, or even a little kid across the street.  We need to take the time provide a good example of the kind of person we want our children to become.


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