“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.” Unknown
I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not talking work here. I’m talking about some of the most precious people in our lives ~ our children! Sometimes we need to take a step back and make sure that what we are teaching them day after day by the way we live is what we want them to learn and replicate. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. We’ve got a huge responsibility raising children, so we want to show them the way by the the way that we live ourselves, not just telling them.
Attitude is Everything! Do you put your smile on out in public but at home – you’re short, easily agitated, talk down or negative? Stop. Now granted we will all encounter circumstances that are difficult to deal with – but how we deal with them in the privacy of our home where the little ears hear and little eyes are watching is huge. Be positive. Use your manners – use please and thank yous at home too! Make the best of difficult situations. Be nice to one another – especially your family! Don’t talk bad about people behind their backs. Don’t use foul language. Display a positive, strong attitude at home just as you do in public. Say you’re sorry. Your little ones will learn that it is possible to be strong and positive regardless of the situation.
Work Ethic! Of course, we all want our kids to have everything we didn’t have and more. But the answer is not to just give it to them. Sometimes we want our kids to ‘live the good life’ and we don’t require them to ‘do’ much, but in doing that, we’re not teaching them how to live the good life permanently. We’ve got to make them understand that work is important, valuable and necessary. And then have them ‘work’ as well. Of course, small shores to start, and it can be things done together as a family, but we’ve got to involve them in jobs around the house. Sit down with your kids to figure out what needs to be done, when and by whom so that the whole family can have time for other activities and some relaxation. Make it routine, so that they learn at an early age how to work consistently, certain jobs in the morning, others in the evening, some things are certain days of the week and so on. And just like the real world, there should be compensation for a job well done, and repercussions if not. Teach them how to balance their time, build in routines, and be contributing members of the family and they will take this work ethic with them as they grow.
Health! So you know I cannot leave this topic untouched. Seriously though, this area is huge. Of course, we are going to talk to our kids and be a good example about not smoking, drinking and using drugs. But do we teach them how to live as healthy as possible? Most of our schools unfortunately are not helping our cause with the types of school lunches that are served, we need to be proactice in teaching our children how to eat healthy and incorporate exercise into their lives. Surely we’re not making them do P90X, but they can get involved while we do our home workouts, we can jump rope, ride bikes, roller blade, go for walks, and a ton of other things to get them off the couch, away from the tv and video games, and moving. We can make healthy breakfast, lunches and dinners, have healthy snacks in our pantry, and not make the fast food drive throughs a regular visit. We set the standard.
Our children will copy and imitate what we do – so we must be extremely careful that the behaviors we display are what we want our children replicating. Lead the way – by doing!
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams