A dad came up to me the other day and asked if I would work with his son. It seems his son got caught sneaking a backpack full of booze to school, and was being expelled. The boy is 15. It didn’t end there, though. The complaints were that he was cussing like a sailor, and bullying other kids.
I knew this boy personally. He was GREAT kid, with a GREAT heart! But he was doing all the things he was being accused of doing.
“I’d be happy to talk with your son, I told him, but you have to understand something: He’s learning it all from YOU!”
That wasn’t what the dad wanted to hear, but it was what he NEEDED to hear, because it was the truth. The dad cussed continuously, and drank to intoxication often in front of his son. He often talked aggressively to his son, as well as others.
I’m not saying his dad is bad. In fact, I actually like the guy! I just needed to address the way he acted in front of his son.
BE THE MAN YOU WANT YOUR SON TO BE – BECAUSE HE WILL.
All too often, we forget that our children look up to us more than anyone in the world. They may not act like it, but they do. They are watching every word we say, and every action we take. Do you complain about people in front of your kids? Maybe about your coworkers, or other family members? Then you’re teaching them to talk behind others’ backs. Do you brag about things you got away with? Then you’re teaching them to lie.
Now, listen, I’ve always admitted that I’m not perfect. I drink. To excess at times. And my sons have NEVER seen me do it. I’m former military – I cuss. My sons have rarely heard me do it. I try to be honest at all times, even if it hurts me. And my sons watch every step of the way.
It doesn’t matter how we justify our actions. No matter how tired we are, or frustrated we are, or anything else. They WILL be the type of men that WE are.
(for all those who are thinking it, YES, I include moms, and daughters in all this as well)
So that’s my thought for you today. You ARE setting an example every single minute you’re around your children. Are you setting the example you’d like them to follow? Are YOU the type of person you’d like them to be?