Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Teaching by Example

How often do we teach by example?

100% of the time - whether we realize it or not; whether we admit it or not; whether we LIKE it or not.

Granted not ALL that teaching is what we'd WANT our kids to learn, but yet, they still learn and tend to mimic our actions and words.

Recently, I was struck by how often we encourage our children to 'take responsibility' for their actions.  A good and noble trait.  Yet..... I also noticed just how often, as adults, we do the exact opposite.

Not maliciously, not purposefully, but..... we do it all the time.... we. make. excuses.

When the veggies get a little 'over crispy' while preparing dinner, instead of taking responsibility and owning up to the fact I wasn't watching carefully enough, I make an excuse.  "Well, the oven cooks hotter than I'm used to.  I was so busy getting this or that done, I didn't get back to it on time."  The list could go on.

When doing a task, we get angry because no one offered to help, yet we never really asked.  Rather than accepting the fact we should have asked, we get irritated that no one volunteered.  I know I tend to be bad at this with Techno.  I assume he'll notice the messes in the same way I do and WANT to act and do something because he knows it'll be helpful to me.  In reality, he needs ME to ASK.

When we trip over a pillow, toy, shoe, or some other odd/end left in the floor we lash out because of the object being left there.  Granted, all should 'pick up' after themselves, but..... we too should be watching where we walk.  Instead of acknowledging we weren't paying attention, we yell at the individual who's item 'tripped' us.

All EXCUSES; NONE taking responsibility.  Hmmmm......

Wow - I guess those 'simple' things are spreading the wrong message.  It's NOT ok to make excuses for my own mishaps and mistakes.  It's also NOT ok for me to expect our kids to be better at this than I am.

Training in this area for myself and our children may be in order.  However, even more important would probably be my doling out of forgiveness when our children learn from my example and DON'T take responsibility for their actions.

I know I need that forgiveness too.

Glad each second we can start anew.  Thankful our God is a forgiving and longsuffering God.  'Cause I sure don't get it right all the time.  Prayerful that I'll learn by example and mimic how God reacts to me - with forgiveness, love, patience - and show the same to those in my life.

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