Growing up in a Christian family, my dad taught me a valuable lesson early in my childhood. He said, "Don't tell me your testimony of Jesus, show me!" I am sure he was referring to the bible teaching of Actions Speak Louder Than Words in the hope that I would live a good life and treat others with kindness and love. In other words, my parents wanted me to be a good example of a Christian. Now as a parent myself, I realize just how important MY father's example was for me.
Do As I Say AND As I Do
We cannot over emphasize the important of parents providing a positive example for our children, especially when they are teenagers, because they will notice every time we are inconsistent with the things we expect of them. And, you know how hard it is to argue with a teenager who knows he is right.
Here is a list of six things we can do to consistently show a positive example for our children:
1) Show more love: I have always felt that More Love Is Always The Answer...ALWAYS. No matter the problem, if we approach it from a position of MORE love, we can usually find the best solution.
2) Take care of your body: Children are watching us all the time. If we over eat, drink too much, use pills to treat every ailment, are lazy, or do anything else that is excessive regarding our health, a clear message is being received.
3) Never make desisions when angry: We've all done it - delivered an ultimatum in the throes of anger - and then regretted it the minute it left our mouth. Stay calm. Remove emotion and talk pragmatically.
4) Provide opportunities for trust building: Give your child an opportunity to win back your trust when it is lost. But always clarify what caused the loss and how to regain it.
5) Respect rules and laws: If we break the laws while driving, the message is clear.
6) Give your time generously: Don't get caught in the Quality Vs Quantity Time trap. Our children NEED both.