“Do as I say, not as I do;” words my father uttered for years. Now I think of that phrase and wonder how he could say that with a straight face, time and time again.
My father is a smart man but relating to me didn’t always come easily for him. Admittedly, we all have our own imperfections. That’s life. I don’t blame him. He was doing the best he knew how, either by experiences from his own upbringing or by instinct (maybe a little of both).
Even so, the truth is that people are proven experiential learners and children are natural mimickers.
I can’t personally recall a single moment where “do as I say, not as I do” flashed across my mind and caused me to act differently.
Now as a stepmom, I refuse to simply talk at my stepdaughter. Instead, I strive to show her what is expected and appreciated.
Listen, we all have slip-ups from time to time … that’s sort of the point of the other popular phrase, “There’s no parents manual.” Hey, if you subscribe to a different method, by all means, keep at it. Learning and retention are achieved in numerous ways. I’m just hoping to make us all think twice the next time we speak, act, or react.
Recently while watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jackie Goldschneider said, “Our kids are watching everything we do” — word for word. How powerful is that?
I’m in agreement. As role models to our kids, how can we expect to see positive behavior (anti-bullying, inclusiveness, empowerment practices, good decision-making, empathy, honesty, etc.) if we aren’t practicing what we preach?
“Lead by example,” that’s more my speed.
What’s your approach to raising kids?
Heather Curtis is the Public Relations Director for Soda City. She calls herself a gypsy warrior, athletic optimist, and community enthusiast. As a member of Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 and in her provisional year with Junior League of Columbia, Heather is always looking for ways to expand her tribe, help improve our city, and inspire genuine women empowerment. A person of many passions, Heather is also a certified personal trainer and group instructor. In her spare time, you can find her lounging by the pool, painting a colorful canvas, hanging with the family, or opting for anything outdoorsy.