“Your kids watch you for a living. It’s their job; it’s what they do. That’s why it’s so important to try your best to be a good role model.” – James Lehman
I’ve known right from the get-go my son was watching me closely. I’ll never forget when he was about six weeks old and I pulled the highchair out, long before he could eat or even sit up, so he could “watch” me cook while I was in the kitchen. He was SO content, just reclining there, watching my every move. That moment made such an impression on me that memories of it came flooding back when Cassidy was about the same age and WOULD NOT STOP fussing while I tried to get anything done, mainly cooking. I tried wearing her, that didn’t work. And since she *rarely* napped, waiting until she was napping was impossible. Then I remembered… pull out the highchair. Same thing, happened again.
Fast forward nearly five years from that initial realization. When Mike and I decided to overhaul our lifestyle, it’s safe to say one of the driving forces was to be a healthier example for our children. Over a year since that decision later, it warms my heart to see my kids adopting much of what we do, in their own decisions. I love that Troy asks Daddy to walk him upstairs to the weight room at the Y sometimes before we leave, so he can see where Daddy works out. I love that Cassidy can get through a 30 minute workout with me these days because she jumps in and does it with me. I don’t share this to brag on us and say, “Look at all the good we’re doing!”
I share it because they’re watching us. It’s evident. No matter what we do, they’re watching.
So of course, we get plenty of cute moments like the ones below, working out together. (PiYo has not only sucked me in, but my kids, too.)
And then we get moments like this, while eating. We weren’t even eating lettuce wraps that day but Cassidy has seen us make our burgers in lettuce wraps before. So she took some lettuce from salad and made a wrap out of her burger.
But they’re not all cute and sweet moments. There’s plenty of moments in the last year that make us realize they’re watching it ALL and we have be ultra-careful about the messages we’re sending. Like the time that Troy asked Mike if he didn’t eat bread anymore because it used to make him fat. We don’t even remember saying those words, or know how he inferred it. But no, definitely not a message we want to send in any way to our kids.
Or most recently, and the moment that inspired this blog post, was when Cassidy stepped on the scale while brushing her teeth, ever so casually, like it was her nightly routine. NOT the message I want to be sending to my teeny daughter. I never want her to look at a scale and question what that number means for her as a person. Ever. But we DO weigh ourselves. So how do we shape that message for that tiny and ever so impressionable mind.
I can’t hammer this point home enough. Whatever WE are doing, in any area of our life, our kids ARE watching. They’re taking it in, processing it, and figuring out what it means in their own life. And you better believe as they get older, they’re only going to reveal more of what they’ve picked up from us. My prayer as a mom is that I can reveal to them all the good that God wants me to allow through and give me the wisdom to see the things I’m showing them that He does not want them to adopt as truth. I pray my children grow up to have a healthy viewpoint of themselves, and that in these years they’re at home with my pretty much 24/7, that Mike and I would be able to shape the messages they’re receiving to help them grow and have a healthy foundation to build upon!