A friend who does wonderful therapy work with children posted the following quote this past week. “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.” (Joyce Maynard)
Children start watching at a young age. My almost one-year-old grandson takes in all that is going on around him. I love playing with him and watching him learn. I, also, try to make sure I’m not on my smartphone more than necessary when around him. I’m sure he is taking in that behavior in as well.
Looking back on raising my two daughters, I know there were times when they saw me more upset than I needed to be, more negative or worried than I should have been – basically not a great role model. I, also, realize the value of authenticity and children seeing that all is not perfect with the world. However, in retrospect, I could have been more aware of what I was showing and perhaps teaching.
This is not a blog to encourage us to beat ourselves up as parents, but the quote above is a good reminder that little and not-so-little eyes are watching us. We can tell our children it is important to trust God with their problems, but it’s even more important for them to see us do this ourselves.
We adults do grow. I feel I would be a better parent today than I was in my younger years. Maybe that is part of what makes grandparents special.