Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Are You Selling?

We're all selling something.

Whether you're a SAHM or a Business Manager or a part-time cashier, you're selling something. Whether you're a Christian or an agnostic or an atheist, you're selling something. Male, female, rich, average income, poor, tall, short, angry, happy, confused, indifferent, selfish, generous... people who are breathing are selling something whether they know it or not.

And do you know who's buying?

Our kids... and they buy it all without owning a dime. They watch our every move, our every reaction, our every emotion to every circumstance. And often they buy into it so heartily, they're committed for life.

Do you get angry enough to lamblast a rude driver with all sorts of obscenities? Do you grumble and complain under your breath when you are stuck in a line with either an elderly shopper or a slow cashier? Do you spout of a list of short comings regarding your spouse when things are not happy in your marriage? Are your main words to them "Hurry up!"? Guess what? Your kids will learn to berate others when they are faced with irksome obstacles or moments of impatience.

Do you whine when you don't get your way? Are you hard to please? Do you find something to criticize when your family attempts to make you smile? Do you go behind others to "fix" something that wasn't "right"? Your kids will follow you in your footsteps, becoming hard to please and self-centered, expecting others never to measure up. Criticism will roll off their tongues without their having to think about it.

Are you giving to others, not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but also at unexpected times of the year? Do you take a good lunch to the man on the corner who looks hungry? Do you make a basket of goodies to give to the widow who is lonely? Do you invite the single mom/dad and her/his kids over for dinner so that she/he can have one night off from cooking? Do you share a friendly, welcoming hello to your neighbors when you're out in the yard or going for a walk? Do you look for ways to sacrifice a want to meet someone else's need? Your kids will see and learn that generosity is not only kind to others, it will make you feel better too and they will become friendly and mindful of others around them.

Do you randomly find times to tell your family that you love them? Do you play games with your kids when they ask for your time? Do you happily accept homework assignments that will involve your time as well as your kids? Do you sit and hold your young one (or your not-so-young kid) and read to them? Do you show love to your mate in front of your children? Your kids will grow to know that love can be an action word as well as a feeling - and it's best when shared.

Do you laugh a lot? Your kids will look for ways to laugh also.

Do you work/blog all the time and find that you don't make time for family nights or little conversations? Your kids may view working/blogging as more important than family.

Is saying sorry a hard thing for you to do or does it come easily and with a sincere heart? Are you brave enough to say it to your kids when you are at fault? They too can learn the art of a sincere apology and use it when needed or, if they don't have a good example of saying sorry, they can become hard and obstinate when they make a mistake.

Are you yellers? Your kids may learn that facts don't matter, but rather volume makes a person "more right".

If you're a Christian: When you pray, are you constantly asking for things or do you weaving praise, adoration, thankfulness or confessions of sins into your prayers as well? Do you give things to God and then continue to worry about them or do you leave your worries at his feet and live knowing that you have peace about whatever the situation is? Do you pray with your kids about anything and everything on your heart or do you only do it when they're busy or in bed? Are you talking the talk and walking the walk with your kids... and without them? Your kids will learn just how much of their heart they're supposed to give to God and to whom they should show it.

No matter what you say you believe, it's how you live that matters the most to your kids. Monkey see, monkey do carries a lot of weight when it comes to parenting.

Most of us have probably uttered the saying "I'm turning into my parents."

The question is whether or not will you be content to know that your kids will eventually become a lot like you.

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