Things Our Children Learn From Us


I am an avid reader. I find myself drawn on numerous occasions to the self-help articles you find in magazines and on social media. Now, I’m not talking about articles like “5 Moves to Get Rid of those Love Handles” or “How to Be a Morning Person” (Believe me, I’ve tried everything and I’ve come to the realization that being a morning person must not be God’s plan for me). Despite the fact that these articles have a way of grabbing our attention, I am more prone to information I can use to improve as a parent or advice that applies to my Christian walk. Although, don’t be surprised if you see me sitting in a Starbucks with a cup of coffee in one hand and a mystery novel in the other. Yes, I am a product of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. But, I say all this because my heart’s desire is to be more like Christ and so I cherish the advice I find from people who have ‘been there before’. I love reading articles from parents who have walked the path of teenage angst with their children and can offer some well-grounded advice on maintaining my sanity during those years. So when I came across an article about things our children learn from us as parents, I knew I needed to read it. And boy was it convicting.

As parents, I know our desire is to be the best role model and influence to our children. We have our mental to-do lists and store away tidbits of wisdom for times when a situation arises. But one thing we don’t know or maybe we don’t always remember is that kids learn more from observing us than from what we tell them on a day to day basis. So, let me share with you a couple pearls of wisdom from this article.

1. Children learn more than we teach them. As a conscientious parent we focus our child-training program on such practical things as, “how to walk on two feet,” “how to speak the English language” and, in the spirit of generosity, “to graciously share one’s toys with others.” Later, in Advanced Parenting, we taught “bicycle riding,” “mowing the lawn” and “how to drive the family automobile.” Things did not always go well. But more important, we know that our children were learning far more us than from our practical list of “do’s and don’ts” on how to do things. To our amazement, they were literally absorbing our life patterns. They were learning to live by the way w