Life With Nine Kids

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What will we imprint on our kids today?

We all too easily forget that everything imprints upon kids in some way.
We all live our lives going through the motions of life as it happens and even though we are aware of imprinting we also forget. And life unfolds, and things happen, and kids pick up the good and the bad.

Like all parents I have those mouth drop moments when my kid says something that I never thought they would... those "I taught you better!" moments. Except sometimes I sadly realize I didn't teach them better. And that's what totally happened yesterday.

We were at the Y swimming when an older lady entered the small pool area we were in. Sebastian in very low voice (I know she did not hear him THANK you God) said, "Oh no, here comes an old person." I scowled at him and reprimanded him. I asked why he'd say such a thing or where he would have heard such a thing. And here it came... like a slap to the face, or a bucket of cold water dumped over my head waking me up, "You mom, you say 'oh no an old person' when you are driving."
Crap. I have said that. :(
I tried explaining to him that I like older people though, and I usually don't care if an old person pulls in front of me while I'm driving, but sometimes we are running late, like for example to the dentist, and that's when I say it. I told him all kinds of people drive slower than the speed limit and I should not have just picked on old people. I tried explaining that we should value all people and that I'm glad the lady, who looks like a very nice lady,  is using the pool to exercise. Unfortunately I realized in my explaining that he was not going to understand me very well at that moment sitting on the edge of the pool on a Monday afternoon. I just need to do better. I really try to not be negative or unkind and if I am negative I definitely try to be aware of how it might affect the kids and their behavior.  We don't even say "I hate ________" in our home. We encourage everybody in our home to use a better word than hate to express the displeasure of something.

This was an example of how quickly and innocently kids see the world through our eyes. They learn, absorb, and react to nearly everything. Imprinting. What a huge glaring responsibility we have as parents.

This is a great companion post to this post: Adults You Stop Bullying First

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