Some months ago, I witnessed an embarrassing scene. I was attending Sunday service but my second daughter was fussy so I had to leave the adults' church to find solace in the children's church. It was interesting to witness the start of the children's church. The teacher chanted a song which the children responded to enthusiastically. Some were shaking to the melody while others just stared around. Some kept asking, "Can we get some cookies?"
It was tough for the tutor to coordinate the teeny tiny human beings and pass on a message to them. Her message was basically on the things kids should do and the things kids should not do. At some point, she said stealing is bad and no kid should indulge in it. At the end of the lesson, one of the kids who seemed to be a 4 year old walked up to the teacher and said, "The other day I went somewhere with my mother and I saw her steal something." On hearing this, I thought I had cobwebs in my ears that changed the sound of the words I just heard. The teacher must have felt same because she gave me a sidelong glance.
Just to make sure her ears were not playing pranks, the children's educator asked the kid to repeat what she just said. The little girl repeated the words that suggested that her Mom stole something right before her eyes. Still unsure, the teacher asked her to define what stealing is and the girl confidently said, "stealing is taking what doesn't belong to you."
I was shocked but there is so much to learn from this. I'm not sure the accused mother imagined that her little girl will notice her looting anything. I'm sure she thought her daughter was 'still a child' and will neither notice nor understand. But you see, this girl saw it all. And most importantly, she knew it was bad. Parents, YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING YOU.
They see what you do. They see the kind of shows you put on TV. They see how you relate with your spouse. They see the way you fight for food when you get to a party. They see how much kindness you display. They also see you when you are unkind. You might not always notice but they are watching you.
They see the way you talk to other people. They listen to the words you use. Do you hurt others with your words, or do you heal them? They are seeing you, they are hearing you and they are taking notes.
They greatest training you will ever give your kids is the life you play out before them. Make sure you live right. YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING YOU.