It never fails; every time I watch the news, I walk away shaking my head thinking, where were their parents? And not just when the stories relate to children behaving badly, but also teenagers, young adults and even regular old adults.
As parents, some of us seem to have lost track of the concept that our children will grow up to be who we show them that we are. The biggest, most important part of parenting is setting an example!
It's a simple cause and effect situation. The behavior that you display to the world will be imitated in the behavior of your children. Wouldn't you rather be your child's hero, and a great role model, than someone who leads them to show the behavior we see on our nightly news?
If we want the world to become a better place, the first step is becoming better parents!
You have become a parent. Whatever circumstances have caused that statement to be true are irrelevant. You are a parent. That comes with a set of absolutely undisputed responsibilities that you cannot get out of, no matter how hard you try. If you fail as a parent, because you are too lazy to set a good example for your children to follow, the rest of us will pay that price, because your children will grow up to be adults someday. Your children will grow up to live in a world with my children.
Sometimes, I worry that we are raising a world full of a**holes! I watch the news and I see teenagers making threats about taking guns to school on social media. I see teenagers riding skateboards violently attack a National Park guard.
No matter what circumstances have been dealt to us in our life, we owe it to our children and to their future to raise the very best people that we can, by setting the best example that we can. This doesn't mean you're not allowed to screw up occasionally, but own your screw ups. Say to your child, I messed up, and now I need to make it right by apologizing.
There was a time in our world where the events that we now see daily on our local and national news were utterly unthinkable! We wouldn't even have been able to imagine a world where school shootings were normal, where rioting and looting was an expected reaction to anything, or where bullying someone to the point of that person considering suicide could even happen!
We need to teach our children more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. We need to teach them how to handle their emotions, how to cope with being well and truly angry or upset and how to communicate and express themselves in a healthy way. We need to teach our children what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. We need to teach our children to be the adults we want them to grow up to become!
I think the way that we do that is by leading by example.