Let’s Get Real with Kelli Lund

The other day, I was talking with a friend about a tv show that became my little “guilty pleasure” over the summer. I told her that I knew it was a horrible show and that I would never let my kids watch it. I’ve been thinking about that conversation ever since. I’d like to think that I’m a good mother. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m open to honest self-evaluation and improvement. My daughter is too young to even know what a tv is, but what kind of message am I sending by doing something I wouldn’t want my own child to do? When I think about all the things my own mother taught me, so few of my memories involve actual words. Rather, I remember the things she did, and how she did them. I’m starting to realize just how important my actions are.

Every good parent has a list of morals and values that they want to instill in their children. These include things like honesty, hard work, gratitude. The list is endless. While it is important that we verbalize our expectations, it is even more important that we ourselves live according to those standard we have set for our children. Can we expect a child to value honesty if we falsely give their age at a restaurant or movie theater in order to pay a lower price? Or how can we stress the importance of hard work if we ourselves are not industrious with our time? Will a child learn gratitude if they never see us expressing thanks?

My daughter is only a few months old, but I know I need to be the kind of person that I want her to be. There are definitely some habits and activities that I need to improve, and fortunately I am starting now, before my daughter is even old enough to understand what I do. But before I know it, she will be watching and learning from everything I do. And I hope that she only learns good things from me.

We have the responsibility to raise our children and teach them what kind of people to be. Yes, they will from what we say. But they will learn even more from what we do. We need to exemplify the values and morals by which we want our children to live. As the saying goes, we can’t just talk the talk; we need to walk the walk. Nothing has a greater potential to undermine our words than our own discordant actions. On the flip side, nothing can reinforce the things we teach our children better than being who we want our children to become.