My husband came home from work last week and told me about a song he’d heard in the operating room that he knew I was going to love.
The songwriter’s discovered one of the most important principles of parenting: For good or for bad, kids learn much more by watching their parents’ interactions than by listening to their instructions.
Values, as they say, are more easily “caught” than “taught.”
I was reminded of that fact earlier this month when my children were getting ready for Father’s Day. I’d given them a 5 Things I Love about My Dad printable to fill out for their dad, and I was touched to read what one of my sons wrote in the #1 slot:
Isn’t that terrific? When asked to list the things he admires and appreciates most in his father, his #1 answer is the fact that DAD LOVES MOM. That fact is obvious, even to the youngest members of our family. There is no question in their minds that that much is true.
I’m not sure what would top my child’s list of things he likes about his mother, but I’m doing my best to make sure he knows that Dad’s love is fully and enthusiastically reciprocated by Mom.
After all, our children are watching us. They see our actions, they hear our words, and they observe how we respond to the people and circumstances that surround us.
The life we live before them as husband and wife is the first and most impactful “marriage book” they’ll ever read. Let’s make sure the lessons we are teaching them are good ones.