“Why you confuse your kids when you don’t do as you say.”
When I was young, my mother sent me to church every Sunday, admonishing me to be on time so I wouldn’t disturb the service. She rarely went to church, and the few times she did, she was always late. I never asked her why it was so important for me to go to church when it wasn’t important for either of my parents. Italian children of my generation didn’t ask why. We did what we were told.
Truth is, I didn’t mind going to church. I always walked with my grandmother and enjoyed our special time together, though I was confused about the double standard. When parents preach one thing and do another, they confuse their kids. The chance you take when you give contradictory messages is that your kids will do the opposite of what you tell them, because that is what you are modeling. They will try to sort out what they were told and what they witnessed, becoming conflicted and risking their personal identity.
Confused about whether or not you say one thing but do another? Just ask yourself the following question: “Am I consistent in what I want my children to do and who I want them to be? Do I model the expectations I place on their shoulders?” If you need improvement but don’t know where to start, read the following tips that will help you say less and model more.