Teach by Example

For years when my kids were little I was able to get away with a few double standards in my life:

Eat all your fruits and veggies before having something sweet

Work up a sweat every single day

And my favorite, never watch something on TV that isn’t educational and/or uplifting

There are many more, I’m mortified to say, but those quickly come to mind. I justified having these rules for my children because I was responsible for their health and wanted to teach them good habits at an early age. The problem was that I wasn’t always practicing what I preached.

Fast forward a few years and now I have three teenagers who could fend for themselves and survive quite well for days on end if needed. For the most part, they make really good choices in how they care for their bodies; very similar to the way I showed them over the years, not the way I taught them. My teens are a perfect case study for learning by example over learning by rules.

These days I am taking ‘my rules’ more to heart than ever, choosing a more active lifestyle, replacing sweets with more nutritious choices, and filtering movies and books through the eyes of my children. Any book that I download will appear in my daughters’ lists, and movies that my husband and I watch are available to all in our home. Honestly, I don’t know if it will rub off on my children this late in the game, but it is worth the effort for me to live a healthier lifestyle and to be the kind of person I wanted for each of them.

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