“I don’t know any other way to lead but by example.”
— Don Shula
Many of us would like to lead by words alone. “Do as I say, not as I do,” seems to be a popular cry especially among parents. They are permitted many more behaviors than their offspring and some of these are even appropriate. It is, in fact, the most likely way to get the offspring in the first place. But if a parent smokes (even though it is legal), it is far more likely that their children will also pick up the habit often while still underage.
The best way to show your children how to live a good life is for you, as their parent and best example, to live a good life. Of course, this doesn’t always take as children are not carbon copies of their parents and in their teen years are genetically built to rebel against the establishment.
Even so, they will outgrow their teen years (we hope) and look back and realize that your example is the continually singing siren songs to them. Your example is the tape that plays in their head. Your life is the measure against which they view their own.
The way to have children who behave in such-and-such a way is to show them the behavior and the positive results from practicing it.
The way to have children who eat healthy and balanced meals is for the parent(s) to prepare and eat healthy balanced meals with them. The way to have children who do more than sit in front of a screen, either television or computer, is to show them all the fun things that can happen when you turn off the electronics. The way to have non-smoking, sober children is to show them what a non-smoking, sober adult looks like.
They will still eat pizza and watch You Tube. They will still sneak a ciggie and a shot of whatever booze could be hijacked from a parent’s liquor cabinet. Hopefully these will be occasional quirks and not life style choices.
Live your best life and rejoice in it and perhaps your children will think it is the way everybody chooses to live and they, in their turn, will also choose a life of abundance.