I was in Yellowstone National Park this summer. Saw a bear. Another family was with us who had a 7th grader. He started swearing (dropping “F-bombs”) profusely at the bear. Sounded like the proverbial sailor. I didn’t know you could use the “F-word” that many times in one sentence. Talented kid.
You know why he was so “gifted” with the use of that word?
Because his dad was.
Before the kid started dropping F-bombs, his dad did.
We got an email the other day. Actually one of my kids did. It was a note that this lady sent to him thanking him for how kind he was with her much younger son. In the letter she articulated
that she hadn’t seen many young men act as kindly as he did with her son.
Nice note to read as a parent.
You know why our son is so kind?
Because his mom is one the kindest people on planet earth. Before he was kind, she was kind.
Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder. The accusations say that he was steeped in drug culture, addicted to a few different illegal substances.
Guess what. Long before Aaron was born, his dad was messed up with drugs.
I know this kid named Drew. He’s a freshman. He’s an awesome soccer player.
So was his dad.
He played soccer in college on scholarship.
It’s no wonder Drew is sweet at the game his dad excelled at.
Do you see a pattern?
Kids emulate their parents.
This is both awesome and scary.
It’s scary to think that our kids are watching us and copying what we do, say, etc. Think about that for a moment.
Think about how you act while driving, while watching your team loose, while “sharing concerns about a friend” with another friend (that’s a nice way of saying gossip), while dealing with disappointment, while expressing your political views, while acting one way on Sunday and another the other six days…
You get the point.
Yet it is also awesome. Awesome because as parents we have the privilege and opportunity to shape a youngster (or many youngsters) into joyful, kindhearted, golden-rule-loving, godly adults.
What an honor.
What an opportunity.
What a responsibility.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
So maybe as you read this blog your first thought should center around being mindful of the responsibility you have as a parent and/or guardian.
Maybe you need to be more intentional about guarding your actions and thus your influence.
Maybe you need to get busy shaping your kids the way you’d like them to be shaped.
The bottom line is they will be a lot like you when they are old.
The question is what will that look like??