Leading By Example

Leading By Example

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This parenting gig is quite a ride! Something different to enjoy, experience (or endure!) at every age and stage.

I always feel there’s no better reality check for my own bad behavior than seeing it reflected back at me. I’ll never forget the time my toddler shook her fist at a driver in another car, shouting “You stupid guy!” I got a giggle out of it, sure, but it also humbled me a bit, reminding me that my kids are new at life, so they’re watching and learning from me.

Here things I try to keep mindful of in the presence of little ones:

  • Be happy – I’m a woman as well as a mom. I should enjoy life, have outside-of-family pursuits, friends, interests, hobbies.
  • Handle difficult situations with grace – No matter how warranted, I don’t lash out at others. I am in control of my choices and behavior.
  • Be healthy – Who am I to tell my kids that eating their greens and exercising is important, if I don’t do the same?
  • Be polite – With everyone: family, friends, little kids, spouse. Always say please and thank you, excuse me, etc.
  • They can’t read my mind – when I’m working through a problem, sometimes I think out loud. Helps them understand the process.
  • Emote – I want them to know emotions are okay. When I’m hurt, happy, or angry, I say so. Sometimes the kids even help me through it.
  • Stand up for what’s right – comfort zone be gone! I think, “What would I want my kids to do?” “What would I want my kids to see ME do?”

At every opportunity, I try to model my own values, to follow my own rules, and to live my truth. Because that’s exactly what I’d want my girls to do, and they’re watching.

 

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Natalie Rea
Natalie Rea
Mom to two amazing daughters - a feisty teen in middle school, and an ambitious young adult in university. Originally from Montréal's West Island, I now explore the beautiful trails of Hamilton, Ontario. Proud Canadian, vegetarian, dog-adopter, & bleeding-heart liberal. I smile a lot because I have Resting Bitch Face.
Author: Natalie Rea

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