By Patricia Chadwick
We have been reading a great book - Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes, founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you are a mom, you HAVE to read this book! Anyway, one of the many pearls of wisdom I gleaned from this book was that as a parent we need to be a beacon for our children - a light to guide them, to keep them focused on what is good and right.
It got me thinking. What kind of an example am I to my teens? Do I exemplify all that is good and true? Do I demonstrate in my life all the traits that I want them to have? We need to ask ourselves if we are good role models for our teens. I may be dating myself here, but I remember a commercial that showed a little boy washing the car with his father. The little boy did everything EXACTLY as the dad did.
Then the father lit up a cigarette. The frame froze and a deep voice belted, "Like father, like son." Point taken? Well this commercial has always stuck in my mind. In many ways our kids will follow the example we set, whether good or bad. That's why it is so important to "walk the walk" not just "talk the talk".
Do you want your kids to take their education seriously? What are you doing to set the standard? Do they find you reading in your spare time or watching TV? Are you enrolled in any continuing education or college classes to further your own education? Do you display a thirst for knowledge, trying to increase your own learning?
Do you want your teens to show respect? Do you value your spouse and children? Do you treat your own parents, friends, and acquaintances with respect?
Do you want your kids to have self-discipline and be able to control their temper? What are you doing to set the standard? Do you calmly meet a crisis or does it send you into a temper tantrum or fit of rage?
Just as with younger children, your teenager will pick up on your actions much quicker than your words. And one thing a teenager can't stand is a hypocrite.
My point? Examine your life. Make sure you are living in such a way that you'd be proud to have your teen follow your pattern of living. Be that beacon, radiating such a strong light from your life that your teen will be able to see it through the cloudiness and confusion of the teen years, leading them to become strong, healthy adults.