Teaching Kids By Example. For Better Or Worse.


woman sneaking cake
When you're always being watched, your kids are gathering lessons... intended or not.

When I drive Grandma to her doctor's appointment... wow, what a great unintentional lesson and I didn't even have to be mindful! But when my husband and I both pretend not to be home when the cranky relative calls? Not such a great unintended lesson. Maybe we should have been more mindful, huh?

Mindful parenting makes so much sense. Yet it's exhausting and intimidating and far too anxiety-producing to think about too deeply. I prefer to think about it as: Do what you'd want your own kid to do. You know, the Golden Rule and all that.


I get that as parents, we are always being observed... watched... that our behavior is the blueprint for our kids' future reasoning and actions, whether they are 2, 12 or, I'm told, 22. But I also know that my own parents—like that of most of their 1960s counterparts—were some of the least mindful parents on the planet. And yet the generation to which I belong seems a lot more resilient than the kids of today's hovering (and ultra-mindful) parents, according to recent studies. When It Comes To Parenting, Does One Size Fit All?

Which is not to say that my husband and I can act any old way we want in front of (or even away from) our kids. Just that I also think it's okay (maybe even healthy) for a kid to see that their own parents can screw up, too.

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