At the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, we provide classes on pregnancy, infant care and parenting. A prevailing concept across many of these classes is that parents should model behaviors so that their children can learn how to talk, walk, connect and interact with others, react to different situations, and generally behave.
I’ve talked with some parents about their own behavior — are they doing something that they want their children to learn and do? I recently was at an event where some of the parents behaved in such a way that I had to wonder if they asked themselves that very question.
From the very beginning of their lives, infants watch what happens around them. Their vision is limited at first, so this watching is confined to Mom and Dad, but Mom and Dad remain the center of the child’s focus for many years.
Children mimic the behaviors they most see, and while this can have negative repercussions, it also can be a positive experience.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
When I was a kid, I was awakened by a noise in the living room at about 4:30 in the morning. Being a curious child, I went to investigate.
I snuck down the hall with my heart pounding and turned on the lights to see what was happening.
My father’s voice asking “What are you doing?” scared me slightly, and as I turned to answer, I saw my father sitting in his chair with his Bible open in his lap.
I can’t remember how I justified being there, but I will never forget that image of my father beginning his day.
While this is just one example, there are many things a parent can do to show how a Christian life is lead, and children are keeping tabs on what their parents are doing.
This is an opportunity for you to ask yourself if you are showing your children an example of what you would like them to become.
Katie Grobe is the director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org