Our children are watching. Even from a young age they are learning and imprinting by our words and actions. Have you ever told your kids “not right now, I’m busy, or be quiet, I can’t listen right now.”
One of my favorites is when parents spell anything they don’t want the kids to hear. That did not work so well for my husband. Our daughter was a toddler, I had just finished a horse show and we were loading up. My husband handed me a bridle and said “here is your s.h.i.t.” My little girl handed me a lead rope and said “yea mommy here is some of your s.h.i.t.” I gave my husband a look and said “Good job, I get to write in her memory book the first word she learned to spell.”
Most of the time we do not even know what we are saying. We are caught up in the moment. I watched a Good Luck Charlie episode where the toddler said a bad word and used it in the right context. The mom interrogated everyone, husband, siblings and neighbors. Looking for blame. She was driving and had to slam on the breaks and said the same word. She had no one to blame but herself.
When your kids are teens, you want to lay the blame for their words and actions on the influences of others. Take a hard look at yourself. There is no substitute for you. If you are not giving them time, love and respect, don’t expect it in return.