The other day my daughter came over with her little girl, who is almost one. She was sitting on the floor playing with her as we both watched her learning to walk. We started talking about how children mimic their parents. (and anyone who is close to them.) It occurred to my daughter that when she gets a little frustrated with things, whether it’s a dryer on the fritz, or a car issue, that her daughter started to copy her in the same way, making the same frustrated facial gestures and sounds. She couldn’t believe how quickly her little girl learned to copy those behaviors, and was amazed at how such simple moments can be mirrored so easily, and at such a young age.
Though you can’t help but chuckle at some of the silly ways that children mimic their parents, it should also make parents realize that children are listening and wanting to copy, everything we say and do. The serious discussion here, is try to be your best in all situations. I’m not saying be perfect, but even showing your child a response of frustration, followed by a smile or a hug, that calms you down can teach a child that things happen in life that we can’t always foresee, but we don’t have to lose our cool, every single time. We teach our kids to be nice, to share, to use our quiet voices inside, to be a compassionate friend, to listen….well they are doing all of this and at the same time, observing your every move, hearing your every word, and watching every expression on your face. They love their parents, and in their world, they want to be just like you. The way you hug a friend, smile at a stranger, saying thank you to others, and carry yourself is always being recorded in their little brains and that’s how they learn to be treated, and to treat others. You are their first, and greatest teacher.
Remember next time, you grimace over a sticky situation, your little one has their eyes on you and is taking everything in. So often, our children teach us more than we could ever imagine. Bless you moms.