Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-DoOur children learn more by what we do, not what we say. Actions do speak louder than words in parenting, and you have to lead by example.

Telling your children that they have to eat all their dinner when you’ve just left half of your dinner or telling them not to shout whilst shouting at them and telling them they must do their chores NOW when you still haven’t done last weeks washing and ironing is hypocritical and confusing. Naturally, children will want to challenge this. They are being told one thing but are seeing another. Is it any wonder why so many children push boundaries and are challenging?

These situations may seem small but to children they are not. Do as I say, not as I do may seem like a light hearted phrase but it’s confusing, hypocritical and unfair. Practising what we preach is always important, but when we have mini humans watching our every move it’s even more important to follow out the things we are preaching.

Telling our children to go to bed at a certain time even when they are not tired is another one. Do you go to bed when you’re not tired? I’m guessing not. Obviously it’s a different scenario altogether if your child is clearly knackered but if they are genuinely not tired but are being expected to go to bed anyway because you say so then that’s just silly.

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24 thoughts on “Do As I Say, Not As I Do

  1. The confusing part is when one parent does set the example and the other doesn’t! Very contradictory in our house with the OH doing basically nothing apart from going out to work, and me doing the rest (as well as work) otherwise things wouldn’t get done.

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  2. Oh yes, our example is far more important, that’s why it’s so important to think about what kind of an example you are setting. that cartoon really made me giggle though!

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  3. I am always up for accepting when my boys have a point, there are times when I don’t like the dinner I cooked, for example, so if they say they can’t eat it, so be it. Its probably why I have little control over their wifi time though, especially as I’m always on it!

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  4. I total agree with this thinking and have at times found myself going “oh goodness have i given my kids to much of voice”, but there is no such thing. I grew up feeling at times i just wanted to be heard I dont want that for either of my children, but oh the teenage years are going to be fun 🙂

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  5. Everything you’ve written is so true. We have an issue here at the moment which I have to say no to the toddler for doing, but then his daddy does it and I feel like such a hypocrite for telling him to stop. I’ve brought the issue up with my other half and told him how unfair it is. We can’t set an example to our child if one or both of us is doing it ourselves.

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  6. Wow, never thought about bed time like that but good point! We had a funny experience during the week at dinner, my husband really hates broccoli and our little man decided to feed daddy his dinner – when it came to the broccoli daddy knew he couldn’t say no but the face on him eating it was priceless!

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  7. I definitely agree on most of these points. I never force my child to finish his meal as I wouldn’t appreciate having to eat something if I didnt like it or wasnt hungry, and I try to be as flexible as I can with bed time (though my oldest child would happily keep going until gone midnight if I let him and thats just not healthy!) – but then there are certain things that I do think its our parental duty to instill in them such as doing homework on time etc or chores (mine are too young for this yet, but in the future) where I wouldn’t accept the fact that I have leftover washing etc as a bad example…for the simple fact that an adult has a lot more life tasks to complete in general and so it won’t always be possible to be on top of every single one of them, whereas if a child has only one or two chores and is choosing to play computer games instead….that wouldn’t be ok. x

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  8. I love the honesty of this post. I am guilty of sending my little boy for his daily nap after lunch even if he isn’t really tired, mostly so I can get 1 hour to myself! lately though I have realised that as he is getting older he is happy to get on with his own thing whilst I do what I need to be doing, so he knows that when mummy is busy tidying its a chill out time

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