The morning was warm yet the air was crisp, the sunlight bounced off of the trees and the puddles glistened on the sidewalk. My children were anxiously walking to the Arch in St. Louis. They noticed the puddle enough to not step in it but did not notice the reflection of the trees upon it. Their shadows behind them with each foot fall they walked more quickly.
There it is. It is so obvious to me, the reflections; of the great grown tree in the puddle upon the sidewalk and the reflection of who I am in my children.
The onset of the reflection is in the womb; we can see with the 3-D ultra sound pictures the baby’s nose is mine, his feet are his. At birth; he has my mouth and your chin. As the baby begins to age, he gets his stubborn attitude from his father; she gets her kind heart from her mom. As they become students…he gets his reading skills from his mom, she gets her athleticism from her dad. They don’t just look like us anymore they act like us. When we find our daughter’s bossing around their younger brothers in an adult tone it most likely was a tone displayed by a parent or a teacher. They get there understanding of people from us, “Let’s help him mom, that’s what we are suppose to do.” The formation of our children comes from many places; school, church, TV, computer games, friends, child care givers, family but most of all parents. They see the good the bad and the ugly with us because we live with them day in and day out.
As parents we need to reflect on what we are teaching them not just with our words, lectures and rules but through our actions. We need to consider what we want to teach them. If we sit on the couch from the time we get home until the time we go to bed with the TV on, we are teaching them TV is important and exercise is not. If when we get home we go for a run, or take a walk we are teaching them that health is important. If we have dinner together as a family, we are teaching them that we value family time together. If we neglect to hug them, hold them, pray with them, talk with them or tell them we love them, we are shouting loud and clear that we don’t! Every action we take as a parent has a consequence to our children. They are the reflection of our behavior, love and guidance.
Today, reflect on the priorities in your life. Is your child and family life at the top of the list? If it is not it most likely will not be on theirs in the future. What type of person are you raising your child to become? That reflection in the puddle of the full grown tree is the same as the reflection of the parents in our children. How do you want that reflection to look in the future of your child?