We Say Children Learn By Example…

We Say Children Learn By Example - Read all on This Parenting Thing!


“Do what I tell you, not what I do!”

Have you ever heard someone saying that? Maybe you thought it was funny… or maybe you didn’t mind it? Or is it perhaps even something you are used to saying?

I confess, I used to say it regularly when I was in the workplace. It’s a little embarrassing to admit it, but having noticed the ridiculousness of it, it’s certainly not something I do with my children.

Because children, you probably already know, learn by example!

What’s the point of lecturing a child about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables when you eat chips and chocolate chip cookies all the time? And to be honest, having a healthy diet also does not mean that our children will make that same choice.

Perhaps they will want to experiment with life. Maybe they will need to eat junk food (a little more than we would like) and evaluate how they feel to come to make the choice of having a healthy diet. But it’s certainly not by doing the opposite completely that we can convince them of the benefits of a good diet.

The same is true of all spheres of our lives:

I’m not a very active person, but I like to bring my yoga mat in the living room from time to time. Results: my kids are really excited when they see the yoga mat! I gave the different postures animal names and my kids love to do yoga with me! Not because it’s healthy. Not because I asked them to. Just because it was something I was doing and because they’re having fun!

I’m not a perfect housewife, but when I want to do housework, I do it with a smile. Results: I don’t remember the last time I had to dust my home. My kids always ask to do it! A few weeks ago, my youngest child asked if he could scrub the bath. THE BATH! And he did it better than what I usually do… with pleasure, just for fun!

It’s not a guarantee that our children will do everything exactly like us, it’s not what I’m saying at all! However, I think it’s important to be aware of the things we do, the state of mind in which we do them, and what we would like our children to do as well. Are we consistent?

To end on a funny note: I thought about writing this article when I heard my 4-year-old boy screaming (in the same tone as Janice in Friends) OH-MY-GOOOOOD!!! because he was very excited. Guess who loves Friends a little too much……..


Marie-Noelle Marineau
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