Walking The Talk With Your Children
One of the reasons that gardening with children and grandchildren (besides getting hands dirty) is the inescapable life lessons associated with a garden. Here like no where else we can learn and teach the Law of the Harvest. The Law of the Harvest is “that which a man sows, that will he also reap.” If we plant tomatoes, we will not harvest potatoes. Likewise, if we just plant and fail to water, fertilize and weed, we will not reap the same harvest as if we had done all these essentials of good gardening. Parents who fail the “walk the talk” in their relationships with their children and thus sow dishonesty cannot reap the harvest of integrity.
Making a commitment that you don’t keep is the polar opposite of walking the talk. But parents also fail to walk the talk when they live a life different from the one they expect of their children. This sort of relationship dishonesty happens when a father expects his daughter to attend School when he sleeps in or stays home to watch cricket. Any time a parent lives their life in a way that conflicts with what they teach their children, their personal integrity is in question.
So, how can a parent exercise the personal discipline necessary to walk the talk with their children?
Model the behavior you expect of your children
If you expect total honesty from your children, make sure you are totally honest with them. Set the example and they will follow.
Help your children get what they want
Find out what is important to your children and help them achieve it. If your teenage son wants an expensive item, help him think through the process for earning money and purchasing it. Then help him find the job, set up the savings account and be supportive of his efforts. The honesty associated with learning what your kids want and helping them get there will help them develop trust in you and your actions.
Limit extravagance and time wasting
Helping children figure out how life works and that values are important is a critical role for apparent reasons. Be careful about where and how you invest your time and resources. When you walk the talk with your money and your time, you teach personal discipline and appropriate self-restraint.
Never, ever cheat
Don’t cheat in a game. Don’t sneak past the red light when no one is looking. Don’t try to take advantage of someone else. If you are deceitful or dishonest with others, your children will learn that this is appropriate behavior.
Treat all with respect
If you insist on respect from your children, you must treat them respectfully. Honor their privacy unless there is a huge reason not to. In the long run, your children will respect you more if you show respect consistently to others.
Balance family and work
If you want your children to value home and family, make sure your priorities are similarly aligned. While a 24/7 commitment to work may make you popular with your boss, you will lose your connection with your children. If you want them home doing things with the family rather than going off with friends in their free time, you have to come home and be home with them as much as you possibly can. And that may mean sacrificing the golf outing or partying with your friends so you can make time for the kids.
Author Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke wisely when he said, “What you’re doing speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Our words mean little when we don’t back them up with our actions and our decisions. Walk the talk with your family and you will raise children of integrity and honor.
Tags: children, communication with children, life lesson, parent and child, parent child communication, parent child interaction, parent child relationship, parent child relationships, parents and children, positive relationship, walk the talk
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