Example Over Advice

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[photo source]

“Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice.”

And actually, I’ve realized now that “one day” comes a lot sooner than you expect. In fact, kids understand the language of “example” far sooner than the language of “advice.” My toddler has been mimicking what I do for a long time now – far earlier than he started understanding or listening to my advice.

It may seem like just little things, like how much I hold my cell phone or the remote control or watch the glowing rectangle hanging on the wall.  Or even really subtle, subconscious things like how I react when the baby is crying. Or how I treat the dog when she’s in my way. Or how I handle getting really frustrated. And, of course, how I treat his mother and other people. These…he follows and mimics closely.

Listening to my advice? He’s still catching on to that one. In the meantime, my example is speaking volumes and in a language he understands quite well.

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Dean Soto July 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Thanks for this. I definitely needed it. My daughter rarely takes anything that I say to heart (She’s only 4), but she definitely follows suit when I take action on important things.

I definitely allow myself to engage in “uh huh” conversations with her (i.e. as I’m doing work on the computer I say “uh huh” over and over). It’s hard not to though since as a father you tend to feel like you have to be constantly working to support your family. I got to work on this.

Great stuff!

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