Do What I Do, Not What I Say

January 6, 2009

787360_chucksSometimes the smallest words left unspoken, ring the loudest in our children’s ears.

When I was a kid, I usually heard the opposite from elders — “Do what I say, not what do.”  The words were usually delivered with stern looks, tight lips, and a stiff index finger.  It was serious…and they meant every word.

But what was that all about?  A free pass for adults to clown and cut up, while demanding that kids do the right thing….like ALL the time…without example?  Funny.  Some of us still expect that old saying to hold true.  Sorry ppl, you can’t tell your child, “don’t gossip”, but every time they turn around…you’re on the phone with “Chile, did you hear….”  Whadya think?

Well, I asked myself the same question recently.  No serious character flaw (though, I’m still a work in progress), but my character nonetheless.  See, I’ma laid back kinda chic.  I love to just kick it :)!  I think I got it bad when I landed that cushy consulting gig, and worked from home for years.  Pajamas, jeans, tees, chucks — what?!  No more suits and pantyhose, fancy hair do’s and heels.  Just…me…workin’, but chillin’.

Little did I know, I’ve been saying to Daughter, “Do what I do, not what I say.”   Recently, I suggested several cute dresses for her to wear to church….a chocolate brown velour wrap dress, a fun plaid dress, new tights in hand.  Her response, “Well, what are you wearing, Ma….you kickin’ it in jeans?”

In that moment (kinda off subject), I remembered me at 12, 13, how…clothes were awful, ugly, out of style, embarrassing — JUST because Mom suggested it lol.  I could’ve liked it at the store, but just cos Mom said, “hey what about this?”, I would immediately reject it.  Typical pre-teen…

As I thought about Daughter’s question more, it dawned on me just how much Daughter watches me…in EVERYTHING!  Maybe cos I never wanted my Mom’s style, it didn’t dawn on me that Daughter liked mine.  Kinda flattering.  But this thing works both ways, I believe.  I told her, “you know what, I’m gonna start dressing up more.”  You should’ve seen her eyes light up…like “Ooh I’m game, too!”

Funny, the longer we parent, the less our lives remain the “main attraction”.  Living our best life is not just about us anymore….we aren’t the only benefactors.  And I’m starting to realize this more and more, as my 2 little sponges get older.  They’re soaking me and hubby up…without prejudice…the good, bad, and ugly.

I once read a saying (paraphrasing), “If there’s something in your child’s life that makes your blood boil, take a real hard look at your own.  You’ll probably see the source of the flames.  Change your life, and their’s will follow.”  *Ouch*

Without even saying, or saying not to, our children are doing what we do.  Let’s put on a great show for them, k?  I’m striving…:).



2 Responses to “Do What I Do, Not What I Say”

  1. You’re one way cool MOM!!!!

  2. ashe.selah Says:

    Awww thanks and welcome, Clarisse! That means alot…and I’m grateful for those special times when my kids concur lol.

    Njoyed visiting your blog…will def cya ’round :)!

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