Shelly, “Set examples from the start, not just manners; although, it is so awesome when your kids are out somewhere, and you are told how polite they are. It still melts my heart.
Setting examples start everywhere. Teach your young adults they can have a drink, and go to parties. Explain they must be responsible, and to not make it a habit. When driving the car, pay attention to how you drive. If you use your phone, remember they are watching.
My son was in the car with me one day, and my phone was sitting in the middle console. (The only reason I ever take it with me is in case I break down or something.) As we were driving my phone lit up, a text message must have come in and he saw it. There was no noise, because I never have the volume on. When my son said, “Your phone lit up you have a message.” I said it’s ok, I’m driving and I will look when I get home.”
The way things are now with teenagers, they’re learning bad habits from parents.” Tip 6
I too am a big believer in setting an example! Shelly and I both set the bar high, and our kids reached higher.
I recall one day when Michael slammed his bedroom door. I hauled him back into the living room and said, “We don’t slam doors in this house.” Now, had I myself been a door slammer, there wouldn’t have been too much I could say on the matter. I had to model exactly what I expected. Michael never slammed another door.
I was very meticulous about this facet of parenting, I literally would not shake salt on my food in front of him. I did not curse, did not drink, gossip, or gamble, and I did not slam doors. Because I upheld such impeccable standards, I was in a position to expect the same.
I heard the phrase, “Be the type of person you hope your child would marry.” I followed that to the letter. I acted as if I had my shit together even when I didn’t, especially when I didn’t. I modeled strength when I was weak, and calmness when I was crazy!
In my parenting days, I didn’t have to worry about cell phones, for which I am extremely grateful. I hope I would have conducted myself in the same way Shelly did with her kids, modelling responsible usage.
It is not at all effective to believe, or to preach, “do as I say not as I do.” In my observations, it will not work! It is the most ridiculous, condescending, and ineffective approach to parenting in the entire history of parenting!
Thanks Shelly for all your tips, and thanks for those three lovely adults you’ve given to the world. I just can’t wait to see all baby #4 will bring!