“How many times do I want to tell you? Do not talk with your mouthful!”
And, since we utter these words, we quickly change the food in our own mouths to the deepest recesses of our lips so as to not lose any of it.
“Slow down and chew, do you?”
We state since we gulp down another mouthful of food which managed to get from our fork to our gullet with our hardly noticing it, or tasting it.
“Go out and play, exercise and fresh air are good for you.”
We utter as we sink gratefully on the sofa and turn the TV or radio on.
“No, you are not having ice cream, you know that sweet things are bad for you.”
“It won’t hurt you to walk. I used to have to walk far more when I was your age.”
As we plan our errands with the automobile to consume the least of our precious free time as you can.
We are so good at giving advice, indeed, we’re masters at it. It is our job as responsible parents and responsible adults to fix and improve the ways of those younger than us (or equal to us, or older to us). It is our mission, our driving energy, our right, our duty.
Yes, it’s very important that we direct and help others along the way, especially our children or dependents. But it is even more important to lead by example, to practice what you preach.
And children, particularly, catch on soon. I told her she could not have some chocolate, that sweet things all the time were not good for her, she could have some fruit when she was hungry. A moment later, as I was savoring the minty chocolate in my mouth, I felt little eyes on me… And had to come up with an explanation, fast.
Since that time, I have been watching my speech (verbal and non-verbal) and made sure that, as much as possible, I do not send out conflicting messages. The hardest part? All those ‘little white lies’ which people use daily. Sure, the odd one still slips out, but most of the time I say things which can’t be reproduced at a time or place which will have me standing in total mortification.
It’s difficult work and requires breaking and changing habits, but the earlier you start practicing what you preach, the sooner the message will come across as sincere and one to be followed, rather than you to be got around one way or another or talked out of half truths (or half lies).
Maybe your kids won’t thank you for it, but soon you’ll be thanking yourselves for Wildlife Control Service Stuart.