Could it be that when it comes to wanting our children to change some 'unwanted behaviours', there is an opportunity to consider whether it is possible some of the 'unwanted behaviours' are as a result of our own behaviours we have modelled along the way....? Are you ready for a stop and pause moment?!
We consider ourselves to be experts on our children, but could the same apply in reverse - that our children are experts on us.
We are a role model for our children every day, and they observe our every move, more than we observe theirs. This could mean as parents we need to be aware of double standards. It is important to have a standard of how we live together as a family, the contribution to chores, how the house is looking, but is it a standard coming from a role-modelled behaviour or is it coming from a need to control or an expectation based on a picture of how a 'good' household runs? For example, what is the point of becoming upset with our children about their bedrooms not being tidy if our own bedroom is not kept tidy? Perhaps they see how the inside of the car gets a little out of hand, as rubbish and shopping bags and packages to return in the post build up? Would our words and instructions then falls on deaf ears? Why should they do what we don't do?
Why should children take any notice of us telling them to tidy up when they do not see a tidy space in front of them?
Is the messiness we see on the outside a reflection of the messiness on the inside?
We can often see that when something is up with our child, or when they are out of sorts, they can show us by being irritated, angry, rude, they might also be more messy or more reactive. Essentially, messy on the inside = messy on the outside. The same applies to us, so how are we looking on the inside? Are we feeling at ease, or are we feeling chaotic or even out of control, in overwhelm with some anxiety and what would that look like to people on the outside? Might we be a little more grumpy, short-tempered and perhaps a little messy...?
Children feel everything. If there is tension, a child will feel it.
So, what are we truly role-modelling? Is there an integrity and genuineness in our own way of living which role models the behaviours we would like to see in our children without us having to say a word?
When we find a 'stop and pause moment' can we be honest and very kind to ourselves to simply see how we really living are on the inside and make small steps to support ourselves.