Modeling good behavior is a significant variable when raising children and perhaps the most difficult to do consciously. We all have patterns of behavior that we would prefer NOT passing down to our kids. I personally can rattle off a hundred but I’ll spare you.
So we do what we can, when we can. Right?
Here is an example of a dad who could have taught his child a valuable lesson but chose to ignore the opportunity:
I was standing with my grandson on a crowded NYC train. We were in front of two teen girls who were clearly not sick or tired as they giggled and danced in their seats while taking selfies. The dad of one of the girls stood next to me. They all noticed the little boy. How could you not? Poor kid was barely able to hold the subway bar and grandma had to repeatedly remind him while explaining why it was so important.
I was really surprised by their lack of compassion and self absorption but more surprised and disappointed by the dad for not intervening. He missed the chance to be a role model.
What you do at these mini moments will have lasting effects. They build on each other. I encourage us all, and especially parents, to demonstrate kindness and respect whenever possible. Your children will notice.