Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It Really is the Sincerest Form of Flattery - Imitation

Imitation...Ahhh the Flattery!

It's flu season, and you can tell from all the commercials for flu shots, hand sanitizing, cold remedies and vitamin C that we are all not wanting to catch it.  It seems like we are aware of germs and bacteria, more than ever these days.  We simply don't want to catch the latest whatever that is going around.  

There seems to be an even bigger epidemic than the flu going around families in America today.  It's called disrespect.  And, evidently it's even more contagious, and harmful than even the worst case of the flu.  Unfortunately, this one is usually not "caught" at day care, or even in school.  In most cases, it's caught at home.

We've all seen it, back-talking, interrupting, the losing of a temper, and even yelling...And I'm not talking about the kids...

Where'd this come from?

So we all know that no one had to teach our kids how to disobey, or lie, or even take things that don't belong to them, right?  And please, don't let me hear a "Not my little johnny"...Yes even your little Johnny has lied, disobeyed, AND probably lifted something from a friends toy box, the daycare, or maybe even a piece of candy from the supermarket.  How do I know this?  I have a couple of little angels, too.  

Plus, I know that it is our nature...thanks to a couple named Adam.

But that's natural behavior.  What about the interrupting?  The back-talking?  The Big Ol' case of Disrespect?  Where'd that come from?

Let me ask you this...Where'd you learn it?

It may just be that it comes from dear old mom and dad.  You see we began to notice in our boys that they modeled a lot of behavior.  And since they were around us most of the time...especially when they were young, the behavior that they seemed to model was ours.  Ouch!

We were able to look at each one of them and say, "I know where he got that", or "that sounded a lot like me".  Why was it that I had to continually say to the boys, "not another word"...?  It's because they had seen how Mom and Dad talked to each other, and how we, on those rare occasions when we would argue, would always try and get in the last word.  Hint: truth is we argued enough that it became learned behavior...And then to make it worse, we interrupt and back-talk, and disrespect our children, without even knowing it.

So here's the deal...those little bundles of joy are going to imitate just about everything you do.  So if Mom is an interrupter, then guess what?  Little Suzy most likely will be too.  What if Dad is a back-talker?  You guessed it, Little Johnny will probably be one too.  If Mom and Dad are disrespectful?  Yep, there's a good chance the kids will be too.

So What Do We Do About It?

It's easy...Change everything about yourself...

1st - Realize:  What I would do, or did, is to take a look at myself, and say to the Lord, "those behaviors that I see in my kids that I don't like, please let me realized them when I see them in me, and give me strength to change them in me."  

2nd - Think:  Next I would slow down, and think, is the behavior that I am about to exhibit, something I want the boys to do?  So, in my mind I would be thinking, "Don't Interrupt, Don't Interrupt, Don't Interrupt, DON'T INTERRUPT!!!!" or "Don't raise your voice, Don't Raise you're voice....STOP YELLING!"

3rd - Don't be afraid to apologize: When I fail, I have tried to make it a point to say, "I'm sorry, my behavior was wrong.  I shouldn't have said that to you, or I should have let you finish what you were saying, or even, I should have been more respectful of your feelings, thoughts, etc."

And now, I have modeled for them, the behavior that I want them to display, to their Mom, to me, to friends, family, and to their wife and kids someday.

It's a sad thought, but I would guess that for most of the bad behavior, the disrespect, back talking, interrupting, etc., that we see in a child, there is more than likely a couple of parents who, unknowingly aid by modeling similar behavior in the home.

Your challenge for today is simply this, today, try treating family members the way that you wish to be treated.  Sounds easy, I know.  But, pay attention and let me know how it goes.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is for mild behavior issues only...I still believe in introducing the twins (Rod and Reproof) in order to correct behavior issues when necessary.  (stop by next week when we talk about the twins that God gave us).

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