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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho


Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Like most people, one of my goals for 2022 is to be physically fit and healthy. I have continued my exercise regime from last year by watching Youtubers and their exercise videos. I tried creating my own routine, but I wasn't sure if I was mastering any techniques, so I figured going to the experts was a better option. If the schedule allowed, I worked out for 45 minutes, and if I was limited in time or just wasn't in the mood, I tried to pump out 25 minutes.

I picked a few instructors that were my pace and began my track to becoming healthier. Whenever I start with a new instructor, I must watch them first and then copy their movements; I can't just listen to their directions. Having them demonstrate first is optimal to my success. I noticed just listening to their orders is not sufficient for me to fully comprehend the motions. So as I watched and copied their actions, I started to master the skill and grow in my confidence to do it independently. After a few days of working out with the same instructor, I am able to complete the exercises independently without the videos. I can even hear the instructor in my head leading the countdowns. "Give me, 8, 7, 6, 5, etc."

During one of my workouts, my mind jogged down memory lane when I said to one of my kids, "Do as I say, not as I do." I don't think I verbalized it often, maybe just once, but I certainly implied it more than enough. Let me explain. In parenting, sometimes we give our kids instructions without demonstration and expect them to have complete comprehension. If I can't even do a workout without a simple example, how can I expect my children to do what I say without modeling it for them?

In some cases, we do the opposite. We exhibit poor choices and command our kids not to follow our example. Our kids will copy us regardless of whether we like it or not. For instance, how I express my frustration with an incompetent driver has quickly turned into how my son expresses his frustration with an incompetent driver. Not my proudest moment.=( If I convey concern for minor issues, my children may pick it up and do the same. And who wishes their kids to have extra anxiety? We have to be on our toes and be aware of our actions, good and bad.

When my daughter has conversations with professors and other adults she is unfamiliar with, she will replay the dialogue back to me. On occasion, she says that she will ask herself, "What would mommy say? What would mommy do?" In my mind, I'm praying I gave her good examples she can pick from. I have a niece who is very thoughtful and benevolent, just like her parents. Her kindhearted texts are very similar to my sister's. As parents, we have the unique privilege of leading by example.

If we desire our kids to pray, then we have to pray. If we hope our kids will read the Bible more, we have to read the Bible more. If we want them to spend less time on their electronics, we have to limit the amount of time we spend on them. If we expect our kids to be healthy, we have to eat healthily and shop wisely. If our dream is to raise leaders, show them by serving others well. If we yearn for our kids to live in freedom, we must live confidently.

You get the idea. It starts with us! Our ceiling is our children's floor!

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