So, we are having a picnic in our backyard, and then I notice that my 3 year old son is very articulately reprimanding our cat, shaking his finger in front of her nose and telling her to get her act together or she will get punished. No idea what happened between them, but I feel my heart starting to sink. You know how they say kids are always watching and listening, and then they repeat the pattern? So, here I am frantically rewinding my actions for the last couple of years trying to remember when I went wrong and promised to punish my kids. And…I can’t remember anything. I then turn to my son and ask if I ever promised to punish him, and if that is why he is talking that way to the cat now. His answer made me smile. Turns out he remembered that time last week when the cat was being very mean to a new kitten in the neighborhood, and I was not too happy and tried to explain it to our bully. I guess I might have used the words “punish”, not actually meaning it, of course. But hey, what do you know? Few days later and my son is talking to the cat in the same manner I did that one time, ONE time. I am not sure he even knows what “punish” means, but he uses it correctly now.
And here is the moral of today’s story:
Never forget that you are being watched by your children at ALL times and, with time, they will mirror what you say and do. Be mindful of the way you treat not only your kids, but others as well. So, yeah, be more careful next time you talk to that damn cat, ok?