Kids are mirrors and adults are the images they reflect.
Every single day you have the opportunity to show your child who you are. They will experience the most wonderful things about you, like your smile. They will experience the not so wonderful things about you, like grumpy straight-faced non-verbal’s that make you look like a monster.
Which of these will you offer them the most?
When you think about your mother, what are the first things that come to your mind? Do you remember her smile? Do you remember her embrace? Or, do you have hard and difficult memories about your mother?
When reflecting about your father, what do you remember? Do you remember his strength, his consistency, and his unwavering compassion during difficult times? Or, do you remember him as a difficult or nonexistent person?
Your parental figures left an impression on you. They gave you an image. They gave you an image about how to function and live as a man, woman, person, parent, and spouse. What was the quality of the images that they gave you to replicate? What images did they give you that you would like to continue and keep? What images did they give you that you would like to discontinue and not keep?
Parents are the first images that children see. They are the first images that they are exposed to. They are the first examples of humanity. Out of these interactions come images of justice, peace, love, grace, and mercy. The parent sets the tone for the rest of their child’s life. The parent establishes thoughts, ideas, beliefs, values, structure, discipline, and compassion. The parent is the first image that every child will bear. Thus, what images do you portray every single day of your life?
You can bear the images of work. You can bear images of hobbies and leisure. You can bear images of frustration, doubt, anger, or hostility. What images do you give your sons and daughters to mirror and reflect?
Give your children your best more often than your worst.
Do not give them a false narrative where they began to believe that everyday should be perfect. Work to give them healthy and appropriate demonstrations of how to navigate stress, deal with frustration, experience hope, and engage pain.
Even in the midst of failure and defeat, show and teach them how to fall gracefully and with respect. Being your best as a parent is not hiding your hurt. Being your best as a parent is demonstrating how to deal with, grow from, and overcome your hurt. Give them the best you to reflect.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:26.