Thursday, October 2, 2008

Modeling responsibility

Unfortunately, I had the opportunity to model responsibility to my tween daughter the other day when I scraped the bumper of another car while trying to parallel park. I dutifully wrote out a note with my name and contact information to leave on the windshield of the other car, and I took pictures of the damage to my car and the other car with a camera I happened to have in the trunk.

While this event pretty much ruined my day, I look back on it now, a few days later, and realize I was given a great opportunity to model responsibility and accountability to my daughter. I'm sure that watching me take responsibility for a mistake I had made was more powerful than any abstract conversation would be. Of course, having the follow up conversation is also good.

So, look for those opportunities to model the behavior you want from your children, whether it's giving back the extra change when the cashier gives you too much, holding the door for the woman struggling with the stroller, or apologizing when you're wrong. Your kids are watching.

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