Monday, February 08, 2010

The Power of Example

I am an over-protective mom.

When my kids ride in a car, they ALWAYS ride in seat belts or approved boosters. I was even told one of my children needed to NOT be in a booster because she was too big. My one year old daughter still rides with her carseat facing backwards, because it is safer.

Every one of my children wear helmets when they ride their bikes or scooters, period. I used to have trouble with my husband. He'd make comments about how he never used a helmet when he was growing up. But, after a helmet saved the life of our third daughter, he was convinced.

Now, I've discovered just how powerful examples can be. Our three year old son has a very cool bike - it is a Tonka bike. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to ride it nearly as often as he would like to, because we live on a relatively busy street and I'm overprotective. But, I recently told him he could ride his bike on our walk.

After giving my little guy permission to ride his bike, I proceeded to finish getting my youngest daughter ready for our walk. In a few minutes, I called for my son, to let him know it was time to get his bike out. I couldn't find him ANYWHERE! I checked for him upstairs, downstairs, and in the back yard. He wasn't anywhere, but I did discover the garage door was open.

To my horror, I found my son riding his bike up and down the street!!

Though he'd never been shown how, my little three year old unlocked and opened the garage door all by himself, put his helmet on (backwards), and pulled his bike out of its assigned spot. All learned simply by watching the example of others.

It is easy to forget just how powerful our example is, and how much training is going on simply by the example we set.

I wish I always set good examples! I wish that I always made the right choice. Because I always see, in my children, the results of the example I've set. In this case, the example was good. I wish it always was.

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