I wonder how many individuals out there in the world are aware of the actions that they make. I wonder how many realize that there are children watching them. Children who look up to them and children who want to be just like them one day. Children idolize others and imitate often while pretending to be them. How many of us truly grasp that concept? I was pretty blind to it until my children were almost grown and I was suddenly slapped in the face with children who were kind of little assholes, not complete assholes but enough to catch my attention. That was about 6 years ago, it took another year or two for me to realize I had a part in their behavior.
I can suddenly hear people’s thoughts as they read this “duh, kids are sponges”, “that’s a given”, “everyone knows kids become us”, “you’re just now figuring this out?”, no I am not just figuring this out, this is something I have always known but I hadn’t realized the depth of just what children will copy until I was overwhelmed by social media again.
I think the physical pain of what I see everyday bothers me so much because I see people I actually know being mean and rude to others for no apparent reason other than to be mean. I see people with young children name calling, bullying and seeking out others just to be mean. I see it in real life as well not just social media. Social media is something I can control by refusing to look at it, in real life I can choose to walk away.
We get so caught up living on autopilot we often forget who is watching us. We get so caught up in our own little worlds of anger and fear that we forget who is learning from our own behaviors. We get so caught up in our own trauma and lack of healing we forget who is imitating us. Even if you have no children or your children are grown and out of the house, children learn from us.
It’s time we all sit down with ourselves and ask if our own behavior is one we want to pass down to the next generations. Not our neighbors behavior or the behavior of the people around our children but OUR VERY OWN behavior, because it would be very easy to keep our children away from that one family member that everyone avoids.
We cannot control someone else’s behavior but we can control our own.
Are you someone who would be proud to have their behavior copied? There was a time I thought I was until I saw my own life being relived by my children and I woke the fuck up and realized I was a poor example. I’ve spent a good 5 years healing, apologizing and making sure I was someone I would be proud to see imitated and I am proud of it. My kids are proud of it.
I feel like there comes a time in our lives were we realize we fucked up, and I mean fucked up and we see things that should have been done differently. For me it was seeing my kids struggling because of my example. I felt like I was presented with a choice in that moment of realization, a choice of continuing my path and watching my life all over again through my kids or waking the fuck up to my own shit so that they had a great example to follow and a chance at a better life than mine. My choice was something I didn’t even have to think about it, it was like a light switch to me realizing I needed to wake up and start paying more attention to myself than to everyone else. I started being more aware of myself in that moment and physically started doing the work to heal. I started my journey of sobriety, I started doing what my therapist suggested, I ditched the thought of an easy button, I apologized to my children and I started healing.
We all want an easy button in life. We all want a magic pill or a magic button or something that will save us from having to look within and unfortunately there isn’t. We as adults are responsible for where we are in life currently. We as adults MUST do the work OURSELVES to succeed in life. We as adults MUST be setting a better example for the future generations. Do you really want your kid to grow up and be a bully? Do you really want your kid to grow up making fun of every person that isn’t perfect in their eyes? Do you want your kid to call others names and point out others faults? Or would you like to see your child have a heart of gold and be kind to others?
What ever kind of person you would like your children to be make sure you show them something worth imitating.
We have to save the children. Let’s break the cycle.