Do as I Say, Not as I Do

No, you can’t ask them to do what you are not willing to do yourself. We all know the old saying that the title of this blog memorializes, but we also know that in life, and especially with children, it just doesn’t work. As a matter of fact, part of being a consistent parent is NOT giving your children that small opening to exploit a moment of weakness. Failing to lead by example contradicts and weakens your role as leader of your family.

If your children are anything like mine, they will not forget your behavior and will use it to remind you that you went against your rule. Ignoring your rule gives them the opportunity to ignore it as well. For example, you violate your rule and use your phone at the table, when the rule is “we don’t have phones at the table, we talk as a family.” They will remind you, over and over and over and over, any time you try to enforce the “no phones at the table rule. (You get the picture.)

The truth is being an intentional parent is tough, and we think a one-time occurrence, “only this time,” will be okay. The truth is we have to be the example for our children. I’ve never heard anyone say “being a parent was easy,” and the truth is, it’s only getting harder. As we parent in this continuously social media driven world, being the example is evermore critical.

Family Communication


For more helpful information and guidance on parenting, check out our bookpocket guideblog, and downloadable parenting resources.

Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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