We’ve all heard the sayings “Like mother; like daughter” or “Like father; like son” when a trait or character is noticed in a child that reflects his or her parent. Sometimes it’s when the child makes a sweet gesture and sometimes it’s when that child has developed a bad habit that was picked up from the parent. Either way, the statement has much more weight behind it than most of us realize. This became real apparent to me just this last week when I almost deceived my daughter, but was thankful I thought about it first.
For Christmas, my daughter got a very cute, ceramic Hello Kitty sign to hang up. Since she is only 6, I went into her room to help her find spots for her new toys and to help her hang up the sign. She wanted to hang it up on the out side of her door. I told her it wasn’t a good idea because it could easily get broken there. After trying to figure out a different place, I could tell her feelings were getting hurt because she felt like I didn’t trust her. So, finally I told her I would hang it up on her door, but that she had to be extremely careful to not open or close her door too quickly.
Over the next week she impressed me with how attentive she was over that sign. She would take it down every night for fear that our little dog would bump into her door and even took it down and hid it when we had company over. Needless to say, I could see how she was maturing and taking my trust in her to heart. However, the pages turned, and I was the one who had to ask her to forgive me.
We had taken her sign into my room because we were spending some time drawing and she wanted to try to draw what was on her sign. Before we were finished we got distracted with the game her dad and brother were playing in the living room. So, her drawing and sign were forgotten. When I went to bed I just moved all of our mess to my nightstand and was going to take care of it the next day. Well, I forgot and some how that day much of what was on my end table fell to the floor. That next night when I went to bed I ended up stepping on her sign and breaking it. You couldn’t imagine how upset I was, not because it was forgotten in my room, but because I knew how hurt she was going to be.
Well, my initial reaction was to glue it together so she wouldn’t know. So I went on a search for super glue or something that I knew would hold it together with no such luck. So, I hid the sign in my drawer and was going to get glue the next day or see if there was another sign at the store. I ran it passed my husband and thought that was a good plan. However, as I laid in bed trying figure out how I was going to get what I needed, I felt a tug on my heart. I prayed about it and knew what I was going to do was wrong. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. I think the sign was only $2. But I knew deep down that would be flat out deceiving my daughter and I had to ask myself: If she broke something of mine, would I want her to deceive me? If she found out that I lied to her, what would that teach her? So, I came up with a new plan.
The next day, while my husband and son were busy, I asked her to come to my room. I showed her the sign and asked her to forgive me. There were tears, from both of us, and many hugs. There was no resentment in her heart over her broken sign, she even suggested that we could glue it. I was very proud and thankful that she immediately forgave me. So, even though I felt horrible that I was the one who broke her sign after she had been very careful with it, I am thankful for the opportunity it gave me to show her a character that I hope she follows: To admit when she has done something wrong and ask for forgiveness rather than hiding it and deceiving those around her.
So the next time you hear or say “Like mother; like daughter” know that your children are looking to you as an example. They will learn more by your actions than your teachings. One day, your children will be your age and will display many of the character traits you are showing them right now. Don’t take it lightly. Instead, embrace it and be the person you want your children to become.