The other day I saw my son make a face that I had never seen before. It was a squinty eyed smile that seemed a little out of context for what was going on. He did it again and I realized that this was a look that he has picked up from me….I caught myself doing it when I was thinking about how lucky I am to have such a special boy as my son….a look of endearment you might say. I was most surprised that I believe my 17 month old was using this same expression to convey the same message back to me.
This was a little blessing that I did not expect to get. Had my son not mimicked this expression back at me, I might not have ever realized I do this. This got me thinking, what else am I unconsciously or subconsciously teaching my children. What do my words, actions, and expressions teach my children about God, race, gender, education, money, love, marriage, etc.
I could go on and on about the way society carelessly goes about teaching children hate, cynicism, despair, resentment, etc. But I would rather focus on change and what I can do than the brokenness that is already rampant in our world.
I hope that I teach my children about a loving God and that God created us all equal, but how do you do this when we are all human with our own faults and stereotypes? I spend a lot of my time in self reflection and personal growth. I feel like this is one way to develop a sound and consistent value system for my boys. I still have a long way to go, but I hope that this is a start, and I spend time everyday being intentional about the way I live and the values I teach.