This topic, which was further inspired from Service a few weeks prior, has been on my mind ever since becoming pregnant with Brooklyn Meadow, so let’s talk about it.
What is the first thought that comes to mind when hearing the expression: “Do as I say, not as I do”?
My mama brain immediately thinks, if your child shouldn’t be doing it, then why are you?
Obviously, there are reasons, such as age appropriate related reasons, as to why you would use that phrase on your kiddos. Otherwise, if not being used for a specific and obvious reason, let’s get to the root of the phrase.
Mama’ing my soon-to-be 16-month-old daughter has been the most beautiful thing I have ever done in my entire life. From pregnancy to birth, to nearly 16-months of age, I have never in my life felt more fulfilled, more grateful, more blessed. This tiny human has forever changed me.
As some may find themselves believing, I subscribe to the belief that mothering is a natural instinct. Throughout my pregnancy, I found myself shying away from literature on “Parenting 101” or attending the infamous Lamaze classes, and instead, I found myself habitually meditating, writing, and dreaming of all the ways that I would teach my child to be exactly like the best version of me.
In all of my alone time during my pregnancy while my husband traveled for work, I found myself constantly day dreaming of the life that we would have with our soon-to-be babe. At the time, and leading up to our then-future babes birth, my husband and I decided to leave the gender a surprise. Regardless, my thoughts at the time had been that despite gender, I wanted this baby to share the best version of our qualities, our interests, our passions. Our love for nature, for good music, for God. Our sweet souls, kind ways, work ethic, and our unique perspectives on life.
I wanted our future babe to mirror us, the best version of us. Therefore, in order to “fulfill” this goal [of ours], we had vowed to continuously work on ourselves so that we could always and forever be the best version [of ourselves] for our baby.
For those of you new to this space, I am a total personal development junkie. I am completely and totally obsessed with personal development, growth, and glowing while doing it. I literally live for learning, and bettering myself daily and it has helped me tremendously with my parenting.
And as we know, there is no handbook or guide on “how” to raise a solid, “good” kid. Although there are a multitude of ways, there is no one true and tried way, no “one size fits all” method. Truthfully, it boils down to experimentation and trial and error. And although, even when leading by example and mirroring, the “trial and error” method is still a factor associated with parenting, it just does not hold as much weight.
The concept is actually rather simple: If you are a “good” human, and act as a “good” human, it is more than likely that you child will turn out to be a “good” human.
I am not sure that I would call this a “parenting technique,” as much as I would refer to it as a mindset and lifestyle-based transformation, with an element of [major] accountability. Essentially, work on yourself, as you work on your child. It all reverts back to being the best version of yourself, and in order to do that, you must work it, mind | body | soul. For a refresher on living simply, click here.
Be the human you want your little(s) to be. Mirror [for them] how you would like for them to behave. Lead by example. Guide and mentor.
If the thought of this is completely and totally aligning in your Universe, here are few tangible tips to ditching the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality and leading by example:
The way we feel | talk about ourself + others
✖ Be yourself (No, not “[E]veryone else is already taken.” When are you going to realize that you are a limited edition mama?);
✖ Self-talk should positive (i.e., “I am beautiful.” “I am smart.” “I am strong.” “I am fearless.”);
✖ Positive mindset;
✖ Positive mood;
✖ Positive aura
✖ Positive vibes;
✖ Respond positively to criticism, failure, and conflict;
✖ Eliminate gossip, and criticizing others (Gossip is like candy. It is ever-alluring, and tasty going down, but it will eventually rot your teeth and hurt your belly. Don’t do it.); and,
✖ Have confidence (Be confident in yourself, your abilities, talents).
Give you babes your full attention when with them
Mamas, I get it. You cannot be “on” 24/7, especially my SAHMs. I have found that the method of “devoting” to be extremely effective. Sure, there are times when I have no choice but to check off the daily essentials (i.e., washing dishes, laundry, etc.), but in my free time with her, I like to turn off all distractions. We live in such a fast-paced environment, that our attention span has drastically diminished. It is so valuable to teach our children that they are important and worthy of our full attention. So, don’t be distracted. Leave your phone aside. Focus on them.
Be loving, caring, and respectful to yourself and others
Although simple in nature, life sometimes has a funny way of throwing a wrench into our loving, caring, and respectful ways. Don’t let it. That simple. Show your children the beauty of love, care, and respect. It will go distances.
Bottom line: It is likely that your child will not remember much of what you said. However, they will remember how you lived. Actions speak louder than words. The blending of personal development and parenting is truly magical + so very worthy.