Do As I Say, AND As I Do

Seven Habits Series – Habit #2

Hello, this is Brian with  We all love a good hypocrite.  Don’t deny it.  It makes us feel better about our own little shortcomings.  It’s just human nature.  Hypocrisy can be entertaining to behold.  Like when I tell my kids “we’re not going to have desert tonight, kiddos” and the minute they’re in bed I ask my wife what flavor frozen yogurt she wants as I make a bee-line for the front door.  The bummer is when we get careless and Sherlock Emily finds the frozen yogurt containers on the counter the next morning…busted.

Dessert may not be a big deal, but when it comes to reading, it’s a good idea to show your kids by example that reading and books are an integral part of your life.  As much as your (older) kids may deny it, most children want to be (and end up becoming) like their parents. Their lifelong reading habits start to form at the earliest ages, most often by mimicking older siblings and, of course, parents.  If they see you reading daily—both for function and for pleasure—they will more likely become avid readers themselves. If children see parents visiting libraries and checking out books, giving and receiving books as gifts, and borrowing and loaning books to friends, they will know their parents place a high value on reading.

In our home, my wife is the life-long avid reader.  She tells people that she actually taught me how to read, because I didn’t do it much at all prior to marraige.  Of course, then I let her (and everyone within earshot) know that I was free to do sooo many more fun things before we where married, but now that I’m shackled I guess I’ll just read.  Truth be told, I’m very grateful that my wife is a voracious reader, and that by her example I’ve cultivated a strong appreciation for reading and literature.  I even read books without the pretty pictures now.

Setting the example at home is Habit #2.  If you already love reading, fantastic.  Perhaps you can make an extra effort to increasingly demonstrate this to your kids.  If you’re not a big reader, I highly recommend that you put together a game plan for reading more books and making literature a more integral part of your life.  Your kids will benefit greatly and will thank you later!

I’ll see you next week for habit #3.  Thanks.