Friday, February 7, 2014

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

Let me begin with a simple question.  If your child has a problem how do you hope they will handle it?
Do you want them to talk it out?  Do you want them to communicate?

If this is what many of us want from our children then why do we not model this?  Why do adults jump on Facebook and bash?  Why do adults meet up and gossip?  Why do so many adults feel confrontational rather than constructive & collaborative?

I'm a parent and for years when my kids were little I didn't believe they were watching and listening. Boy was I wrong!  When I would laugh at a joke on the radio or say something on the phone to a friend my kids would then repeat or ask questions.  This was my first tip that they were watching (even when I didn't think they were watching).

Next came a time of code.  I remember my wife and I spelling things out in the car.  We would say things like, "On Saturday let's go S..H..O..P..P..I..N..G for D..R..E..W. "  Moments later Drew would say, "What are you going to get me?"  Our goose was cooked!  Talking in code didn't last long and now we have decided that we need to keep it clean, positive and kid friendly all the time.

When the boys are playing a sport we don't yell from the stands.  We cheer and encourage.  When the boys come home upset with something at school or practice, we problem solve, role play and talk it out. We don't angrily call the teacher, coach or post something on social media.

Our kids watch us more than we can imagine.  The way we react becomes their "norm".  I challenge all adults to take a good hard look in the mirror.  Are you setting the example you want your child to follow?  Are you listening to all sides of the story before you pass judgement?  Wouldn't we want our own kids to do these things?

I'm a believer in the power of positive attitude.  When my son is a grump at 8am I try my best to snap him out of it.  I take pride in my positive attitude, I know on any given day I have no less than 800 eyes on me.  Some may see this as pressure...I see this as opportunity.  "Be the change you wish to see in the World." -Gandhi

Next time you're frustrated, annoyed or simply angry...think about the example you are setting for your child.  What we model seems to repeat, please remember, The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

Articles Worth Reading:

Kindergarten is the new first grade

Our inability to see ahead

Adreian Payne Story (Fantastic Read!)

27 Ways To Check Students Prior Knowledge

Distracted Parenting

Videos Worth Watching:

Speak-Life Project by a Middle School student.  Very powerful and inspiring! (7 min)

Ashton Kutcher has a message for all kids...hard work makes a difference!  This really amazed me. (5 min)


  1. Great point! I had a rough stretch a while back and was snapping at everyone and everything. I had ordered a sandwich from Jimmy Johns and they included tomatoes when I clearly had asked them not to. I went crazy!!! Throwing the tomatoes in the garbage and yelling. Just making a general fool of myself. Of course, the kids were right there watching. A little while later I made sure to tell them that the way I reacted was not good behavior and that I was out of line. That's the one example that comes to mind, but I remember thinking that I took a lot of cues from how my dad reacted to situations and suddenly felt pressure because these 2 amazing kids are going to take their cues from me! I have to hold myself to a standard that I haven't always held myself to. I try to make sure I'm always positive around the kids at school, and that has helped me a ton at home!

  2. How genuine of you Dennis! To share a story that isn't glowing shows your strength, vulnerability and willingness to grow. I love how you stated... "I have to hold myself to a standard that I haven't always held myself to." What a powerful statement. If all parents did this...WOW.

    Thanks for sharing, but most of all thanks for being a positive influence on kids.