As I was cleaning house today I noticed the pile of shoes next to my and my husband’s door. Then I remember the argument that my daughter and I had this morning when trying to locate her shoes for school. We searched and searched for her shoes and could not find them. I lectured (which I know she didn’t hear) about why I bought a cubby for her closet specifically for shoes, and how when she takes them off they should go straight to the closet, into the cubbies, not just thrown onto the floor. Typically she leaves them where she takes them off. I have her clean up her play area and her room every day and I always remind (or nag) “put your shoes where they belong!”. So, back to the search; we look and look, I assume she has already looked in her closet when lo and behold I go and there they are….in the cubby where they belong. She is so not in the habit of having put them away that when time comes to locate them she doesn’t even look in the closet. Neither did I for that matter. The day before I had her clean her room and I guess she had put them away.
Now, to the pile in my bedroom and point of this. I realized something when seeing that pile of shoes that belong to me and my husband: How am I supposed to expect something of her, a seven year old, when we as adults cannot even do it. I always advise that we lead by example, our kids see us more then they hear us (hence not hearing my lecture). So why is it ok for us to leave our shoes everywhere and not her? It’s not. If I want her to learn to put her shoes away properly then we need to step up as parents and do the same thing. This goes for so many more aspects of life besides household responsibilities. Respect for others, being courteous, having integrity; all of these things are learned not solely by lecture and punishment for failure, but by example. How do we learn to read or write or even speak? By example. With all of this being said, I am making a pact with myself to strive to be a better example for my daughter!! What do you expect but not follow through on yourself?