Trickle

A family reunion, and four generations gather in the kitchen to make dinner. 

“Mom, why do you always cut off the end of the roast before you put it in the oven?” asks Daughter. 

Replies Mom, “Because that’s how my mom always did it.  Ask her.” 

“Grandma, why do you cut off the end of the roast?” 

“Because that’s how my mother always did it.  Ask her.” 

“Great-grandma, why did you always cut off the end of the roast?” 

“Because my roasting pan was too damn small.”

 

We parents worry endlessly about making the right choices for our children.

We read parenting books, consult experts

We forget that most of what they learn from us they learn by an unconscious trickle-down effect.

That is, not from what we say, from our rules or our lectures.

But from our example.

They watch and listen and absorb like little sponges.

They absorb habits, and tastes, and attitudes.

They also absorb symptoms.

If we’re anxious, they learn anxiety.  If we’re angry, they learn anger.  If we’re controlling, they learn to control.  And if we’re addicted…

You get it.

Hey, books are fine.  So is expert advice.

But the parent who takes parenting seriously eventually puts down the book and picks up a mirror.

 

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5 responses to “Trickle

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