While I have not been able to confirm this factoid, sociologist say that every person will influence 10,000 other people in their lifetime. What that means to me is that there are quite a few people watching us and at any given time will be swayed one way or another by our words or actions.
Here is what I know to be true: Parents / Leaders influence their children. That is such a huge responsibility. Everything we say and more important every action we take is being recorded on the minds and hearts of not only our own children, but of every child that comes in contact with us.
In class the other day one of the students kept repeating this phrase, “what the…?” No they did not complete the sentence but I was waiting to hear what the next word was going to be. It is a funny thing about our children and us as parents. Not unusually, the very things that get to us, the habits that our children have or little ways of doing things that irritate us are generally speaking, habits that either we or our mate have demonstrated that we do not like about ourselves.
If we have a personality flaw that we would like to change about ourselves, and we see it in our child, that is the one that we will many times be the most upset about with our child. Because we have such a large influence on our children, working on ourselves and willingly open about that work, our children will be influenced also in creating a better habits.
Have you noticed too, the influence that older children have on younger ones. I like to use this in speaking to the older child about their responsibility to influence, set a good example for and be a leader to their younger brother and sister. For some children this is a great motivator for them. They like the idea of being that leader, so without abusing that possibility, we can call on that from them to reinforce the idea of our team / our family.