Recently, J. Benjamin Stevens of the South Carolina Family Law Blog printed an excellent guest post which should provide guidance and inspiration for all parents, whether in intact families, single parent households or step parent relationships--
The following article is from one of our regular guest columnists,Dr. Trey Kuhne:
A few months ago, a friend sent this to me through the email. I am uncertain who the original author is but was moved so much by it that I thought it might be an encouragement to parents who wonder if their children are ever watching them or not? It is called “When you thought I wasn’t looking.” Take a brief read.
"When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking" by a child
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God!
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."
As children, we saw just about everything our parents did and said and we modeled ourselves after them, good, bad and indifferent. Now as parents, you are worried about everything you do because you realize that your children are watching you! Your children deserve excellent parents!
Dads, let your children see you loving and kissing mom, let them see how a man loves a woman with respect. Dads, let your children observe how you handle difficulties and come to consensus in matters of disagreement.
Moms, let your children see and experience you praising Dad for his love, leadership, and faithfulness to God. Moms, let your children observe how you make decisions, how you consider different possibilities and derive solutions.
Let your children hear your prayers out loud. Let your children see you disagree and then come to consensus again. Teach your children through modeling the kind of behavior that you appreciate so much in your life.
Basically what I am saying is to not withhold from your children the experience of life. They are going to experience it at school, in sports, and with their friends and what better way for them to get it right by experiencing it through the two (or one) of you.
Grace and Peace, Dr. Trey Kuhne
Dr. Trey Kuhne is a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist with Pathways Pastoral Counseling located at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 400 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307. He specializes in working with individuals, couples and families. Call (864) 542-3019 for an appointment. He may be reach via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.