All kids like to emulate their parents. Not that my daughter is a “mini-me,” oh no, she is every bit her own person. But I have noticed that when I wear a skirt she wants to wear a skirt and when I put on lip gloss, (Yep, she’s only 3 and it’s started already.) she tries to paint herself up. She has also become a little parrot, expertly spouting some of my over-used phrases: “What’s up? “Sling it!” (Recently added to Urban Dictionary by me.) “Sure, I LOVE it when you cut me off!” The latter phrase of course uttered while driving. The parroting of your words is generally the precursor to the child emulating your behavior, most importantly how you deal with other people. Even if your child hasn’t started talking, rest assured that they are diligently recording your utterances and behavior in that rapidly expanding mind of theirs. And when they finally do start using words, you certainly don’t want their first ones to be “up yours, buddy.”
I’m not suggesting that you totally censor yourself when around your kid, I’m merely encouraging you to install a filter in your head and maybe take a hard look at how you interact with others. Do you lose your temper at the barista when she messes up your caramel macchiato? Are you polite when telling a solicitor not to call you during dinner? Do you use racial slurs, however innocent you may think they seem?
Your child hears, sees and senses everything. And since we, as parents, are their first window to the world, we need to take that immense responsibility seriously. It’s up to us to raise the next generation as caring, compassionate, responsible humans.