When kids are younger, we always wonder what they will look like when they are older. We also tend to wonder what they will like or dislike, what kind of person they will be and what they will end up working as.
Phoebie may be only about five years old, but I can see myself in her daily actions already.
Now that Phoebie is a big sister, the reflection of me in her is even more evident. How I speak to her is how she speaks to her younger brother.
“Phoebie, that was NOT nice,” I would tell her whenever I catch her snatching something from her brother.
“Breyen, that was NOT nice!” I would hear Phoebie say to her brother when her brother take something she wants or is using.
How funny! A mini-me that not only looks like me but talks like me too.
Children not only pick up speech patterns from us parents, even hobbies too. My brothers were influenced by my father and they picked up fishing as a hobby.
Some months ago, I started colouring books as a way to relax. Phoebie would see me at the table, focusing on the book for a long time. And then, this would happen.
Because of my new hobby and how Phoebie sees me at the table for a long time, she has started asking for paper to draw pictures more often. In fact, she draws a few pictures a day sometimes.
Other than hobbies, Phoebie has also picked up the love of cooking. She would come into the kitchen to watch me as I prepare meals. Whenever she has a chance to help, she would jump at the opportunity.
Of course, not all of Phoebie’s behaviours are reflections of me. Phoebie reflects her father too.
My husband enjoys some down time playing video games and Phoebie loves video games too.
Speaking of games, one of the things I observe about children reflection parents’ actions, habits and behaviours is the tendency to use smart phones and gadgets. I have to admit, there are times when I spend more time on my phone. Whether it is for work, or because I got attracted to a new game, I sometimes get distracted from my kids because of my phone.
When Phoebie sees this, she asks for a gadget to play with too. And when she starts playing, it is sometimes hard to stop her. Counting down and setting alarms works but when the game is new, Phoebie finds it hard to put the gadget down. In retrospective, doesn’t that sound like adults too? Because I am like that sometimes too.
Children reflect our actions in more ways than one. I have friends who have shared how they or their spouses habitually say certain words that are not suitable for young children, and their children pick up the words, unaware of the meaning. When the “right” moment presents itself, the children express themselves with the same words.
Looking at how Phoebie reflects what I do to her and with her, I can’t help but think too, that if my actions show more love, respect and concern, these would be things she reflect too.
In the midst of caring for our children, sometimes it is good to take a step back and observe our children. It is amazing to see how much our children are actually like us. So what do we want them to reflect from us?