You became imitators of us and of the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
I already knew that children are prone to imitate their parents, but it was the “Siggie shave” incident that brought this fact home to me.
Danae was two years old the first time she noticed Jim shaving in the morning. She was fascinated and watched every detail as he soaped his face and applied a razor to his skin. We should have known that Danae would try what she had seen. The next morning, I came into the bathroom and hardly recognized our dachshund, Siggie, who was sitting in his favorite spot on the furry lid of the toilet seat. Danae had covered his head with lather and was systematically shaving the hair from his shiny skull! I screamed, “Danae!” which sent Siggie and his barber scurrying for safety. It was strange to see our frightened dog with nothing but ears sticking up on the top of his bald head.
Our kids’ tendency to imitate provides an opportunity for their parents to teach them. Invite your children into the kitchen when you are preparing breakfast, explain what you are doing, and allow them to stir the pancake batter. Teach them how to fold the clothes from the dryer. Show them how to mow the lawn. Demonstrate how to scrub away the dirt on the doors and windows of your car when it’s time for a wash. Then bow your head to thank God for giving your family food to eat, clothes to wear, and a place to live. In this way you teach your children, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
It’s true that you may not finish your daily duties as quickly with the “help” of little hands, but showing your children how to properly complete tasks at home—especially when handled in a positive, fun manner—can give them a wonderful sense of accomplishment, help them develop good attitudes about work, and create an enriching time for the whole family. You’ll be setting an example that will benefit your children and yourself in the years ahead.
-Shirley M. Dobson
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.