The things we model to our children

I loved this graphic about the things that we model to our children. As they say, “actions speak louder than words” and our children are learning all kinds of things from watching how we respond and behave. Sometimes we think that if we choose to not speak about certain topics, we’re protecting our children from knowing about those difficult things that sometimes happen in life, or we’re protecting them from knowing the struggles we have. All the while, they’re watching and seeing these things at play; only they’re learning things without the benefit of our conversation and support to help them to unpack what they see, make meaning of it, and make their own choices for themselves. Let’s choose instead to make ourselves available for talking about all the things. Even the stuff that’s tough to talk about. Especially the stuff that’s tough to talk about.

Some things I’d love to add to this list:

  • how we grieve and how we respond to traumatic events
  • how we think about body size
  • how we feel about sex and sexuality
  • how we think and feel about Black- and Brown-skinned people
  • what we consider “normal” social behaviour and dress code, what we consider “weird”, and how we feel about the things we consider “weird’
  • how much we value rest and exercise
  • how we care for others
  • how much we value creativity, humour, and play
  • the degree to which we walk our talk
  • how we relate to our own vulnerability, and the degree to which we share about our vulnerabilities
  • how we welcome or offer others a sense of belonging, and who we deny that to
  • how safe we seem to feel in the world

What else would you add?