A Parental Game Of Chess by Valerie Zilinsky
On a recent winter day, our son came home from school proclaiming a new-found love of the game of Chess. We were pleasantly surprised, as my husband has been trying to persuade him to try it for six years now. It seems that all it took was the knowledge that his classmates liked to play, and all of a sudden, he has dreams of being a master of the game.
As a parent, we encounter this over and over throughout our children's' lives. We try to be the role model, setting a good example, leading them in the direction we'd like them to go. But our little darlings usually have other plans. And that usually consists of whatever their peers are doing at the moment.
When the new behavior is a positive thing, like playing a game of Chess, we can enjoy watching our children pursue the new hobby. But, we must always be on alert for the other habits that come from outside influences.
For example, another recent habit that my son came home from school with is a heavy dose of sarcasm. He isn't getting it from someone in our home, so it's safe to assume that someone in his class might be giving lessons during recess. If I have my way, whoever it is will soon have one less student to teach.
No matter how frustrating it gets to watch our children model themselves after their friends instead of their parents, we will continue to set a good example for them.
For our son, that means discouraging the sassy "know it all" attitude, and repeatedly reminding him how to talk with respect and kindness to all.