A Good Reflection in the Mirror

“Kids are like a mirror, what they see and hear they do. Be a good reflection for them.”
-Kevin Heath

That quote is a constant struggle for me. If you’ve followed this column over the past year, you know that I love doing a lot of things with my kids, Kingston and Ava. I’m certainly an active figure in their lives, and I’m proud of that. But sometimes I feel I could be a better parent for them.

Kids truly are like a mirror. My kids, in particular, are like sponges. They absorb everything around them. As Kingston has gotten older, I’ve watched him take on many of my personality traits: some good, and some not so good. One of the things I know that I struggle with, and now I’m seeing it in him also, is patience.

I try to give 110% at everything I do, and with being involved in so many groups and activities, that can become a daunting task at some point. Often, this leaves me mentally drained by the time I’m home with the kids in the evening. Being a parent to a five-year-old and a two-year-old requires a lot of patience. And some days I just don’t have it. And my lack of patience in dealing with various forms of adversity has been noticed by Kingston and, unfortunately, is something he is now dealing with, as well.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s still an incredible young man with a kind nature and joy for life. But I see in the way he deals with something not going according to plan many of the same responses I give when my candle has been burning on both ends. It’s not a major thing, but it’s how I know that he is watching, and learning, what I say and do as his parent. Ava is too. It’s made me more aware of how I react to things in front of them.

Spending time with your children is important. Spending quality time with your children is even more important. And that’s something I’ve had to get better with over the years. If they’re only getting to spend time with a rundown, irritable version of myself, is it really doing them any good?

I’m not a master at this parenting thing by any stretch of the imagination, but I think by remembering these important factors, my kids will be much better off.