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Watching You
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If you’re a parent, someone is watching you. When you stub your toe and want to explode with an expletive—someone is watching you. When another driver cuts you off in traffic and you want to lay on your horn and yell out the window—someone is watching you. When the fast food restaurant gets your order wrong and you want to rudely complain—someone is watching you. When your spouse comes home from work in a bad mood and you want to be irritable as well—someone is watching you.

Who is watching you? Your child. Your child watches you even when you don’t realize it. And he or she will more than likely imitate how you act, and react. Kind of a sobering thought, isn’t it?

Being a parent is such a huge responsibility. Our children begin learning by watching us at an early age. And the learning doesn’t stop. Even in their teen years they are watching and learning from us.


Just the other day, I heard some commotion and looked out my window to see a mom and her preteen daughter walking by. The mom was talking on the phone. Actually, she was yelling on the phone. I watched from a distance as her daughter looked nervous and even a bit afraid. What is she teaching her daughter? I asked myself. That it’s okay to yell at someone when you are angry? That mom missed an opportunity to show, by example, how to handle conflict. I can’t help but wonder what the young girl will be like when she’s an adult. Will her own child then learn to yell from her?

If we could fast-forward our kid’s lives into the future to see how they turn out, I wonder what behaviors of ours we would change now? Rather than have regrets, now is the time for us to realize that someone is watching. We have been given the incredible opportunity to shape the life of another human being. And a lot of that shaping is done through watching us.

The Bible tells us, "In everything set them an example by doing what is good" (Titus 2:7).

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, 2011.

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