When I was teaching, I shared a room with the SLP and SLD tutor. The first year, it was great. It was my first job after moving here, so I was excited. The people I shared a room with where wonderful. They were happy and excited about their jobs, too. The next year, a new SLP came. I had just been passed over for a classroom position that I really wanted, however, I still liked my job. The new SLP was very negative. It was obvious she didn't like her job and she didn't like the district. After several months sharing a room, I started to become angry and resent the fact that I was not a classroom teacher. I started to dread going to work. It literally took me the full school year to realize it was because of her that I felt like this. Days she was there were my worst and days she wasn't were my best. Learning by example. Once I realized it was her, I was able to go back and sort out my feelings from her feelings. I wasn't happy in my district, but I loved my job and I focused on that. It made the rest of my time there much better.
With kids involved, everything we do in life is watched and evaluated. How you speak to and treat others will be mimicked. How you handle stress will be mimicked. All of your habits, good and bad, will be mimicked. I have learned the most about my actions through my children. I have to say I am not proud of a lot of things. I can see how I expect certain behaviors out of my children, yet model the opposite. Do as I say, not as I do. For some things, it has to be that way. I'm an adult, they are children. Yet, for most things, it should be do as I do. How can I expect my children to clean up after themselves when I have piles of junk lying around waiting to be organized? How can I expect my children to always use manners when I forget myself? How can I expect my children to be more active when all Husband and I want to do in the evenings is sit and rest? How will my children learn drinking is not OK if Husband and I have a drink every night? Old school thinking is, because they are children and you are the adult. But how are they supposed to learn unless we model appropriate behaviors?
I always wondered why my son wasn't into arts or crafts when he was younger. Most of his peers were. I would always ask him if he wanted to draw or color, etc. He never really did. A friend of mine who is an art teacher, her children love to color and draw. Then I realized something. It's because she models it for them. She colors with them. She draws with them. I started to do this with Monster and he started to become more interested. Another friend of mine who is like another mother to my children does a lot of crafts with her kids. My children were over there and did crafts with them and now, they can't get enough. It takes example. It takes modeling the desired behavior.
In some areas, I have succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Monster is the most empathetic, compassionate child I know. He has a genuine concern for people and his environment. He believes in giving to those in need. He understands that everyone is different and likes different things, and no one is wrong in their differences. Both my children love to read. Both my children love to be active. For the most part, my children eat very healthy foods. Both children have a deep love of music. My children understand the value of family, as much as they can for their ages. Though they fight a lot, they are each other's best friends. I believe Husband and I provide them with a good example of how marriage should be so that when they are older, they know what a loving relationship looks like. Monster and Sunshine are both very independent. Though headstrong a lot of the time, it will serve them well later in life.
I am proud of who my children are becoming. I hope I have the patience and strength to change my own behaviors so my children have a more positive role model. I hope that by seeing positive behavior, they choose their friends well and live life to it's fullest.