I've always believed kids don't do as you say; rather, they do as you do.
I'm sure you've caught them mirroring your habits a time or two — standing with their hands on their hips, forgetting to put their clothes in the laundry basket or maybe even using your "crutch words." I'm trying to break my small people of saying, "I'm sorry" unnecessarily — something I know they picked up from me.
But as much as they learn some habits you'd rather they drop, they can also adopt positive manners — saying please and thank you, holding doors open for strangers and waiting until everyone has their meal to eat.
And they can also learn from you how to treat others by modeling your kindness, generosity and appreciation — not only for teachers, coaches and friends, but for their family too.
My children have learned how to treat me from their father, and that means they very often say the sweetest things to me.
No, they aren't perfect, and, yes, they have their moments in which they're typical 9- and 11-year-old kids, but they do a pretty darn good job of treating me well. Each day begins and ends with, "I love you, Mommy."
They thank me for the big and small things, from making dinner, helping with homework, coming to their games, to allowing them to experience travel.
But thanks to my husband, they've been telling me what they love about me as a mom since before they could even talk or write. Each Mother's Day when they were infants, my husband would write me a Top 10 list of things each child loved about me.
My favorite from Delaney's letter:
I love that you check on me every night before you go to bed. I may act like I'm asleep, but I peek at you because I want to dream about you when I'm sleeping. I think you're the most beautiful princess in the whole, wide world. And I love dreaming about princesses.
And my favorite from Cooper:
I love that you love baseball. It is my favorite sport, so you can play it with me any time, even when Daddy's not around. I always need more practice. I love that you let me carry a bat around the house. This will pay off some day.
It is no wonder my small people don't need Mother's Day to tell me I'm doing an OK job. They have the very best model when it comes to making sure they appreciate the people they love.
And now that they are older, Mother's Day is a touch more traditional, but every bit as sweet.
The sentiment in their hearts is always present. And I couldn't be more grateful to be their mom.
This post is sponsored by JCPenney.
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