Mirror with a Megaphone
Recently, during a conversation with a gentleman, the topic of parenting arose. This gentleman shared how he had always viewed himself as a “good guy.” He had grown up in a Christian home, the son of a retired U.S. Marine and pastor to be exact, and he serves in professional Christian ministry. However, when he adopted his son, the spotlight was on, magnifying every detail of his life…the actions, the words, the tone. Our children are watching and soaking in every aspect of who we are. We are their role models, and they are our mirrors with a megaphone. Not only do they reflect back to us, they project and proclaim us to the world—ideally our strengths, composure, and maturity; but also our quirks, weaknesses, and very human character flaws.
There are plenty of research studies showing that peers are more significant in influencing children. Right?!? There are also studies supporting that parents are still the number one influence and role model for their children. Whether Christian, another faith, or atheist, children are learning how to relate to others and react to circumstances from their parents. It can be incredibly difficult as parents to acknowledge that when our children are responding to our directions with disproportionate anger or becoming easily frustrated with a sibling’s slowness that they may be simply mirroring what they have seen in us. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that as Christians we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. Reflecting his glory and love as we announce His saving grace and mercy. Do your children see Christ in you?
Ashley Wroton, Ed.S., LPC
Genesis Counseling Center