As a homeschool mom, my children are with me 24/7 and I am truly grateful for that. There are a lot of positive things that come out of this, as most of you know, children will copy what they see you doing. I think that is very cute most of the time, like when Lily is caring for her babies, or when she checks to make sure she has her phone and her purse before we leave the house. I love that my boys have learned to hold doors open and that, "Ladies are always first." I love it when they share and are kind to others. I think it is so cute when the older children read to the younger ones. I was very impressed one day when Lily tried to take a toy away from another little boy in the nursery at church and Nick had this conversation with her. He said, "Lily, look at my face. (I always say that because if you don't have their eyes, you don't have their ears or their heart) It is not being kind to take toys from other people. You need to give it back and say you are sorry. Now say yes sir to me so I know you understand." I thought that was so cute and it reminded me of how much they are always listening.
Then there are those other times. Since they are with you so much of the time, they also have the opportunity to see you at your worst. They see (and hear) when you are frustrated, short tempered, and impatient. They know when you are mad or sad. There is not much you can hide from your children because not only do you know them very well, they also know you. I have cringed when I have heard my children model my bad behavior (especially impatience) with each other. I don't like it when I hear them yell or raise their voice to each other, knowing that at times I do the same thing. I know they know when I am having a bad day and that gets reflected in their day.
But, the good news is that even the "bad" things they see us do can be turned into something "good." Those things can be your greatest teaching moments. When I get frustrated or angry and show impatience to my children, or raise my voice, I still can teach them something. I can apologize and tell them that mommy isn't perfect either and she will make mistakes. I can ask for forgiveness when I do something wrong. I can show them that it is ok to be mad, or sad, or frustrated. It always amazes me that out of these things come the best lessons. God is good that way and can even use all of my imperfections as something good! Just another reason why homeschooling is so amazing!