What Example Are You Setting For Those Who Follow

What example are you setting for those who follow you?

New pictures of our grandchildren

My husband and I were looking at the new pictures of our four grandchildren my daughter posted on Face Book last night. Each picture highlighted each child's personality so much that we laughed.

As parents, we always want our children to "look pretty", "act right", "sit up straight" for those valued family pictures. As a grandparent I prefer the natural, in the moment pictures when the kids least expect it. Those shots really capture the personality at its finest.

One of the pictures of grandson number three really made us laugh, from the depths of our very being. Thaedrin is so full of energy and such a little two year old. He is always laughing and is such a joker that you just have to smile and laugh along.

In a particular picture he is not laughing, instead he is struggling to get out of the leg-hold his dad has on him. This picture had an instant effect on me and not a positive one either. The body language of our little Thaedrin said it all. It reminded me I need to watch my own actions and words; the example I am setting for those who follow. The effect they might have on someone else may not be the one I intended.

Death and life are in the power of tongue…

Back when we were raising our kids I must admit, we did not pay too much attention to what we said or did. We raised our kids the way our parents raised us and they raised us the way their parents raised them. It was a cycle and did not seem to be such a bad way to bring up a child, at least that is what we thought back then.

When our kids hit their teen years, we stumbled onto network marketing and personal growth business seminars. The personal growth seminars that Rich, my husband and I attended is where we learned we were setting an example that we would not want to follow. We found that what you sow you would reap.

In the exercises we participated in, we would realize that words could hurt. When you combine hateful, spiteful words with less than loving actions, it can produce more hate, spite and resentment. Interestingly enough, these results were the exact opposite of what we were trying to produce.

It did not take long and we figured out that we needed to think before we spoke. Even more thought needed to be put into action before we acted in a physical manner.

The picture of our grandson clearly reflected that neither action, mental nor physical, was thought about before manhandling him for the picture.

Children follow what you DO not what you say

As a child I grew up hearing my grandma and dad say, "Children should be seen and not heard". Have you ever heard or been told that? It took me years, okay I'll admit it, my whole life and The Mindset Maven to learn that it was okay to have my own opinion. More importantly, that type of mind control stifles a child's growth in every way. The example it sets is one of conformity and not individuality.

To break that mold took over 14 years of hard work. Now the problem raises its ugly head in other parents' behavior and it drives me crazy. Protecting other kids from suffering the same type of upbringing is at the forefront of my mind. Wouldn't you want to protect a child from that abuse?

If you keep a sharp eye on the way, children behave around different people you will see how that person acts normally. What do I mean by that? Have you ever noticed some people can put on an air of sophistication one moment and become a tyrant the next?

Children have an innate ability to see through all the "crap". Just look at a child that has been or seen abuse. They will shrink or shy away from the guilty party to avoid them.

We all need to remember that children will always copy what you do. They will not listen to what you say. The words fall on little deaf ears. They become little clones mimicking your very actions.

Coaching children and business owners mirror each other

Imagine a world full of business owners with attitudes and behaviors that mimic our negative, skeptical relatives. What sort of service would you receive if the customer service personnel was grouchy and complained through your whole transaction? Would you continue your quest or would you leave to find a more pleasant atmosphere to do business?

I am so thankful that I lived and worked through all sorts of experiences in my lifetime. All of the difficulties in life have helped me to grow as a person and business owner alike. Without the training I have received, used and experienced, there would be no way to serve my clients and coaching students at the level we do today.

Let me go back to the beginning of this article a moment and say this. If I were the grown up version of the little girl who heard her dad and grandma saying, "Children should be seen and not heard", I would still be an employee…somewhere.

Business owners have a different mindset. They have learned how to rise above the pettiness in life and other people's words and actions. Tenacity is a trait that most share. Often times they have a deep seated burning desire to better themselves daily. Fostering a servant's heart helps them to bridle that tongue that can lead to death; instead, they develop a life full of adventure and loving relationships.

Watching our grandchildren growing up and our coaching students graduating, we remember to watch the example we are setting for those who follow.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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  • Anonymous

    Carla, I’m not a parent, yet I cringe when I hear and see some parents interacting with their children … because I work every day with the effects in adult women of similar interactions years ago. How fragile we are in our early years! But what was most interesting in your comments was how those behaviors translate (or don’t) in business. Great job!

  • Denny

    Carla, As a parent coach one of the most important things I stress to parents is to instill in their children a sense of personal responsibility for what happens in their lives…that being said, that involves the impact their choices have not only on them but to those around them…we are all models to others in one way or another. Great article!

  • Carla, the same as you, I had to learn to speak life and more positive words to my children. But, like Sharon said, nowadays parents speak so much death over their children. I hardly can listen to it…It’s so painful to listen to it. People need to be educated and Denny is doing a great job 🙂 Thanks Carla!

  • Jeannette

    Carla, Great article! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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