In a few short days my son will be a month old and the phrase “time sure flies” has never stung more. It hit me today that he’s not going to stay my little tiny baby forever, he is going to grow up and become the man that he will be.
Something interesting happened to me on the day Wyatt was born, I just immediately wanted to be better. I just wanted to be a better person in every area of my life. I knew he was still too little to be that impressionable but I didn’t care, my new life started at 3:32 PM on March 3rd. A few days after we were home with him and adjusting to our new life I started recognizing things about myself that I really paid no mind to before. The way I spoke to people, the way I spoke about people, the way I treated myself, the way I treated my spouse and family. I started noticing the choices I was making in my language around him, the tone of my voice, and most importantly the way I spoke about myself around him. I know he is barely a month old but I plugged into this mindset where I just didn’t want to waste any time in terms of the example I was setting for him. I didn’t want one moment of his little life to be taken for granted starting from the second he was born.
When I always thought about how we would “teach” our child my mind instantly went to the ground rules we would set for him.
“Don’t use bad language”
While I know that rules will need to be in place for Wyatt as he grows up I think it is more important that we as his parents are setting the right example for him first and foremost.
There are so many of aspects of his life that I cannot teach him through a “rule”.
How do I set a rule that teaches him to be kind? To be considerate and generous? To have a good heart full of compassion and understanding? What rule do I lay that teaches him to be the boy in the cafeteria that sticks up for the kid that is being bullied even that isn’t the most popular choice? Is there a rule I can lay out for him that teaches him to work hard and never give up?
I can set all these rules for him but more importantly though, to us, is the type of person he will grow to be on the inside and those are things that we can only teach him through the example we set for him as his mother and father.
When I speak about this with people they always say, “He will be an amazing boy and man because you and Tyler will raise him to be one!”
This is true. Because the moment Wyatt was born something changed in us. We wanted to be better, we wanted to be the absolute best version of ourselves as individuals and as a couple, Wyatt’s parents. This meant we started watching our language in front of him, we watched the tone of our voice when we spoke to and about people. We stopped doubting ourselves and started thinking bigger than we had been in the past. It meant that we started doing the right thing even when it was hard to do so. We started changing the way we went through life so that when the time came that he starts “learning” from us, he already had a foundation.
I want my son to be a good person because we have shown him his entire life what that means in our actions, words, and everything in between.
Wyatt will have rules, good ones, set out for him. However, he is going to have even better examples set for him and my hope is that we won’t feel we need to set so many rules for him. My hope is that he knows right from wrong because we have instilled in him the right sense of it.
In short, I know my son will not be perfect. I am going to set rules for him and he is going to break them. But I would rather he break a thousand of our rules that we set for him then grow up not knowing what it means to be a good and decent man and those are things in his life I can’t teach him through a laundry list of rules.