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Parenting: Living By Example

Jessica Stackowicz

By Jessica Stackowicz

It’s no secret that parenting is a big responsibility. How does one raise a ‘good’ human being? No matter what our parenting philosophy is, I think it’s safe to say that one thing is for certain: we all aim to raise well mannered, bright, compassionate and ultimately “good” individuals.

The other day I was sitting at the dinner table with my 2 year old daughter, Zahra. She colored quietly in her coloring book while I studied, and after about 20 minutes of silence she looked up and said, “Good job mama! Good reading! Good job!”.  I was struck by her sweet words of encouragement. My heart was warmed by the thought that she has received this affirmation from us and is mirroring it back. It was not a lesson I had intentionally set out to teach her, but one that she had learned through experience. A proud moment for sure.

Then there are the other moments, like when she ran away from me, during a recent visit to Target. I calmly asked her to stop and come back but she yelled over her shoulder as she ran “I’m busy!” Ouch. Not always easy to hear some of those things.  


What I am slowly starting to realize, over the brief 2 years I have been a parent, is that no matter what parenting strategy we have for our children, our actions and words have the biggest impact.

The lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis form our children’s perceptions of the world.  From the food we choose to eat to what we make a priority in our life, we create an environment from which they learn.  Simply put, the way we are living is shaping our children.

If living by example is how Zahra will learn, then I want to live well, live deliberately even.  My hope is that she grows up knowing what it means to live like it matters. Investing in our children and how they view their role in the world is an investment in our future. And I don’t want to be too busy for that.