Some where I read a quote about, “be aware of the eyes are upon you.” It had to do with children watching everything that we do from how friendly we are to how we deal with stress. We can tell them what to do, demand that they do or do not do something, but our loudest words come from our actions. Although the exact quote eludes me, its basic premise sits on my heart, especially since we have added a foster child to the mix. Unfortunately, in his little life far too many people have given him bad examples so it is even more important that we do well. Interestingly, our biological children have not escaped from this requirement either. DS2 looks even more keenly on their behavior than ours. I had to remind DD this the other day when she was misbehaving a bit. I was clear about the behavior that I expected, but then I added, “Don’t forget you are a model.”
She responded that she wasn’t a model and looked genuinely confused by my comment. I let her know that as the eldest sister in the house, she was a model always now. Little eyes were watching. I could tell by her eyes that she took this comment to heart.
How do I know that my little girl is becoming a woman? By not only her acknowledgement of this duty, but the fact that she has taken it seriously and changed her behavior to be a better model.
I must tell you that this experience of foster parenting has strengthened my belief in my own parenting and my pride in my own children. They have been amazingly patient, truly kind, very responsible, and a great support to DH and I. We are not foster parents, but a foster family.