As you start this week, think about that thing you keep harping on your kids. You know, that one issue that keeps cropping up about their character—not complaining, saying please and thank you, having patience when things don’t go their way, using their inside voice inside.

And dare yourself to focus on the same thing in your own life.

Right now, our kids are working on not interrupting. We noticed that they are continually blurting out their thoughts without listening first whether someone is already talking, thus creating quite the cacophony at home. I can barely finish one sentence to Kyle without hearing the sound of “Mom, mom, mom, mom” emanating about two feet below my ears.

So we’re having the kids really notice their habit of talking out of place, putting the virtue of not interrupting to the front burner of their minds.

But the humbling thing is how much I’ve now noticed this own tendency in my life.


It’s not bad, but it’s there. I start talking to Kyle before the three-year-old finishes his thought, even though I know what he’s going to say. I accidentally listen to the kid who’s loudest, instead of the one who came to me first. I even interrupt them with my own thoughts, spacing out and saying “mm-hmm” at the right parts of their monologue, instead of really giving them my full attention. I’m interrupting them.

Asking them to work on not interrupting has made me ask myself to work on the very same thing. Parenting is funny like that.

So this week, when you give your kids guidance and direction, pause and ask yourself whether you could use the same wisdom. Model for your kids the behavior you’d like to see in them. Work on your character together—show them that you’re not perfect, but that you care enough about their well-being that you’re willing to work on your own.

As you ask your kids to be teachable this week, ask yourself to be the very same thing.