Okay. I see a lot of “What I want to tell my daughter” articles out there. And that’s wonderful. I love reading them because my mother never sat me down and told me a lot of those things. But I personally believe in nature versus nurture and that actions speak louder than words.
I learned a lot from my mother even though she didn’t write to me or sit me down and tell me what to do. My father too.
My mother taught me that food actually is the way to a man’s heart (although, I barely cook). My father taught me that exercise and breakfast are supremely important things. My father also turned me a tad OCD, while my mother taught me that it’s all right to be a tad messy. I won’t take out the trash the previous night, but I’ll clean my kitchen spotless before I go to bed, lest my kitchen is infested with cockroaches and ants.
Since I can’t see without my glasses, everything has to be put back in its right place. I’m very particular about where things are supposed to be. That comes from dad. My mother taught me that pride goes before fall and sometimes I have to swallow my pride and deal with the situation. Although my ego is quite large and it takes a while before I bend or succumb to saying that I’m sorry. Now, that, I get from my father along with the short temper.
They both taught me not to lie and that money doesn’t grow on trees. They taught me that it isn’t a house, but a home and that one must always take pride in it. They taught me that practise always makes perfect.
They did all of this by example. My mother will wake up just a tad earlier than us and make breakfast. My father, unless very sick, still doesn’t miss his morning walk and hearty breakfast. My dad will do the dishes and never leave anything in the sink, while my mother folds clothes and leaves them on the bed, while dad puts them away. The bed is always made and the pillows always straightened. My father will keep things where they belong, while my mother is capable of losing her phone while she’s holding it.
Yes. I learnt from how my parents behaved and how they treated me and my extended family and their friends. And I think it’s safe to say that I’m not completely damaged (although my teenage self would claim they were out to ruin my life).
I still believe that children, especially in their formative years, look at their parents. The way they are, how they behave and follow suit. And that’s the time when you teach them all this. By example. That’s why I say, “Show me.” Don’t tell me.