I have a mantra for my life and it is this; “You are an influence or you are being influenced.”  I measure things in my life from this perspective and I have done the same for my children.  Ask any one of my children and they will tell you that this is the grid from which I evaluate all behavior and attitudes.  Another term to describe influence is peer pressure.  No matter what your age there is pressure to respond in ways that produce acceptance from people or the circumstances around you.  It is critical that we help our children come to grips with the proper way to respond to the pressure they feel from people to be or act a certain way.  The reality is, if they don’t have the tools to properly respond to the influences around them, they will be moved to act in ways they regret and even against what we have taught them.  My wife and I monitor the attitude and behavior of our children after being with people to determine the effect of the influence from the people they were around.  If the attitude is negative or worse; defiant and rebellious or critial of authority it is a huge red flag to us that they are being influenced more than being an influence.  This is happening and they don’t even realize it.  When we recognize this we curtail their ability to be around those people until we feel they are strong enough to be an influence rather than being influenced.  We encourage our children to be with people that encourage and inspire them to good things.  When they are around people that don’t live with our values then we want them to raise the standard of behavior by all parties rather than compromise their own behavior to be accepted.  All this begins with the realization that we are either an influence or we are being influenced!  That is true of us before it applies to our children!  So what about you?  In your neighborhood, office, with family, or friends are you an influence for good and Godly behavior or are you being influenced by the circumstance around you?  Remember you can only impart to your children what you believe and live yourself!

Published in: on October 4, 2007 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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