We frequently hear this line as an expression, a joke, or a statement that is half meant. Nevertheless, it usually has an underlying intention from the speaker to find out how they can be like person they look up to.
So on a more serious note, why don’t I list down the “How I do’s” that make Gummy the behaved and mature girl that—modesty aside—people find admirable in my little girl.
Talk straight and always tell the truth. Do not sugarcoat, avoid the use of baby language, and never lie. If you are sad or mad, tell them, and tell them why. If you don’t have money to buy what they want, tell them. These are opportunities for them to learn about things even when they’re hard.
Your child must learn to respect and handle with care, mother’s (and consequently others’) hearts.
Be vocal and open when you are having a hard time or a bad day. This way, your child gets to know you better – what hurts you, what ticks you off, what stresses you, etc. Your child also sees the hard work you put into providing for her – daily food on the table, gifts on their birthdays, and travels.
Do your best to answer all her questions. Gummy has asked me how to make babies, how she was made, and who my partner was making her. Imagine my horror! If you are not ready to answer, tell her. Be honest. And pray for God to prepare you and give you an answer when she asks again.
Talk about feelings. Ask her how she feels in different situations, especially in emotional ones. Teach her to be vocal about her feelings. I learned that my daughter is very emotionally sensitive because she cries in 90-percent of movies we watch. She says when her heart is moved.
Pray when you wake up; pray the last thing before you sleep. Plant in her the discipline of starting and ending the day speaking to the Lord. The first and last One you should always talk to. And every time there is a need or a blessing, always pray. Out loud. So she knows who to talk to and ask first when she needs something and thank when she receives anything. So she recognizes the source of what she has and needs.
Be quick to apologize and explain if you lose your temper. Show respect in order to earn it.
Be firm. Be strict with rules even if your family members or friends do not exactly agree with you and think you are a very stiff parent. You know your child better than anyone else and you know what will work for her and how to approach her issues successfully. But also joke, dance, sing, do silly things together. Make your house a happy, laughter-filled home.
When your child asks for time, give it. If you are doing something and it can wait, let it. There are other instances to teach your child to wait and be patient. But giving them your time and attention is a clear exception. Work while she is in school so you can focus on her when she is home.
Confront your child when she makes a mistake or commits a sin the soonest possible time. Be patient to discuss but do it privately so as not to embarrass.
Do not shout or use force to make your children follow. I have been there and it did not work for me and definitely wont for you too. Instead, try reverse psychology. Or use Google to your advantage. There was a time Gummy was into picking her nose so much and I showed her a photo of Penelope, the fictional character whose nose is a pig’s snout, and warned her that that is where she’s headed. It worked. It’s okay to use these means sometimes.