As parents, we have a deep desire to see our children grow up to be honorable, responsible adults. We long to see our kids succeed: financially, relationally, basically, in every area of their lives. We hope they will avoid the mistakes we’ve made and far surpass our own levels of success.

We do our best to give our children the best possible start in life. Sometimes we succeed and, other times, we totally miss the mark.

You might make a conscious decision to set the best possible example for your kids, or maybe not. But, remember… they are always watching you. And they will follow your example. No matter what kind of example you set, they will follow it.

Feel those shivers running down your spine right now? But I promise, it’s okay. There’s a reason you are reading this right now.

Kids see so much more than you realize. They catch on so quickly, and your habits soon become their habits. Our way of thinking quickly becomes their way of thinking. Your kids are watching you and they will spend like you spend, talk like you talk and eat like you eat.

When they see you stop by the grocery store on your way home, buy more food (when you have a pantry full of food), guess what message you send to your kids? That says it’s okay to buy excess, just because you have the money. Or when you go shopping for yet another pair of black shoes or a new cell phone, and whip out your credit card, you show them it’s okay to go into debt for stuff.

How about this one… Do your kids see you spending too much time in front of the mirror or making negative comments about your weight or appearance? Do they see you spending hours at the gym? Or, on the flip side, do they see you plop down on the couch to watch TV every day and never get any exercise? Do they see you obsessing over food, either to one extreme or the other?

Do they hear you gossip about your boss or your coworkers? Do they hear you complain about what your boss said yesterday or how you hate your job? What about… “I hate Mondays!”

What I’m trying to say is, your kids watch what you do and pick up your habits and mindsets. These things shape their futures and the kind of people they will grow up to be.

In fact, it actually applies to company leaders, teachers, employees, community leaders and businesspeople, as well. It’s not just in your family!

We are all products of our environments. Your employees are a product of their environment – your office. Your students are a product of their environment – your classroom. Your children are a product of their environment – you.

There are things in our lives we never thought (consciously or subconsciously) would affect anyone other than ourselves. But the second you step into a leadership position, whether as a parent, a manager, a teacher, a CEO or a community leader, your life is no longer your own.

This message could cause some people to break down in tears, because without even knowing it, they now realize the example they set was not designed for their kids’ success. Others will take this message as confirmation they are on the right track and truly are giving their kids the best possible start in life.

Whichever category you fall into, know this: You are not held accountable for what you did not know.

But now you have this information and are aware your actions have a massive impact on other people’s lives. Now, you have to make a decision to set the right example. Be intentional in your words and actions. Those around you, especially your kids, soak it all up. They watch you and will replicate you. So, choose to set your kids up for success… instead of unintentionally setting them up for failure.

I pray this message gives you hope today! I hope this either reinforced some things for you or helped you start to build a solid foundation for your children. Either way, I want you to know I believe in you. You are being prepared to raise smart, strong, successful kids and I know you can do it!

I also know people in our schools, churches and communities desperately need to read this today. So let’s work together to spread this message to as many people as we can. Right now, go ahead and send this to at least 10 people (think friends, family, coworkers, teachers, other parents). And then simply share this link on your Facebook and Twitter.

Please also let me know your thoughts about The Daily Fix today. Tell me if you found it helpful… I would love to know, so please leave me your comments below.

And be sure to tune in for The Dani Johnson Show today for more wisdom, tips and strategies to improve your life! You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.

In great faith,

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