Do what we do. It's four crucial words that are the essence of raising a child. Why? Because whatever it is that we do or don't do, they will do or not do. They are mimickers of behavior. Trust me, I see it in my toddler everyday. I quickly learned that yelling at him isn't going to accomplish much, because my behavior taught him that it was okay and in response, he yelled back at me. That being said, guarding and carefully choosing our own behavior can be the single most important thing we do for our children. It effects how we relate to them, how we related to our spouses, in turn how they one day will relate to their spouses and children, and how we relate to God.
When I was pregnant with Bryton it was crucial to me that Aaron be the male role model in the household. Bryton will look to Aaron and pull from him how he managed his household, how he treated his wife and kids, what his priorities were, what his 'role' in the household, if he helped around the house, if he led us spiritually, if he took time for his wife, etc. In turn, Bryton looks to me to see how he should be treated and respected by his wife someday. How I treat my husband, how I serve our family, how I choose to discipline and raise him, will all be a learned 'behavior' of what his wife may someday be like.
Consider it - how many of you now parents or spouses ever think to yourself, "Ugh, that's exactly what my mom would do," or "That's exactly what my dad would have said." We become the products of our environment. It has to be a conscious decision as to the products I 'weed out' from my own raising.
And now a girl comes into the picture. This has to up our games even more. Aaron is going to have to be conscious to not only be the head of the household, but to love this little girl in such a way that she doesn't go looking for that love in other places as she gets older. He's got to tell her she's beautiful and wonderful and that he'll always be there for her. I've got to display to her the assets of a Proverbs 31 woman, I must show her what real beauty is about. Even the decisions I make about the clothes I wear will speak loudly to her.
All in all... our jobs as parents are full of more responsibility than one would have ever guessed. If done properly, it should make us better, more well rounded, more responsible people ourselves. Not to say that we'll never fail, but then that's part of our teaching... we fail with grace, apologize with truth, and keep trying until we get it right.
Praying for wisdom to raise my boy and my girl