“Often and often afterwards, the beloved Aunt would ask me why I had never told anyone how I was being treated. Children tell little more than animals, for what comes to them they accept as eternally established.” (Rudyard Kipling)
Whether they admit it or not, our children take in everything we say and do as absolute truth. We are their first image of men, of women, of adults in general. They’re learning from us how to be grown ups, and what we teach them through our words and our deeds will impact them for the rest of their lives.
In general, we spend most of our time trying to get our kids to do the right things. Our efforts might be better served elsewhere. For example, in any given situation, pay more attention to how you want to behave and you’ll end up teaching your children how be self-controlled — which is the cornerstone of real maturity.