The Shapiro Files

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lessons in Parenting

Here’s a little something that recently brightened my day.

It was just another regular morning around the Shapiro household. We had all just finished breakfast and were enjoying a few minutes of downtime in the living room. Melody and Julianne were sitting together on their Dora the Explorer character kiddie-couch like the two proverbial peas in a pod they often are, while Marcie and I were similarly situated on a love seat.

Never one to miss a happy domestic moment, I took the opportunity to give Marcie a prolonged hug. While in mid-embrace, I began to sense that little eyes were pointed in our direction. I looked down to see that Melody and Julianne were indeed watching us with great interest. Then with a big smile, Melody gave Julianne a loving hug, imitating her Mommy and Daddy perfectly.

Not only was I completely charmed by this unexpected gesture of sibling affection, but I also had one of those “ah ha” moments. It occurred to me that this is a perfect illustration of how children truly do learn by example. If they grow up in a household where their parents are affectionate, then they tend to be more affectionate. Of course, such learning by example also applies to the negative end of the spectrum when children grow up in less than ideal household circumstances.

So it should be a great reminder to all parents to always treat their spouses with the same love, courtesy, and respect we’d want our children to exhibit in their interpersonal interactions. It’s not enough to be on our best behavior only when interacting directly with our children; it’s how they see us interact with others that’s just as important.


  • Steve:

    That is SOOO cute!!

    You are absolutely right........they observe and imitate and certainly do learn by example!

    So lucky for Melody and Julianne to have such good role models!!

    Love to all of you,
    Aunt Linda

    By Blogger Bradley's Mom, at 2/20/2008 6:20 PM  

  • That is adorable...and a great lesson!

    Very frequently when Sammy sees Jody and I hugging, he comes running over to get in on the action. So cute! :)

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger The Egel Nest, at 2/21/2008 8:29 PM  

  • This applies to cats as well. Both Lincoln and Paxton, the three leggd wonder kitties, have often been caught watching Hamish and I cuddle and either come to join in, or even cuter cuddle with each other. They are in their way, small, furry, 3 legged children, every bit as impressionable as the not so furry 2 legged ones. - Susannah

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/04/2008 12:52 PM  

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