Your body might tell you that you are what you eat, but your brain will tell you that you are what you experience.
The baby in this clip is a good example of the brain seeking to model what it experiences. Eventually, assuming the baby does not experience other humans routinely howling, he will stop mimicking dogs in favor of following the actions of family members. His brain creates a temporary “howling” neural connection that is later re-purposed for something more useful.
This clip reminds us as parents to occasionally take time to examine what our children see in us each day that they might be creating neural connections for. What children see and experience is what their brain will prioritize for learning.
Do our children see us making healthy food choices or sneaking snacks?
Do they see us physically active or on our phone?
Do they see us coping with sadness and anger or allowing ourselves to vent?
Do they see us learning from mistakes or hiding them?
Do they see us complaining or working to make things better?
Do they see us including faith in every aspect of our lives, or saving it for Sundays?
We do not need to be perfect parents. Our children learn good things from us when we make mistakes, apologize, and try again. In fact, sometimes the most enduring lesson is learned when a parent makes a mistake and seeks to learn from the mistake. In this action you are teaching resilience.
The best things to model for your children are acts of faith: mercy, forgiveness, worship, the seeking of God’s word, and unconditional love.
Therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve on another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. I Peter 4: 7b-10a.