Oops! When you're accidentally a bad role model for your kids

Monkey see, monkey do!
Monkey see, monkey do! 

If you've ever thought that the saying 'monkey see, monkey do' is highly applicable to children, then you'd be right.  After all, as role models for our little humans, it's only natural that they want to emulate us in every way. 

But what happens when children copy mannerisms or repeat some of our more 'inappropriate' or undesirable sayings?  

Embarrassment and mortification? Your own life lessons coming back to bite you in the bum? Sounds about right. 

For me it happened only the other day.   

Having struggled to find my shoes - despite numerous attempts to locate them - I resignedly announced, 'I just don't know where they are, and I've looked everywhere'.  

But that was where I was wrong…and my son wasn't afraid to tell me so.  

Wandering out of the bedroom, clutching said pair of shoes, he looked at me very matter of fact and responded, 'I think you did a daddy look'.  

Yes, I admit it! Guilty as charged!! On both accounts - 1) for the turn of phrase, and 2) for the 'daddy' looking. 

But it appears that I'm not the only one who's getting 'caught out' by my own sayings.  When I relayed the story to friends, many nodded in agreement and added tales of their own. 


Naomi told me," I often say to Holly that I don't want her to ever grow up because she's so cute. Then the other day I was trying to get her to eat her vegetables and asked her 'how are you ever going to grow up if you don't eat your vegetables?' She replied "but I thought you never wanted me to grow up?"

Vicki can relate. Her words to her son have been coming back to haunt her recently too. 

"To check Addison is listening to me, I often ask him to repeat back what I've said," she says. "But it's definitely bitten me a few times when I've zoned out of him telling me very long stories and he's then asked me if I'm listening and asked me to prove it by repeating it back!"

And other mums have been caught out with their own actions too.

"When the kids hurt themselves we automatically say 'It's okay. You're fine",", says Louisa, a mum to three. "The other day Sophie stepped on me, tripped and grabbed my hair to save herself and pulled out a handful. Her response? 'It's okay mummy. You're fine'!"

For Catherine, it was her double standards when it came to parking that was brought to her attention…kindly by her daughter. 

"I was once stuck behind a painfully slow person trying to park in an underground car park. I was being impatient and huffy and said, 'some people really need to learn how to drive'," she says  

"Later that same day I had some issues parallel parking outside our house.  My daughter pipes up, 'maybe you need some more driving lessons too Mummy'! Ouch!"

But for other mums, it's the repetition of not so desirable language that has them cringing in their skin. 

"Liz and I were at Kmart the other day and walking across the car park she noticed a car pulling out with a person walking past said reversing car," says Vee.  "She says rather loudly 'Jesus Christ, I can't stand s**t heads that can't drive!'….she's 7!"

But, for Caroline, her daughter's choice words when stuck in a car park were so apt that she couldn't bring herself to reprimand her! 

"Mia dropped the f-bomb when we realised how badly we were stuck inside a shopping centre car park. It was appropriate and done with the best intonation that I didn't even say anything!" she says. 

So, next time you say something or act out, just be aware of who's watching. 

Because, as far as children are concerned, monkey see, monkey will most likely do!