For example, I have heard women in my family tell their children not to curse. Then, as soon as the father or uncle or even the mom is upset with something they will blurt out words that would make a sailor blush. Another example? Ok, Parents who encourage their children to fast, pray, give in charity, wear hijab but yet the children never see their parents do any of these things. There are countless other examples but I think you get my point.
We are our children’s role models. Most of the time, our children seem to careless what we are doing or saying. Though, in reality, they are watching our every move. They are learning how we deal with confrontations, money, food, friendships, the way we worship, etc. just through our daily routine with them. The way we deal with these things will often have a lasting impression on our children. The way they deal with their future spouses and children may hinge on how we deal with our husbands/wives and our own children. Statistically speaking children who were abused are more likely to abuse their own children and children who witnessed spousal abuse are more likely to carry out the same with their spouses. Thus, the cycle continues. Now, there are some cases in which the children broke out of this cycle but many other cases where the children repeated their parent’s history.
It seems, at times, that we put so much emphasis on our children’s lives because we feel that we’ve missed our chance. Actually, you haven’t missed your chance. You haven’t turned out so bad that it can’t be fixed. As long as you have a breath in you, you are still living and capable of changing yourself and your situation. It may take some hard work, courage, determination, and depending on what you’ve done repentance but you can do it, insh’Allah(if Allah wills). We should never lose hope and think our lives are over because of some wrong turn. Instead we should get up and dust ourselves off and start again. We have to realize that we can’t live our lives through our kids. All we can do is try our best to help them turn out to be their own unique selves while following the Qur’an and Sunnah.
So, either we show them a good example by living it ourselves or we live in contradiction to what we want them to be and take that chance.