I was walking through my neighborhood with my dog and I noticed a father kicking a ball around with his six or seven year old daughter. As I walked further along the street I heard the innocent little voice of the girl say, “But daddy that’s cheating.”  The father replied, “but the ref didn’t see me.”

The little girl said again,  “Daddy you are cheating.”  The father replied “The referee didn’t see me do it.”

It’s been 2 days and that little voice is still reverberating in my head.

Is this what you want to teach her, Daddy, that it’s okay to cheat at a game as long as the ref doesn’t see you? Whether it’s cheating, unfair, illegal, or immoral, as long as you get yours, it’s all okay?

A snippet of the song, “Children Will Listen” from the musical Into the Woods popped into my mind:

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn

I think it is a good reminder for all us: children are watching and listening.  What are we modeling for them? Seems like a good question for times like these.

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