How many times have you told your kids to clean their room?

Or turn off the lights when they walk out of the bathroom?

Who pays the electricity bill for Chrissake?

You tell them to study but they’d rather watch YouTube.

And don’t even think about getting them to empty the dishwasher.

They just don’t understand or heaven forbid, care…

And yet here you are looking at a dirty room, a sky-high electricity bill and a report card full of D’s.

How many times do I have to tell you?, you hear yourself say.

Are you deaf?

But here’s a better question which might get you thinking.

How many times have YOU been told?

Not as a kid, but now, as a fully fledged, responsible adult?

About how you should exercise.

About not drinking so much.

About saving more than you spend.

About really listening, finishing work at 5pm, or putting your phone away when you’re watching your kid’s soccer game.

Maybe you haven’t been told directly, but you know deep down that you fall short.

And yet, and yet and yet…you’re overweight, financially stressed and disconnected with those who love you.

Stop yelling at your kids

You might have even told yourself that that skeleton in the closet needs to be dealt with.

Yet you’re living with shame.

So before you come down hard on your kids, or those that need your support and understanding…

Take a look at that man in the mirror.

Just because it’s clear what someone is supposed to do (or not do), doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Especially for your kids. They get told a million times to do stuff. From you, from teachers and what they see online.

So don’t bristle when you see something lacking – cut them some slack, be patient and be the loving father that you aspire to be.

Try showing them that it’s hard for you too, but you’re still trying.