My mother taught me to smoke cigarettes. Of course it was not her intent to do so. But each time she lit up I learned by her example that smoking was okay, even though she told me over and over to “do as she said rather than as she did.”
The problem with “do as I say not as I do,” is that 80-90% of all communication is non-verbal. That means our behavior is vastly more influential in teaching others than our words.
One of the most important things for us to remember is that what to value and how to behave appropriately must be taught. You and I have the responsibility to be a positive example for others of how life works best, especially children, because they learn from watching us. So if we do not intentionally teach them how to behave and what to value they will learn on their own through television, video games, the internet, movies and their peers. With something as important as values at stake, we do not want to leave their character to chance. One way to be a positive hands-on example is to remember it is our actions that teach.