It is really hard to always set a good example.

For example, have you ever watched a parent at their child's ballgame? The parent can get so caught up in the 'win' and 'how to do it right' that they lose sight of having fun, learning a new skill, or practicing teamwork and sportsmanship.

Oh those parents who will yell at the referee for never making the right call.

They yell at the coaches for not calling the right play or putting in the right player.

They yell at their child for not making the right move at the exact right time.

They may even swear at the top of their lungs onto the field in expression of their disagreement and disgust.

What kind of an example are they setting for their child?

Do they know they are showing their child poor social skills and poor emotional management?

Do they know they are setting an example for their child to act the same way?

Do they realize they are teaching the child to be unrealistic in their ability and performance at such a young age?

Are they seeing the anxiety they are causing in their child, instilling a need to be perfect and always to do 'it' right?

Unfortunately, these are the same parents who are criticizing and punishing their children for yelling at others, swearing and having a need to always 'be right.'

They are double binding their children, teaching them to act in the same way in which they are punishing them for acting.

But let's not be too harsh.

It is really hard to always set a good example.

We all fail at it.

For example, people in positions of trust will sometimes break a promise.

Christians who know God's word against gossip will gossip.

Bosses will not always work as efficiently as they expect their employees to work.

Business owners will not always practice good business.

Law enforcement officers sometimes break the law.

No one is perfect all of the time.

It is a good thing we have forgiveness.

For example, if you know you have not been a good example, you can confess it to those who you may have wronged.

As a parent you can take accountability for your actions and set an example for your children to do the same. Apologize, and state to them how you will do it differently next time.

Act the way you want others to act. I have an example: “Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.”

Teach by example. Even when we make mistakes, set an example of how to be humbly mistaken.

Go forth and try to set a good example.

Linda Yearout is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist at Hope's Place.