A fellow Mason once told me that, "a long time ago I decided that in order to teach my children the importance of honesty, I would have to lead by example." He made a conscience decision that to do this, he would have to be honest in all circumstances regardless of how difficult.
He gave an example of a co-worker he had become friends with and that subsequently had invited him and his wife to dinner. At some point they discovered that the couple's viewpoints or beliefs were vastly different than their own and were quite uncomfortable throughout the meal.
A week later the husband of the couple invited them for a second dinner and he had to fight off his first instinct to use the "my wife is sick" excuse.
"I knew then I would have to set the example I expected my kids to follow," he said, and added that it started as an initially uncomfortable conversation but in the end his honesty was appreciated and they remained friends.
I think of that story often in dealings with Declan and strive to mimic the man's commitment to eliminating compromise, in the example I set.
While it is obvious, as well as wonderful in my opinion, that my son is without hesitation when it comes to letting me know how he feels, be it about my "yucky food" or perhaps whether the shirt I am wearing meets his approval. As a parent, I must choose my words and actions much more carefully and always strive to be the best role model I can.
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