When you thought your kids weren’t looking

“Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking” is the last line of one of my favorite poems.

“When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking” was written by a daughter who talks about the impact that a parent’s actions have on a child. They are everyday actions of caring, responsibility, generosity, and love.

Most parents do not intentionally try to teach life lessons through their actions – they are just being themselves. What they don’t realize, however, is that their children pick up on so much more than they’ll ever know. Letting a car out at a busy intersection, picking up trash in the park, and taking dinner to a sick neighbor may not directly help your child at that point in time; but the positive impact those types of actions have on shaping your child’s character will last a lifetime.


• Try to remember the things your father did that had an impact on who you are today. Do your kids see your father through some of your actions?

• Remember that the everyday little things matter a lot - like talking to your wife in a nice tone of voice, helping to keep the house clean, and attentively listening to your child describe his day at school.

• Think about ways you and your family can help out in the community. Playing an active role in the community is one of the most meaningful things your kids can see you do.

Mary Rita Schilke Korzan, author of “When You Thought I Wasn't Looking,” wrote this poem as a tribute to her mother.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.

For more information, or to join local conversations, contact

Mick Trombley at

David Eggebeen at

Robert Orndorff at

Marc McCann at 237-1719 or