Backstory – Children Listen
I over-heard a scolding being given to a couple of early school students. I could see their eyes glazing over as they heard what I could tell were the same messages that had been delivered often before. It was going right over their heads. I wondered what the scolder expected to accomplish with her tirade. As I considered that “there ought to be a better way,” this story developed.
Children! They are something! Do they ever listen? You repeat the rules over and over every single day and the kids just don’t seem to be tuned in. The door is slammed . . . the clothes are thrown . . . their room is always a mess.
Is there some precious day when this will all change? When suddenly, they will pay attention? Will there be a blessed day when you can stop hearing yourself repeat for the hundredth time?
It’s a universal fact; children are not good at listening. But they are VERY good at imitating. When they see adults smoke . . . or curse . . . or complain, they are learning far more than they do from repeated scolding.
They will indeed do what you do, not what you say. Children listen and watch more than you realize.
When they see parents interact with love, and treat each other with respect, it is creating a pattern they will try to imitate when it’s time. The parents who model impatience, yelling and hurt are also setting models that will be followed.
We want the very best for our children. That’s often why the teachings are repeated over and over. But maybe, just maybe, it’s more important to SHOW them, than to tell them. Those are the lessons that stick.
Be sure that what they learn when they watch you live your life will lead to imitation of a positive kind.
Be kind. That’s a trending concept. My great grandson has bought into it. At 11 years old, he finds many ways, each day, to practice kindness. We talk about it in a private session, because he does not go around bragging about being kind. And when we do, we often find new evidence of empathy. Sometimes he even points out something I said or did that was kind. But if this is one generation teaching the other, he is absolutely the Sensei and I the pupil.