What are we teaching our children?

 

 

A few days ago I was waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk. The ‘do not cross light’ was lit so I waited where I was. I noticed a young woman and a child across the street. The adult took the hand of the child, looked both ways and stepped into street. The two crossed unharmed but I wondered what that adult was teaching that child. “It doesn’t matter what the rules are, do what you want.” ?????

Perhaps I’m getting persnickety in my old-age but I take great delight in following the Little Rules. If the crosswalk says ‘do not cross’, I don’t cross. It doesn’t cost me anything and I think it shows others that the rules are there for a reason, let’s abide by them

Children learn by example. I’ve heard people say; “Do what I say, don’t do what I do”. Children are like little sponges, they soak up what they see and they mimic it. Statistics show that children growing up in homes of domestic violence tend to perpetuate that violence. What they see, becomes the norm.

When I was younger my mother and I were doing some Saturday shopping. We had quite a few parcels and we were storing them in the car when my mother realized that she had a pair of pantyhose in her hand that she hadn’t paid for. We were just about to get in the car when she said she would be right back. We were quite a distance from the shop but my mother walked that $2 pair pantyhose back into the store and paid for them. Now that’s a good lesson.

I have friends that brag about how they get away with things. Cheating on their income tax is a game to them and they’re proud of themselves. I willingly pay my taxes. The money I give the government pays for a lot of stuff I take for granted. They don’t always do such a great job on things but there are a lot of benefits in my life that I wouldn’t have without my government. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Now allow me to rant a little about television. I watch television. There, I admitted it in public. My primary source of entertainment is the idiot box. I enjoy cooking shows and documentaries on animals. I enjoy movies, comedy, drama and even action films. I enjoy some primetime network series. But I do wonder about what our children are getting from television. When I was a child my parents watched television with me and explained things to me. I understood that it was fake. It was for entertainment purposes and I shouldn’t think it was real. They also wanted me to understand that when someone got hit in real life it hurt. No, my parents never beat me. I got a spanking when I deserved it. I have no qualms about that.

I worry when I see people in authority condoning violence or hatred. Our kids see that and they believe it. I do not have any children. But I believe I am as much responsible for the children around me as if I were a parent. We live in a global village and we are responsible for each other. But today it doesn’t always feel like it.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “What are we teaching our children?

  1. Mark Lanesbury

    So true Pam. And the thing that worries me the most is the generations are getting harder and harder, live life like lying is the norm, violence second nature, and love so physical that their fears of an emotional connection is tramped down hard to avoid it.
    But all of nature and the universe always brings it back into balance, and the only way to do that is like all other fears…make us face them.
    And to do that we project that lying, violent, unloving way towards all that we meet…bringing us to that one place that will show us the very thing we are afraid of…a reaction that will bring those things to us even more.
    Now if I could just tie up Mr Trump and his North Korean counterpart and let us get on with our lives. But I can’t, we have to learn the lesson. And if they pull their heads in we might actually ‘see’ how close that could have been to a change that there is no going back from…and change our ways. But I think not, we cannot ‘see’ it…so on we will go. And if not these pair, another will come up, each time giving less regard to that inner truth…until one day that fuse is lit, so that we can understand and break the cycle of fear, and finally live a truthful, honest and loving way and become that happiness we have always sought.
    I just hope we find it…soon 😀 ❤

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  2. scifihammy

    I totally agree on teaching your kids how to cross the road safely – so much so that I would often spend ages with my very young daughter, because she could see a car waaay off in the distance. We waited for it to pass. I hoped that if she was ever on her own one day, she would take her time and cross safely.
    In Edinburgh I spent long times waiting at traffic lights for my little green man. Some would take a chance and cross, but on busy intersections, you have no idea which stream of traffic will suddenly turn down your road.
    I watched a senior citizen on the opposite side of the road to me decide the red man was not for her. She stepped into the road just as a big car turned the corner and zoomed in front of her. Her husband pulled her back, but it was a very near miss. And for what?

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  3. Donna Florack

    Monkey see, monkey do. When my boys were little, I was often appalled when we’d go out in public and other parents would allow their children to run wild and act like little animals. I had a boss who brought his eight year old son in to work, a kid he never disciplined. I found the kid standing on the break room counter, reaching into a cupboard. Seriously? He was old enough to know that wasn’t acceptable behavior. He seemed surprised when I yelled at him to get down. My guys always knew if they acted up, we’d leave and there would be consequences. Yes, I admit I bribed them at times. Behave while we shop and you can pick out a treat. I stuck to it, too. I was told many times by people how well behaved my sons were. I go to the store now, and children of other patrons are racing around everywhere, unattended, pushing people out of the way, screaming and acting up. Maybe I’m just getting old, too, but if you don’t teach them manners and rules, you create rude, spoiled adults.

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  4. Almost Iowa

    Years ago while staying at my in-law’s farm, I woke up around 4:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I set my laptop on the kitchen table and pecked away at a project for work. It was winter and through the bare trees, I could see for miles across the fields.

    In time, I notice a pair of headlight slowing making way down a gravel road. At the intersection of one rural isolated road and another equally as isolated rural road, the headlights paused at a stop sign.

    There was no one else around, no cross traffic, no cops, no one to witness or judge, just me a long, long way away, yet the driver stopped.

    When you see things like that, you know you are among good people.

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  5. Jill Dunbar

    Strange that you would mention crossing the street at crosswalks…(I must admit I have been known to cross in the middle of the street)…BUT I would not do that if there

    were children there as I get very upset when parents with young ones, just walk because they don’t see any cars close by. Ah well, even tho’ I am my brother’s keeper, I can’t be everyone’s keeper.

    Stay well! Happy and healthy is the name of the game!

    Love,

    ~ Jill ~

    “Aspire to inspire before you expire”

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  6. Dan Antion

    This was a very good read, Pam. You raise many important issues. When I look around at all the garbage in the news, I always think “children aren’t born predjudiced and hating.” Far too many adults are failing.

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  7. dweezer19

    My apologies for being cynical too; but even though my sons are every mature, wise and the oens with children are doing a wonderful job, what I see every day in my field of working with all ages is the terrifying trend of young parents only wanting to play alongside their children, never accepting the responsibilty of actually being a teacher or disciplinarian as needed. They are, themselves, from a generation of over indulged youngsters and are at a complete loss as to raising their own children to be mature, responsible adults. Babies of boomers are generally apathetic, disinterested, aggressive and self absorbed, although there are certainly exceptions.

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  8. AJ

    It seems to me lately that most people believe the rules don’t apply to them, they’re for other people, like when people fail to stop at a stop sign.
    Kids are sponges and I remember that every day in my classroom. When I started teaching my mom told me I was teaching more than the academics I cover and that has stayed with me.

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  9. jeanmariejots

    I work as a nanny for two young children who have begun to imitate me in many ways. I love when I watch them talking to other children or creatures of any size with love. I know I taught them some of that (they often copy what I have said for example I tell all creatures how beautiful they are wherever we are). When either child is struggling to follow a rule or having a tantrum about it I get down to their level and talk with them about why we have that rule. Since they are both toddlers the explanations are often simple but I think it helps them to know why they are following the rule as well. I believe that we also need to teach children to look critically at the rules and ensure they are not unfair for some while benefiting others. Yes rules are important but if rules are based on hate we need to teach our children how to address that as well.

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