Friday, May 6, 2011

We set the example to children

We are constantly watched by our children overtly or covertly. They learn from their experiences, the conversations with us and in the house with others and our own reactions to different situations. Parents are the cynosures of their eyes, their role models and objects of admiration and learning. It casts upon us therefore to mind the kind of examples we set and the hidden messages we send.
Look at this case of a nine year old boy proudly showing a fountain pen to his dad
“Dad, I found this the corridor outside my class”
“Hey, it is a nice pen. What make is it?” the father asks
“Dad, it is Parker”
“You have been wanting one and how lucky you are to get it. So are you happy” the father tells
The boy runs along happy that his daddy is also glad that he got a pen and that he retained it with him. The lesson learnt is that it is acceptable to keep things that are not yours as long as you have not pilfered them. The dad failed to impress on the young mind that it is not good to keep what is not his and that should have handed itover at the school office. As a result the child starts coveting things that are not his.
Another common failing of dads is to tell the child to answer an inconvenient phone call and tell daddy is not at home. The man unwittingly teaches the child it is okay to give wrong information or utter a lie in certain circumstances.
The point to remember is that we should be aware of the power of hidden messages that we send to our children our actions or responses and the need for them to be consistent with the values we would like to impart them. An occasional aberration may not harm as much as regular frequent wrong examples that we set. With a little care and attention, the parents can set examples that are positive, ethical and humane. Home is the primary school from which children learn and parents are the teachers there. The mental well being of the children is being determined by the value system prevailing at homes.


  1. You hit the nail right on the head! Yes, we see in many households both these incidents. Sadly, incident number 2 occurs frequently nowadays. Good point to think about. Made me realise i am not imparting value systems so well to my children:( Good read!

  2. The children grow up watching/admiring their parents. They think that whatever they do is right. They tend to follow these later in their lives.

    All of us know this, but no one is that careful with their children, including me!

  3. We teach our children by the lives we live.