Learning by observation. (credit: Istock)
The girl brushes her teeth as routine having seen daddy and mummy do that for her for several m-o-n-t-h-s as well as replicate same (for themselves) on a daily basis.
But as she grows she will see the habit as beyond routine but hygiene and later aesthetics and beauty requirements.
If you insult your hubby at will, express hate and bad blood like breathing yet preach respect and love to your daughter … at first she’ll question your audacity, impunity, hypocrisy but in the subconscious and may later accuse you of double-standards and hypocrisy … when she converses with her peers and may finally say it to your face.
Note that she has started experiencing gender issues and dichotomies at an impressionable age and stage.
An environment where summer is winter, black is white and vice-versa is unhealthy for your children’s holistic development and the best atmosphere to make a child have issues of trust and faith in adulthood.
At the zoo:
“Can you see that animal in the cage, it’s hyena … an ever restless animal,” and (s)he feels ‘restless’ might mean calm in reality.
If you preach peace to your children but express violence in words or deeds you’re not a role-model and your children will see the lacuna because it’s as big as Kaduna, Nigeria.
If you abuse your wife physically – you know what you’re whispering to your son, “Come on boy … every man has a tool to caution the excesses of women …” If you insult your hubby it’s a license for your daughter to see boys as irresponsible and hence run her tongue at 80 miles per hour without even stopping to fuel or refuel her mind.
In rounding off by error of omission or commission double-standards may crop up:
Now if you tell your child with the habit of praying when he should be reading his books, “Paul now leave prayers aside and go read your books!”
Don’t forget to explain to him or her later that it’s a life premised on times and seasons and one mustn’t monopolize the other. Even an adult may feel you’re against prayers but in the context you’re not downplaying prayers but highlighting some crucial aspects of life – making hay while the sun shines!
A better world!