It has become a widely known fact that children learn by example. You could tell them one thing a million times and then go and do the exact opposite of it. Guess what they’d do? Learn by example and do the very opposite of what you narrated to them every day.
How Children Learn
A child does not do what they are told, they mimic the behavior they see and the language they hear. You know what they say, seeing is believing and that is exactly what is reflected in an infant’s behavior.
Not only do they believe what they see and hear but they also act upon it.
John Locke was right when he presented the concept of Tabula Rasa a.k.a. “the mind being a blank slate at birth.”
Not only was Locke right but I would dare and go as far as to say that Aristotle was even closer to unlocking the infinite secrets of the human mind when he presented his theory earlier, claiming that a child at 7 years of age or under, was like a ‘blank writing tablet’ in his book, “De Anima” in 4th century BCE.
Child psychologists in the current era have done their best to make it known that children behave like tape recorders and not only observe and notice all of their parents’ behaviors but also do whatever they can to incorporate those behaviors and actions into themselves, their behaviors and interactions.
However, the imitation will not happen immediately and does not have to be an exact mirror of the situation they witnessed. For example, if a child sees and hears their father verbally and physically abuse their mother, it would not immediately start hurling insults at its mother. The father does not have to abuse the child, abusing someone in front of the child is enough.
How Problem Behaviors Surface
The manifestation of being a passive subject to domestic abuse in the above case would be gradual and subtle. The effects of this passive trauma would eventually and indirectly surface, maybe even inconsistently.
Furthermore, these effects could surface in a multitude of ways. For example, the child could turn out to be overly shy and introverted to the point where they find it extremely difficult to communicate with anyone at all such that their social, as well as personal lives, are negatively affected.
Teaching Through Modeling
Teach them what you want to see in them by modeling that behavior to them. Whether you like it or not, you are your child’s role model and they are going to continue to look up to you in order to learn how to live life.
They will therefore act on those very principles that they formed based on the behaviors they learned from a consistent everyday observation of you rather than what you told them to do.
To make it even simpler, here is an example. Consider the fact that your child was 4 or 5 and likes to talk. Imagine you continuously tell them to always be honest, whenever you get the chance to. Now let’s assume there was that one time they heard you tell a lie and they knew it was a lie because they live with you and know everyday things.
Your child then suddenly finds themselves in trouble at school and you find out they lied about something to try and get out of trouble. You get a call and wonder why they wouldn’t listen to you.
Now, the thing is, children don’t listen. They imitate, and there are multiple ways for them to learn certain behaviors.
Use a Parental Control App
It could be that they saw a kid their age lying to their parents or teachers in some online kids’ show. This is why it is so important that parents ensure beforehand that the shows their kid’s watch do not in any way, shape or form, promote or inculcate bad behaviors or morals in children.
The good news is that parents can now control and monitor whatever their kids watch and learn online with the help of an amazing android parental control app known as FamilyTime. This particular app can be availed from the google play store right now.