Monday, September 6, 2010

Leading by example

My wife just showed me the cutest - and scariest - thing.

My 18 month old is sitting in the bathtub right now, holding a little spray bottle. Carefully, he takes the oblong object, cranes his neck, and carefully inserts the nozzle of the bottle into the spigot of the tub. Slowly, he begins to turn the bottle clockwise, simulating the most basic movement of the most basic of home improvement tools: the tightening motion of a screwdriver.

The other night at my in-laws house, he took a toy drill and inserted it into a hole and started making "drilling" noises.

Over the summer I busied myself around the house by making small repairs here and there. Although I hardly noticed it at the time, now I recall that my son would sit there watching me very intently.

At his age, he could only have learned such things from observing others' behavior, which brings to mind a very important lesson that must be applied to all realms:

Children are always watching and taking note. They are very observant, and rarely miss a thing. What they learn, they will try and emulate to the best of their abilities. Additionally, they do not have a developed sense of nuance, and cannot necessarily differentiate between specific cases to know when to copy daddy and when not to. All they see is what they see - without all the numerous excuses and reasons.

We would do well to remember that when it comes to chinuch; "do as I say, not as I do" is one of the most uninspiring (not to mention confusing) messages we can ever send a child. Let's face it - we didn't enjoy it when our parents told us that...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow good point