The sign of great parenting is not the child’s behavior. The sign of truly great parenting is the parent’s behavior. – Andy Smithson
Before you disregard this, please note, it is not fiction. Neither is it to discredit any parent but it is a fact, children learn a lot from their parents and form most of their lives values based on what they see their parents do or say. While some of these habits are picked unconsciously, others are picked consciously.
I am 27 years old, old enough to differentiate between good and bad but I still pick habits and values from my parents consciously and unconsciously. I didn’t think I could be pressurized into doing anything till I rethought about some incidences that occurred this week. One of which I am about to share…happy reading.
I got home from work to see my parents reading. I mean who reads for leisure after a hard day’s work? I only noticed after I greeted and for the 2nd time because on the first, they didn’t hear me which also means that they didn’t hear me enter the hall. I went to dish my supper and sat next to my father. It was at that point they both dropped their books to ask how my day went and then turned on the television in time to listen to the major news bulletin for the day.
Image of the book my father was reading
After our petty talk while listening to the news, they went back to reading. Me, I reached for my phone to catch up on social media. Mind you, I had academic and professional work to do but I had brushed that aside to use 3 or more hours of my time to chat!
By divine intervention, after so many years, it dawned on me that I would be more productive if I spent my evenings reading like they did. That minute, I felt sad for myself and the majority of young people who spend the hours after work or school on social media ( undisputedly, it has its good sides as well) like I did.
I am grateful for the positive things I picked from my parents and the negatives, I am unlearning. I intend to write about those too (in another article).But the point is this, children tend to learn and adopt most of their habits from parents or adults they hold in high esteem. There are other influencers but a great deal is from their parents.
My mother’s book with an ‘interesting’ title.
Aside reading, I like to listen to music, spend time alone and dance occasionally. These are qualities I picked from my father, no doubt. I like to cook, which is also a trait of my mother (even though she doesn’t do it a lot these days).
So my point is this, within 10 or so minutes, I was motivated by my parents reading habit at that time to drop my after-work social media habit and read or write. I managed to do some work which I am very pleased about. I intend to continue.
This is just one of the many good habits I am proud to say I pick(ed) from my parents and other adults I looked up to while growing up. It is not too late to drop some habits that your children see you do even if they are as old as I am. It just teaches them that they can also drop those and others at any point of their lives. So go ahead and drop the not- so- good ones and keep doing the positives. Yes, there are those who do the positives in their rooms- there are parents who pray for their children in their bedrooms without the children seeing- Children should partake in this laudable exercise. And, no age is too young to teach a child, discipline, or train them.
PS: Try hard to stop the bad habits totally. Don’t even do it in secret. Apart from God seeing, Children know or see it too.
To be read by my mother after the yellow book.
Note that they were reading for leisure but taking notes too.
I suppose your house must be a mini library by now. Anyway I must agree that the reading bit is important for development.