Most days, we forget that the children are watching!
We get caught up being adults, parents, or just being stressed about work or some other issue in our lives that we forget these little ones around us constantly observe us and imitate us.
Some recent instances (funny and equally educative) which made me internalize the change in behavior many of us require.
We went on a recent trip to Rishikesh with a resident of my DH. He was introduced many a time to different people as ‘his boss’ by the resident, while both the families were in the car. This particular day, we were travelling in the car which the resident was driving, my DH was sleeping in the front seat and the kids and I were in the back of the car. The kids ( my seven year old daughter and the resident’s three year old son had become quite fast friends and were chatting away) when out of the blue the three year old commented “Papa look, ‘your boss’ is sleeping!” The way he said it was quite funny and we had a hearty laugh. But this comment lingered on at the back of my mind.
The same boy presented me another chance of reflecting about how children emulate adults (whom they find interesting or may be even in general!) within no time…
My DH had a particular way of calling him “Ai Augie…” in a very deep voice and somewhat similar to the pitch and tone of Oggie in the cartoon ‘Oggie and the cockroaches’. It was very typical and only he could do it the way he did it. He might have called Augie that way may be 3 or 4 times on the first day and the next day we were told that Augie has started imitating the call! It was not perfect, I would say, but quite close…
I have many times found it amusing as well as annoying that our little girl keep misplacing my dupattas, bags and even make-up, after playing ‘being a lady going to office or shopping’. And I know it is not just my girl, it is every little girl who goes through such a phase! But I had always considered this kind of imitation just a girly behavior. This impression changed after this Rishikesh trip, these imitations of Augie and the innocent play of my little girl gave me so much to ruminate.
It’s nothing new, but these instances should not only remind us that children are very observant and imbibe a lot from the adults around but also should let us comprehend the importance of being the ideal role models.
Are we being the role models for our kids when fighting with our spouses?
Do we want our kids to be physically active? Are we doing it?
What about the values like responsibility, integrity? Are we practicing what we try to teach them?
“The leaders must set the example, the leaders must practice the virtues they demand from those who are in their care; they must be understanding, patient, enduring, full of sympathy and warm and friendly goodwill, not out of egoism to win friends for themselves, but out of generosity to be able to understand and help others. To forget oneself, one’s own likings and preferences, is indispensable in order to be a true leader.” (The Mother, CWMCE, Vol 12, pg 357-358)
Shouldn’t parents / teachers/ adults more like leaders for the kids around them?