We have all read and heard elders say how children are a reflection of their parents, their surroundings. I never really thought much about this till my own daughter started growing up. Giving a little context, I have a delightful little girl who is 4.5 years old now. The moment she started speaking her first few words, was when it hit me how much of me was already a part of her personality. This feeling only grew stronger as the days passed by. It made me do some soul-searching as I felt even more responsible about how I talk and behave not only with her but with everybody around me.
I realized, I would have to teach her about manners, about ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ not only by talking to her about it but also practicing it in my day-to-day life. It was not an overnight process. And it was a big learning for me too. I always believed that I was a well-mannered person and had learnt my ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-yous’ well. But only when I made a conscious effort about how I was influencing my daughter did I realize how many of the P’s & T’s we let slip especially with the house help. I feel as parents its extremely important to filter what we speak in front of our children.
One of the basic human instincts is the desire to know. As soon as a child begins to discover herself, the questions start. And I’m sure a lot of mothers would agree that the questions start from being cute and curious but then at times they are so many that they drive you nuts. But the little I have learnt with my daughter is that do not lie to them or brush them off. The answers you give them really shape how they react to things. With every little thing that I explained to my daughter, I realized it influenced her ability to process information and react to things around her.
Another extremely important influencing factor on kids these days is television and movies. Like most kids, my daughter is often glued to the TV or computer or her iPad. These gadgets are a part of their lifestyle and we cannot keep them away from it. But what we can do is filter the content on them. I have seen cartoon shows that encourage kids to disobey and talk badly to their mothers, passing it off as being cool. I have always believed that TV viewing can be used as a positive tool for the child’s development. Some of the cartoons, which are appropriate for children 1-5 yrs of age, are Barney, Tellitubbies, Peppa Pig, Pocoyo. I also feel that if you can let the child watch DVDs of these cartoons instead of watching it on cable its much better. The advertisements shown on kids TV channels are at times age inappropriate.
Children are like sponge. They absorb everything. They are sensitive to every little thing around them. I am sure every mother discovers a zillions new things as her child grows up. Motherhood teaches one some of the best lessons of life.
This blog was just a platform to share a few of my learning and experiences. Hope to read some experiences others have had.
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