The child tunes in to life and learns at breakneck speed. Mimicking what he sees and hears — he plays tribute to the old “Monkey See; Monkey Do” adage.
If the child were raised by wolves, he would howl in the wind and walk on all fours. But unlike the monkey and wolf, children are not animals.
Take a dog for example: Rover likes to chase cars. He sees a neighbor’s dog hit and killed while chasing a car. Does Rover learn from the other dog’s mistake? No, he goes right on chasing cars.
Children are different from Rover, very different. You can show them how to cross a street safely and they are able to learn and understand.
If little Jimmy were to teethe on Dad’s best slippers, Dad would never hit him with a newspaper and say “bad baby” — perhaps you can teach a dog this way but not a toddler. Instead, Jimmy’s parents must demonstrate, by their own good example, the way to show consideration for the property of others.
It is no different from other endeavors of life. Parents who love to read usually make every effort to read to their child. The child in turn comes to love books and usually learns to read quickly and easily. While the child, whose parents ignore books and spend every evening watching TV, may have difficulty learning to read.
It is the same with manners. Have you ever met a beautifully behaved child? A child who says “please” and “thank you,” a child who is considerate of others, who is a delight to be with? Without a doubt, the people around such a child are polite to him, treat him with respect and grant him importance.
What you put out is what you get back. Hence, the saying, “what goes around comes around”.
Can we cause a child to be enthusiastic? Indeed, if we ourselves are enthusiastic about life. Is it in our power to cause a child to be loving and kind? Yes, if we love him dearly and set the example of routinely performing acts of kindness toward others.
What about that sought-after quality, happiness? Can we cause our children to be happy?
All that we need do is plant a smile on our face and:
- Talk cheerfully
- Laugh often
- Keep on smiling
- Laugh some more
- Don’t be afraid to giggle—it is good for the soul
- Act happy
- Be happy
Use 1 to 7 as a blueprint for the way you behave around your child. Then stand back and watch the effect it has on everyone around you.
You might even become the happiest person you know!