- I will read more like Uncle Zizi;
- I will pray more like Uncle Zizi;
- I will study my bible more like Uncle Zizi
- To keep quiet for Uncle Zizi to study
Reproduced above is a “To Do List” made by a little girl from seeing her Uncle write his plans for the day over and over again. This little girl, unknown to her Uncle has been watching to see what he does daily and also without his knowledge has taken so much of it in that she went as far as making such a list. It only goes to show that the young ones observe and learn from us, and it’s beyond just what we say.
Children, most especially those between the ages of 0-5, make the best mimics. They replay every word or action they see adults show, and so you are most likely to watch these little ones role-play your strengths and more surprisingly, your weaknesses.
Still, we adults sometimes believe we have certain levels of immunity and so, we go on to do what we would rather have the kids not do. These might not be very bad habits, but still those we would not appreciate the kids developing. Habits like going to sleep without a bathe, taking care of the toilets after use or even as simple as brushing our teeth before food. For the sake of the young eyes watching, we need to set good examples.
In today’s world, where it seems that the more bad one can do, the easier the fame, our kids are in dire need of positive role models and we think there is no better place to start than at home.
Hence, we suggest that as adults, we take the first steps in showing and enforcing good behaviour, by living out what we say. For example, if you want them to learn how to say sorry, start by saying it yourself. We know it is rare for adults to apologize to younger ones, but an understanding that doing it does not make you any less in control, but more of a good leader, will teach the kids the good habit that will pay off in the long run.
If you want the kids to learn empathy, start with showing compassion even to strangers. A good way is taking them along to make donations to the disadvantaged in the society and asking your kids to give from their belongings to the less privileged children.
It is true that even as adults, we are not perfect, but if we try our best to be of good behaviour, like we would want the kids to, we would go a long way in enforcing good habits rather than with depending on punishments to discourage bad behaviour.