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All the World is a School

by Ronald A. Rowe | April 29th, 2015 | Elementary, School

father son (400x400)Since this is my last Elementary article here at Your Parenting Info, I’d like to take the occasion to discuss explicitly what I have repeatedly referenced obliquely in the past.  At this age, all the world is a school.  Every day and everywhere you and your child go together, class is in session.  You should model in your own life the behaviors that you want to see in your child.  We all want our children to grow up to be something great, something more than we are ourselves.  To this end, parents tend to lecture, discipline, and reward children; an ongoing effort to train our children right.

Unfortunately, in many cases our children can’t hear what we say over the sound of our actions.  Do you want your child to grow up to be a spiritual person?  Let them see you making time to study your Bible daily.  Do you want your child to be an energetic, outdoors-type?  Get off the couch and go outside yourself.  You want your son to show proper respect for women?  Demonstrate what that looks like by living it out for him.  The old advertising adage “show, don’t tell” applies here with one modification.  Raising a child requires both showing and telling.

Most of us find the telling to be far easier than the showing.  It isn’t hard for me, as a dad, to tell my two sons to turn off the video games and get outside.  But it is so easy to fall into the trap of “daddy’s had a long day at work so he’s going to sit on the couch and watch ESPN for a while but you go outside and play”.  Kids are extremely intuitive.  They see the hypocrisy.  What they really hear is “little babies have to go out and play but grownups should plop down on the couch and exercise their channel changing muscles”.  And since all children aspire to be like the grownups…

Dads, be the man you want your son to be.  Moms, show your daughters how to be the lady you want her to be some day.  We all have to make a choice.  When we enter a room, we either change the room or we allow the room to change us.  If you are the type who allows the mood of the room to dictate your outlook, your child will learn from that.  But if you bring a positive attitude into the room and actively infect others, your child will see, admire, and emulate that behavior.

Parents almost always have higher goals for their children than they do for themselves.  But in order to help our children reach those lofty heights, we have to be willing to stretch ourselves to be more than we ever thought we could be.  Taking action to make this change in your life will impact not just you and your child, but will also serve to fulfill your parents’ ambitions for you and set a precedent for generations to come.

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