Just to be clear, this one struck a nerve and I have oodles of material, experience, and research coming at you in one big post.
The theme…no…the point…is the impression we make on the children around us. In a civilized and rational world, the previous sentence alone should give cause for anyone to think before they act in front of any child. It doesn’t matter if it’s their own or not. Here is the video that go me started on this, and I really would up that even the reluctant readers (aka my friends) would heed this small request…watch the video, and read this post.
As children, we act under the impression that what we see adults do is good. We act under the impression that the acts we see are those of a deific being whose experience in life has led them to an ability to take action in such a good manner that it could only be construed as the right way of doing things. Adults always do the right thing, right. How else could they live? It’s simple isn’t it? As adults we try to teach our children that it isn’t that simple…maybe that’s where we fail. Instead of continuing on a path of leading by example we lead by ignoring what we know to be poor judgment and act on whim…yielding an example that shows the depths of our own carelessness.
Now, as my friends and family read I am positive there will be some thoughts and mutterings of hypocrisy in ME being the guy writing about this. The truth is I’m still learning. I am still in awe…and it’s been a VERY long time since I was one of the characters shown in that video. Out of the vast oceans of experience in what not to do as a child, teenager, and adult…I managed to come out with a very clear perspective of the right and wrong of it…all of it. Tons of people ask me when I am going to have my own *grin*…well the truth is that while I’ve come close, the biggest thing holding me back is living in a society that will in fact teach my child a million poor habits for every good one I impart by way of example and genetics. It’s not fear…it’s caution (we’ll leave out that no girlfriend has an impact too but thats not my point *grin*). I am just using my own point of view to show the importance of our actions around our kids.
I read this article HERE. It’s the story of a lady’s trip to Sweden and her awe in the difference in culture. It holds just as much impact for me as the video, please read if you get the time.
Now I happen to think my friends and family have given birth to the most beautiful bunch of munchins the earth will ever see and am blessed in knowing how strongly they watch over and nurture their kids. The depths by which examples are made are astounding and I am kindof loving the huge pool of experience I am going to be able to dip into when I have my own. The scary part is the examples I see outside my friends and family though. The cultural experience M. Brittany Shahmehri wrote about in the link above was just amazing and inspired me to write more about this.
While a video or an article may motivate us, I think in reality we have only to reflect on our own experiences to gain a clarity in leading by example. In providing that example, I think we shine so much more. Challenge yourself just a little to be the good impression kids remember.
Here are some cool sites with loads of programs and materials to read:
Australian Child abuse prevention organization. That’s their video in the article.
Organization that focuses on a think-global act-local practice where groups everywhere do what they can locally to raise a little awareness. Cool group.
What Kind of Mother am I
This was a paper I ran into while researching. I am not a fan of the website’s interface but it is a good read if you can bear it.
Teach Empathy: Leading by Example
Small article with big points to be aware of.
If you have any books on this particular subject that seem to be the real deal I would love to hear them. Using critics’ opinions off the web is usually about as useful as a pair of ice skates in the desert.
Thanks for reading!