At some point in life you may have heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” That phrase is true in a sense, but at the same time we’ve probably all been guilty of using words to try and justify those actions. People as a whole throughout history have been able to learn from our mistakes, and move forward as a society through observation, trial and error.
At a young age habits haven’t been developed due to a lack of experience, and parents being good parents would like to share their experiences with their children and try to teach them what they have learned in their life, so that the children might not make the same mistakes. The main issue a lot of children have is being told one thing by a parent, and then watch them do something that contradicts the advice they were just given.
For example, let’s say one day a father told his son “obey all the laws all the time, and you can never get in trouble.” Later on in the day they were driving to the store and the dad ran a red light because he didn’t want to wait, and got a traffic ticket. Telling the son that he could get into trouble by breaking the law put the idea into his head that that was a possibility, but by actually seeing the father break the law and get into trouble is a tangible experience in the child’s life he can refer back to in the future.
Throughout childhood a child has limited responsibilities, but in the end the responsibility they do carry is among the most important in their life. Going to school and doing well is important as it is part of what defines the direction a persons life goes. Developing good social skills is important because human interaction drives our entire civilization, but that goes without saying.
A parents influence on their child is the most important because they are the ultimate role model, and they spend the most time with them. Nobody can expect to raise their children perfectly, or have a child that wont make any mistakes in their life, but we can get them to the point to be able to independently distinguish the difference between right and wrong and live a fulfilling life.
The main factor that makes it hard to tell a child how to behave and that information be utilized is the level of maturity children have. When a kid does something wrong, or wants to do something wrong the first thing an authority figure says is “no”. Due to the maturity of children a lot of times their main instinct is to do it anyways because they want to see what the consequences are. In a sense, children teach themselves behavior because they force their parents into a position to tell them what they’re doing is wrong.
Consequences are the true teacher in life. Whether a child learns from their own mistakes, or observes the consequences of somebody else’s actions experience is always a better teacher.