An interesting video showing just how much our actions influence our kids was produced by NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect). In this case their message is aimed at how child abuse also includes exposure to family violence and abusive behavior towards others. But it clearly also embraces a call for prevention highlighting how children learn about the world through imitation.
Children’s behaviour is influenced by what they see around them making them susceptible to both negative and positive influences. This is true on all levels in fact this method of learning by imitation does not just influence severe behaviours like aggression and violence, but can have an impact on any behavior, from how to interact with others, how and what to eat and how to take care of this world.
I have witnessed a very quick version of this effect unravel at the dinner table just the other day. My own child noticed his grandmother grimace at the spinach plate. This almost immediately led him to claim he didn’t like them either (despite having had them many times before without complaining).
This is a small example, and an easy one to set right as well. However it shows how we are not the only role models for our children. Other family members, siblings, teachers, classmates, celebrities etc will influence them as well. However we, as parents, are the first and generally the most stable throughout life and as such probably one of the most important role models.
Therefore next time you see your child doing or interacting in a less than constructive way consider this… could you have modeled this behavior for him? or even better: how can you model a behavior to improve what you see?
A special thank you to NAPCAN for giving us permission to use their video
For more videos produced by NAPCAN visit http://napcan.org.au/resource-hub/video-resources/
For the link to the video ‘Children see children do’ on NAPCAN Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d4gmdl3zNQ&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL66ACB73E5DF22D94