Monday, July 20, 2009
Every parent wants their child to be the best they can be. We all want kids to be happy, healthy, popular, successful and talented. But how do we ensure this will happen? Are children naturally able to develop empathy, compassion, respect and kindness or must these characteristics be taught just like spelling? The answer is somewhere in the middle. Most children will find everything they need to develop all of these character traits with some guidance. Some children may be unable to develop these and other traits due to an inability to process information well. Sometimes there is a language issue, or hearing problems and sometimes there is a flaw in the personality of the child that makes it almost impossible for him to feel empathy for another living thing. Children need to have the opportunity to watch adults in their life show respect, empathy, sympathy, and compassion. They need to hear from adults when an action they engage in would cause harm to another living thing. Respect for life is a major building block of a happy, healthy child. The ability to understand their actions impact other people is crucial to a child's healthy development. Children truly do learn what they live. They learn by imitation and experience. They learn from role models. Every adult has a responsibility to be sure they are showing the kinds of attributes they want children to adopt. Look around at who your children are watching both in real life and in videos. Would you want your child to grow up to be like Harry Potter or Drako Malfoy? You are the most influential person in your child's life when they are small. Use your time wisely. Too soon they will look to their friends as to who they are supposed to be instead of to you. Take the time to teach your children how to save the best of who you are and make it their own. Teach them to be caring, compassionate and to respect all life, no mater how different it may be. Be your child's best major influence and teach them what it means to care. This will be the begining of a life filled with promise and purpose.