It’s not just anecdotal, there is overwhelming evidence that people will remember what they see (especially repeatedly) much more than they would what they hear. And when someone does not particularly want to hear something, they can easily ‘tune off’ when it is being said.
You must have heard the cliché that “more is caught than taught”; that is so true, particularly with children. Parents spend a ton of energy schooling children on how they should behave, what they should say and do, how to respond to and interact with others.
If you are a parent, fact is that your children will become what they see you do, not what they hear you say. You can’t ask them to speak the truth always, but they hear you on the phone telling someone you are on your way when you are headed to the bathroom to take a shower.
How you conduct yourself and how you treat others become their standards and norms by default. If you pause to think about it, there are so many things you still do now that are simply because your parents did same. Children will become what you do not what you say.
In a nutshell: Parenting is so much more about modelling what you want the children to be than about what you say (which often turns into nagging!). Parents are like a prototype. Children will pick up the behaviours, attitudes and speech patterns of the adults around them.
What type of children are you bringing up (or hope to bring up someday)? What values are you trying to instill (or hope to instill) in them? As you teach them by words, show them by deeds. Parenting is more walk than talk, so practice what you preach!
- Biblical perspective to parenting – “Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).” [1 Corinthians 11:1; AMPC]
Your Take: Can you remember something that you do or say that you picked up from your parents?