BY MARILYN C. ARAYATA
They say a nagging mother raises successful children. Nagging is not encouraged, but somehow there is a point. What is important is for adults to clarify the values and aspirations as a family. The children also need guidance in developing their own values and aspirations so they can live a purpose-driven and meaningful life. It is equally important for parents to clarify the things that are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
Words are important. Frequent reminders are necessary, but words are not enough. In fact, children learn more from what they see than what they hear – especially if there is a contradiction.
Children see adults who engage in vices, eat unhealthy food, and spend without control. They are aware of older people who are habitually late and who never run out of excuses. They see adults who disobey traffic rules, disrespect other people, and settle for abusive relationships. How will these affect their choices, responses, and development? What values will they learn?
Consider this poem from Dorothy Law Nolte:
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live. (“Children Learn What They Live”)
What lesson did someone learn from you today?
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