Do you ever scoff or roll your eyes when you see an old expression such as Gandhi’s “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”? I wouldn’t be so quick to pass the old truisms over. They have stood the test of time because of the truth found within them, the wisdom and the insight, the experience of the ‘been there done that’ kind, the kind you want when you are in the fox hole.
I am reminded of this by a posting I recently saw of the things money can’t buy such as love, patience, respect, morals, etc. All these things can be taught – but not bought. The teaching part trips many parents up, when in reality, it is such a simple process. Live what you want your child to learn. Be patient, and they will learn patience. Be tolerant, and they will learn tolerance. Be respectful of the people you talk about, and your children – who hear everything you say – will learn respect.
Take the time to explain to your child why a certain behavior is unacceptable. Children are not stupid. They truly want to please their parents (especially when little), so if given the chance – they will correct behavior once they understand it isn’t safe, or kind, or the vase might break. Give them that much credit the first time, and after that, time-out corners work wonders.
Gandhi also said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” So, walk your talk folks.
My mom’s world has narrowed to a very small parameter nowadays. She doesn’t go far beyond the path from her bed to her easy chair in the living room where she can watch out the picture window and the glass storm door. She doesn’t want to go any further. She used to wheel herself out that door for sun baths (as she called them) in the nice weather, but that doesn’t draw her anymore. Her phone conversations are much shorter. The signs are here, though I don’t want to see them.
and so it goes…