Teaching Love, Compassion, Gentleness, Kindness......
Watching my toddler with his newest cousin, who is only six weeks old, completely amazed me. All he wanted to do was sit near the baby and rest his hand on his head. I didn't have to tell him to be gentle, he knew to be. I didn't have to tell him not to squeeze the baby's arms or legs, he knew not to.
That night while nursing and rocking my "baby" to sleep I started thinking about it. How did he know to be careful? How did he know this was a baby and we had to be gentle? How did he know? It's the first baby he's ever been around.
I honestly think it's just because of how we are raising him. He and his daddy rough house and such to he does get to be a "normal child", but I'm always telling him (and doing my best to demonstrate) that we must be kind, gentle and loving.
At this age, children are so easily influenced and all they know is what we are teaching them or allowing them to be taught. I say "allowing them to be taught" because after my son started using his hand to hit the table when he would be told "no" about something, I immediately started thinking about where that could have come from. He obviously saw and learned it from somewhere. And then a couple of days later, my son and husband were watching a television show they often watched together and I saw it. The character in the show would get angry and hit the table with his hand or any object he was holding.
That evening I had a conversation with my husband about it and our views were a little different initially. My husbands thought process was, "We just need to teach him that although others may do that, that is not behavior that is acceptable within our family." My thought process was, "He's little and we are setting the foundation for him now and how he will grow up. I would rather set a strong and correct foundation immediately rather than to create confusion and keep trying to correct poor behavior because he doesn't know or understand what he is watching isn't okay to do. On top of that, toddlers go through so many new emotions that they are trying to learn to navigate through and I would rather teach him how he can express his feelings and emotions constructively."
We agreed that television show would no longer be watched and I while I prefer the television to be off 98% of the time, I closely monitor what my son watches and I limit how much he watches.
I look at so many kids, teenagers, adults......and I'm flabbergasted by the lack of patience, understanding, compassion, kindness, and love that I see and it honestly seems to be getting worse.
I am setting a strong foundation for my son and the kind of person I want him to grow to be.
I want him to be a strong yet loving, compassionate, caring and patient man.
This foundation and learned behavior starts with our little ones.
Oh, and I'd love nothing more than to nix the TV, I truly believe it would make it much easier 😉
Just One Mama's View Point