Parenting : Children watch. Children hear. Children judge.
The other day as we flipped through our local bulletin, Anya spotted something and suddenly said to me, ‘Mommy! Look! That’s my school bus aunty!’
(note: on Anya’s school bus, other than the bus driver, there’s always a lady who will accompany and ‘watch over’ the kids)
And this was how our conversation went:
Mommy: Oh wow! Look, she’s just won an important Award!’
Anya: What’s an award?
Mommy: It’s something you get when you’ve done something really well, like when Daddy got a trophy after winning a tennis tournament, or when a policeman gets an Award after bravely helping others.’
Anya then thought to herself for a while and said to me:
Anya: Mommy, why then did she win an Award?
Mommy: What do you mean?
Anya: Because the other day while we’re on our way to school, she scolded the boys and she yelled to them, ‘STUPID!!’. I then asked her, ‘Why do you say such words?’, and she replied, ‘I don’t care! I don’t care!!’
[Note: We teach and emphasise to both Anya and Vai how words like 'stupid' are not to be used inappropriately, and I guess that's why she's 'more sensitive' when someone else utters THE word]
Anya then continued:
Anya: Mommy, … she’s an adult and she should know that saying such words is not good, right? She won an award but why did she scream out, ‘STUPID!!’ to the kids?
I shared this incident over on my Facebook status and quite a lot of people contributed their thoughts and comments on this.
And so I thought of sharing it here as well.
Now the (sad) reality is, awards are given to one’s contribution and achievements. But one’s achievements may not necessarily be ‘connected’ to his or her day-to-day behaviours and attitudes.
A policeman who’s just won a prestigious award for being heroic may come home and scream out swear words to his teenage son for not getting an ‘A’ in his test.
A top CEO who manages his staff well at work may be someone who abuses his wife in front of his little children.
A Professor in Sociology may be someone who’s indifferent towards the society in which he lives.
Well, children are children, and they observe everything that happens around them.
The words they hear. The actions they see. The incidents that take place day to day.
Children hear. Children watch. And yes, children judge.
Let’s hope our children and those little ones who see us living our day to day are influenced positively by us.
By our words. And actions.
It’s a tough challenge for us adults indeed.
Which is why I know I personally must learn to continually self-reflect, be sensitive towards everything I do and say, and ask God for extra wisdom and strength.
For we’re all VERY VERY far from perfect ourselves.