Monkey See Monkey Do

I have always believed that it is almost useless to teach children what they do not see. They must realize that what is being taught is exactly the very same behavior displayed by the mentor. This way the authority figure as the teacher is the model.

I have 4 children and I must say our family set-up is unique. This uniqueness made me decide that the only way to do things is to be honest. So whatever our situation was and still is, my guiding principle is to be always on the side of the truth.

From my end, some of the things I practiced in raising my children which I honestly hope will lead them to become useful and responsible citizens of our country were the following:

1. I always tried to give my kids reasons for whatever action I required from them. It has not been easy because they did or do not immediately follow my lead but through continuous rationalizing I think I was able to instill things good. If some things don’t work out the first time, I never got tired of reminding and reminding and reminding.

2. When my children misbehave because all children do at some point, and specifically when they were tots, I gave them the spanking. Yes, I believe that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. With respect to simple tantrums, I normally just ignored them. Even today this still works.

3. I also heavily practiced positive reinforcement when they are well-behaved. I praised their smallest of accomplishments. Or taken note of how hard they tried to do something well. I thought this gave them confidence.

4. I made it a point to give my children time. Yes, I had a job, but it would always take a back seat. Imagine my boss’ consternation. And so for parent –teacher councils, school program activities, field trips, etc., I was there. Whatever reason, if it required my presence, I was there.

5. In the end I just had to learn to trust my instincts. Our situation’s unique. It was far from perfect. I was not perfect. We were not all perfect. But, I think it all balanced-up.